We recently saw our cat paying an unusual amount of attention to the underside of our radiator. We investigated, and discovered a fly that had become entangled in cobwebs and was about to be killed by a spider! It was buzzing & spinning frantically in tight circles. We managed to get it away from the spider before it got envenomated (Which is stealing the spider’s dinner, we know, we know! The cycle of life sucks, and we know everyone’s got to eat, but we just couldn’t sit there and listen to the terrified death throes of the fly.)
So now we’ve got a fly that’s half cocooned in webbing - it’s wing is stuck to it’s back and it’s back legs are all bundled together. Awful. We can’t leave it like that, but how to get it free without doing even more damage?
So we pulled out the tweezers and got to work. It took three stressful procedures to get it all done, but when the last bit got dislodged the fly’s wings popped into their proper positions in a very glorious ‘I’m all better now’ sort of way, it was finally free of that darned piece of cobwebbing that we’d been holding it in place with, it flew around quite vigorously, and then settled down for a big bath and some of the sugar water we kept it supplied with. Then we set the fly off into a warm, sunny, autumn afternoon!!!
What’s interesting is that the fly became much calmer the instant we got it away from the spider, and throughout the whole ordeal it figured out that we were helping it, because it would progressively let us get closer and closer without trying to evade us - despite our scary tweezers! Many times when it had the opportunity to get away it simply wouldn’t - but rather would take part in helping us help it, like yanking the leg we would be working on to help pry it loose. It was pretty much a symphony of housefly human cooperation - and we’re quite thrilled that it all worked out!
This is not the first time we’ve saved flies from certain doom, and you’d be amazed at the differing personalities they’ve each got - as evidenced by their different reactions to being offered a dish with bit of sugar water-soaked paper towel! Though at first, of course, they worry that you’re a threat, but if you move slowly and calmly they start to get used to the idea that you’re not so much a threat as a source of sweet sweet sugar. Here’s a bit of a history that we’ve enjoyed with a variety of flies that have had the good fortune to get stuck in our our flyswatter-free household:
-Buzzy #1: Learned to land on our outstretched finger because there was honey to be found there!
-Buzzy #2: Wouldn’t land on us, but would visit dish held out.
-Buzzy #3: Wouldn’t come to the dish, but if we brought the dish to him, he’d climb on and have some.
-Buzzy #4 & #5: Both flew away and wanted nothing doing with us or our sugar.
-Buzzy #6: Didn’t run or fly away, but avoided the water/sugar paper towel - unless nudged with a corner of paper towel at which point he’d realize it was wet and sugary and climbed right on. This happened multiple times - he didn’t seem afraid of us, but couldn’t seem to learn that the dish was a source of food and water unless directly shown.
So flies are all different, just like people.