Cards as a Pest Control

Ever since the publication of Rachel Carson's The Silent Spring, an alternative to chemical pesticides has been sought. Much attention has been given to protecting the environment and controlling industrial waste, yet the pesky fly remains a problem and the cockroach may outlast us all. In these times of Ban-the-Bomb and Back-to-Nature a personal combat approach may be the answer. If each of us slew his own weight in personal pests, we would solve the problem and simultaneously do ourselves honor on the field of battle.

There are, of course, some disadvantages in attacking insects with cards but this is to be expected of any solution. It really does require skill to strike all but the most lassitudinous specimens: this accounts for the wonderful feeling of accomplishment when the mission has been successfully completed. Furthermore, cards do cost money and if the edges crack or split upon contact with a hard surface such as the chitinous shells of an adversary, the cards become damaged and may not be used again. It may be far more practical to pluck flies from the air with chopsticks as Toshiro Mifune does in the Samurai Trilogy, as the chopsticks may be used over and over again. However, such a skill, though overwhelmingly impressive, is not likely to be readily mastered by Westerners.

It is best to start by attacking large crawling bugs, and then after considerable practice,

A Bug
Toshiro Mifune

progressing by stages to small flying insects. You must pay careful attention to the moving target drills cited earlier; still, it is unlikely that you will have great success with animalcular samples. After all, this is not offered as a panacea for germ warfare.

Please keep in mind geographical distinction as well. Many a highly talented West Coast fly killer will swagger East to take on a New York City slicker and go back to California a bitter and broken man, finding the New York fly a much tougher character than his lethargic West Coast brother.

A final thought for the conscientious home-maker: take some cards and coat them with cinnamon mixed with four drops of rose water. The cards may then be strung creatively to form eye-pleasing mobiles and hung about the house. These are far more aesthetically efficacious than industrial pest strips and are environmentally sound; they are an effective deterrent to flying pests.

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