Dogs can be, too. My eldest dog, Bean, was an accomplished fly-catcher in her youth. She would leap into the air to snap her jaws around it and then spit the wet, bedraggled thing out onto the rug at my feet. I was always amazed at her dexterity in stalking the things and at her astonishing agility.
Now, she’s old and grumpy and doesn’t want to catch flies any more unless they wander right in front of her nose. The younger dogs try to catch them, but they don’t have her tracking talents. (Or they have too short of an attention span to spend time following its movements until it gets close enough for a jump-and-snatch.)
I agree with the comment about an up-and-back lift off and it works in the vast majority of attempts. I have also become proficient in grabbing them in flight. I find it helps not to try to watch the fly but to fix your eyes and use peripheral vision. It works more often than not.
Astound and maze your friends!
… When you get that good, 1/11th of a second is sloooow!
I am currently breeding a new strain of Musca domestica with a reaction time of 1/50th of a second (generations to come will thank me). While this program marches toward fruition, I am practicing my 1/51th of a second moves.
Make a stealth fly catcher aka The Bag o’ Doom 3000!
Get a wire clothes hanger and pull it open to roughly a square shape. Tape a clear produce bag to the square part and use the hook part as a handle. Now, behold the awesome form of The Bag o’ Doom 3000! Its stealth-like powers ensure it is nearly invisible to flies and their kin!
To use The Bag o’ Doom 3000, stand in the middle of the room where the flies are aimlessly buzzing and, with rapid movents of the arm, swiftly scoop them into The Bag o’ Doom 3000’s collection unit (aka produce bag). With your free hand, quickly close off the opening of collection unit (aka produce bag) and squish the trapped fly (or flies) with thumb and forefinger. (Ick.) The fly guts will be safely contained within…Say it with me, kiddies!..The Bag o’ Doom 3000, rather than be smushed on walls and other surfaces. Repeat as necessary and soon you too will be enjoying a fly-free home!*
The** Bag o’ Doom 3000** is disposable and replacement parts are cheap and plentiful.
*Your results may vary. Do not use if you have a severe aversion to squishing flies. Offer not valid where prohibited. See your doctor if symptoms persist.
One very active fly can entertain and frustrate three cats all day long. A tiny lizard on the living room ceiling is even more frustrating for the cats, and they will holler until someone (me, usually) knocks it off the ceiling with a broom.
I have what is basically a battery operated bug zapper. It looks like a tennis racquet except it has numerous parallel wires instead of strings. It’s large strike zone makes it tough to miss when you swing. Often, it just stuns the insect; no biggie, I just finish off the little bastard with a newspaper (unless it’s a bee, those I toss outside; often, they recover).
I once had the privilege of watch two masters go at flies with their swords. The challenger walked up and neatly cut 6 flies in half with his sword. The master took one swing at a single fly, which proceeded to fly off.
“I win…I killed six!” Cried the challenger.
The master just bowed and said, “Ah, but my son, MY fly will never father children.”