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Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:31 am
by Poodle
I've spent years on this, ever since I read something somewhere. Flies buzzing round your head are annoying, and, nine times out of ten, by the time you've found a newspaper and scrunched it up sufficiently to act as an anti-fly squashing agent, the fly's long gone. So - I read something, somewhere, decades ago, that if you clap your hands together with reasonable force anywhere near a housefly, the nasty little annoying creature is stunned and falls down to earth.
To be fair, the subject of the sonic attack does disappear - of that I'm sure - but has it done an "Ah, you got me" act or has it simply flown somewhere else.
OK - it's a long shot. I realise that the probability is that not many members here have done a scientific study on acoustic warfare on a small scale, but someone may have a considered response.
So, in a nutshell, can a human handclap knock a housefly out of the air?

This may, or may not, help ...
https://www.acoustics.asn.au/journal/20 ... _paper.pdf

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:50 am
by TJrandom
I`d run a test for you, but then I would first need a fly. Haven`t seen one of those in ages.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:35 am
by Poodle
There's no flies on you, TJ!
(No - I didn't post this just to crack that ancient joke).

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:02 am
by Gawdzilla Sama
If you can clap your hands and produce a supersonic shock wave it might work.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:21 am
by Poodle
Aha!!! I was ready for you, my friend ...

https://www.acoustics.asn.au/journal/20 ... _paper.pdf

Whoah - my connection just collapsed - try again ...
OK - According to the above learned treatise, after long and closely considered thought, you may or may not be able to knock a fly out of the air with a handclap, depending upon how you do it and the pudginess of your hands. It ain't helping.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:43 am
by Gawdzilla Sama
It's actually not difficult to produce a shock wave. I have whips that I crack, and that cracking sound is the tip breaking the sound barrier.

So, if you have eight foot long arms that are as supple as a black snake whip you can get 'er done.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:56 pm
by Io
Just the day before yesterday I was sitting on the loo and a fly that had been buzzing round my house for the last hour flew in to the bathroom. I grabbed a hand towel and did that flicking thing you do in the direction of the fly and it fell dead into the bath. I can't guarantee that I didn't just hit it, but I was still impressed anyway. And much less irritated.
True story.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:58 pm
by Io
And, sadly, I have severe arthritis in most joints and if I clapped my hands I'd be more likely to kill myself.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:48 pm
by OutOfBreath
I thought the idea is that if you clap your hands right above the fly, you kill it by hitting it. The reason they're hard to hit is that they have this incredibly fast jump that get them airborne. If you aim above them, you play into that. I have gotten a few that way in my time...

Peace
Dan

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:12 pm
by Poodle
Io wrote:Just the day before yesterday I was sitting on the loo and a fly that had been buzzing round my house for the last hour flew in to the bathroom. I grabbed a hand towel and did that flicking thing you do in the direction of the fly and it fell dead into the bath. I can't guarantee that I didn't just hit it, but I was still impressed anyway. And much less irritated.
True story.
Ah - I'd forgotten that trick. Supposedly (someone will jump in and tell me if I'm correct or not) that flick creates a mini sonic boom which literally knocks the fly out of the air. Which, of course, has sod all to do with clapping your hands. Next time you're in the loo, resist the towel and get someone to clap very suddenly. Then again, you could get a reputation so maybe not. :D

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:16 pm
by Io
If I'm in the loo and I'm sat down, no-one's coming anywhere near me, that's for sure.
There's probably a joke about clap and a toilet, too, but I'm not going there.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:29 pm
by Poodle
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8105232.stm
I don't feel these people quite understand the technological aspect of my question.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:23 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
Poodle wrote:
Io wrote:Just the day before yesterday I was sitting on the loo and a fly that had been buzzing round my house for the last hour flew in to the bathroom. I grabbed a hand towel and did that flicking thing you do in the direction of the fly and it fell dead into the bath. I can't guarantee that I didn't just hit it, but I was still impressed anyway. And much less irritated.
True story.
Ah - I'd forgotten that trick. Supposedly (someone will jump in and tell me if I'm correct or not) that flick creates a mini sonic boom which literally knocks the fly out of the air. Which, of course, has sod all to do with clapping your hands. Next time you're in the loo, resist the towel and get someone to clap very suddenly. Then again, you could get a reputation so maybe not. :D
The "snap" is a mini sonic boom, yes.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:12 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
It might work as there would be a range of responses among flies by species and by individuals? But what always works is my trusty battery powered electronic fly swatter. I love that thing. Got it for $4 at the hardware store and its given away for free from time to time. Mine broke after one year. I took it apart and found a wire had come loose from its slave sodered connection....so I sodered it back. Been good to go every since.

Every year in spring the house gets infested with flour moths?/flies that hatch out of the pantry....I don't mind the food loss but don't want them eating clothes....so I hunt them down and swat them. Very satisfying little light and zap on contact. Did the same on a big ol' house fly and scared the b-jesus out of me. A THUNDERCLAP and Zeus's own bolt were issued. So now...i swat the big one without the electricity....works just as well.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:12 pm
by Gord
I usually just hit them out of the air with a pencil. Fun and effective!

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:52 pm
by TJrandom
Or if you were eating, you could just pick them out of the air with your chopsticks...

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:13 am
by Poodle
Uh Huh - I see others used to read MAD magazine.

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:07 pm
by TJrandom
Poodle wrote:Uh Huh - I see others used to read MAD magazine.
Erm... Some years before MAD mag... Musashi Miyamoto

Re: Houseflies

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:38 pm
by landrew
Murderous intent satisfied.