The Old Southern Trick of Using Pennies in a Plastic Baggie to Keep Flies Away
If you’ve ever spent a summer day in the Southern United States, you know how persistent and annoying flies can be. They buzz around, land on your food, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. But there’s an old Southern trick that’s said to keep flies away: sticking four pennies in a plastic baggie filled with water and hanging it up in a strategic location.
One of the theories about why this works is that the sun reflects off the pennies and creates a prism effect that confuses and deters flies. The water in the baggie magnifies this effect, making it even more effective. And because flies have compound eyes, they’re especially susceptible to this kind of visual interference.
To try this trick for yourself, all you need is a Ziplock bag, four pennies, water, and a length of rope. Fill the baggie about halfway with water and add the pennies. Then tie the baggie closed with the rope and hang it up in a place where flies tend to congregate, such as near a trash can or outdoor dining area.
This method is so easy and affordable that it’s become a popular hack. In fact, there are numerous online videos and articles about the effectiveness of the penny-in-a-baggie method.
One video from Homesteading Off The Grid, shows the process step-by-step.
But does it really work? Some people swear by it, while others have doubts. Scientific studies on the subject are scarce, but there is some evidence to suggest that the penny-in-a-baggie method does have an effect on flies. Some people believe that even just clear plastic bags filled with water and hung near entrances to buildings can reduce the number of flies inside. The concept is simple: the water magnifies the reflection of light, creating a visual distraction for the flies.
Of course, there are other ways to keep flies away, such as using fly paper or citronella candles. But these methods can be messy, smelly, or expensive. The penny-in-a-baggie method is a cheap, easy, and environmentally friendly alternative that can be used anywhere. Plus, it’s a fun DIY project that you can do with kids or grandkids.
But there are several things to keep in mind when using this method. For one, the baggie should be hung in a place where it will receive plenty of sunlight, as this is what creates the reflection that deters the flies. Additionally, the baggie should be changed out regularly, as the water can become cloudy or contaminated over time. And finally, while the penny-in-a-baggie method may reduce the number of flies in the area, it won’t eliminate them entirely.
Whether you’re hosting an outdoor party or just enjoying a meal on your porch, this DIY hack can help make your experience more enjoyable. So next time you’re dealing with pesky flies, give this old Southern trick a try and see if it works for you.