Flies force Changi hawkers to get creative

Flies force Changi hawkers to get creative
Simple Solution: Mr Xie, a hawker at Changi Village Hawker Centre, managed to catch 20 flies in a minute by coating paper with gum.
PHOTO: Lianhe Wanbao

Flies are again swarming the Changi Village Hawker Centre, this time in such massive numbers that hawkers have been forced to try some creative ways to get rid of them, Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.

According to the newspaper, the hawkers are usually indifferent to the flies as they tend to come in large numbers for only a short period and are not a nuisance all year round.

Many of the hawkers believe the number of flies will drop by next month, said the newspaper.

But with many customers annoyed and put off by the current plague, the hawkers decided they must do something or lose business.

"The flies were always hovering around me after I sit down for my meal," taxi driver Karen Brown told Wanbao.

"In the 15 minutes while I ate, I had to keep waving them away. What a nuisance," she moaned.

Seeing that the customers were agitated by the flies, a hawker, who only gave his surname as Xie, decided to eliminate them by trapping them on paper which he coated with gum.

The 24-year-old managed to catch 20 flies in a minute, said Wanbao.

Another hawker, Feng Jiafu, hung two bags of water at the front of his stall in the belief that these would scare away the flies.

"A friend said flies are afraid of water. But this trick does not seem to work as the flies have kept coming," said Mr Feng.

A carrot-cake seller said he simply swatted at the flies when they came near him.

Lin Xinyin, of the Rentokil pest control company, said flies are attracted to rotten food. The flies tend to mass-breed when the temperature is high as food would turn bad quickly, she added.

G. Surajan, who runs pest control company Major, said a filthy environment would also attract masses of flies.

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