Look out Louie, it?s war on flies

By EMMA CORNFORD

ecornford@dailyexaminer.com.au

THE image of a swagman with a cork hat is iconically Australian, but it's an image South Grafton woman Pat Foster wants to see relegated to the pages of history.

Because while the swagman may have had the right idea to swat away flies with corks, Mrs Foster wants to take it one step further, and is determined that the Clarence Valley rids itself of flies.

"To me it seems like we almost treat them as national heroes and nobody does anything to get rid of them," she said.

"If everybody trapped flies constantly for a few years, I think we'd be able to get rid of them around here."

Mrs Foster's quest to rid the area of flies is not a recent one ? while living on a sheep farm in Walgett she constructed a fly catcher to trap sheep blowflies.

"It worked so well my son took it to Gunnedah to the Agquip Inventor of the Year and it caught the attention of Dr Anderson from the University of NSW."

Although her days of sheep farming are over, Mrs Foster's determination to get rid of flies continues.

"They don't worry me so much inside now but ... they carry so much disease, especially if you've got small children around and that kind of thing" she said.

"I've emailed MPs about it, but they don't seem to really care, and at U3A the other day the lady asked how we could make Grafton unique and I said 'get rid of the flies' and she laughed her head off.

"I think if everybody did it we could reduce the numbers, but everybody's too lazy."

Mrs Foster encouraged people in the Clarence to buy themselves a fly catcher from a hardware store to help ward off flies before summer hits.

"What we need is a group of young people with fresh, new ideas, like a 'get rid of the fly brigade', to help really get rid of them."



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