Fly trap filled in just six days shocks internet: “Forbidden vinaigrette”

The shocking view of a fly trap that filled up almost completely in six days has wowed the internet this week after gaining viral attention.

Shared by Reddit user u/VictorChaos on Tuesday, the picture on Reddit’s /mildlyinteresting forum has gained over 16,000 upvotes and thousands of comments.

There are about 900,000 different kinds of living insects known across the world, representing approximately 80 percent of the world’s species. Experts agree that the number of insect species that have not been described or named far exceeds that of those recorded. Estimates range from 2 million to 30 million. At any time, there are estimated to be around 10 quintillion individual insects alive on Earth.

Thanks to their diversity, the ecological importance of insects and their influence on agriculture, human health, and natural resources cannot be understated. But not everyone is so thrilled to have insects nearby.

The now-viral picture showing six days of progress of the fly trap that has divided opinion online.
VictorChaos/Reddit

In fact, a fear of bugs can be quote natural. According to a 2001 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, a fear of spiders and insects can actually stem from an anxious evolutionary trait that has identified them as potential threats. This fear can also be linked to a reaction of disgust aimed at avoiding a variety of dangers such as poisons, rotting food, and unsafe living environments that insects often inhabit. One way that many people will deal with a large number of insects in their home or work environment is with a trap similar to the one in the viral post.

The yellow bottle-style catcher is designed to attract, trap and kill flies in outdoor areas. Using water and an attractant liquid, it aims to attract flies within a 10-yard radius and provide results for weeks.

Victor who shared the flycatcher image lives in Cambridge, UK, and told Newsweek: “I put it outside my kitchen door about 15 feet into my backyard because the flies were flying into my kitchen all day getting in my and my cats’ food.”

With six frames, the picture showed the progress of the trap over six days as it became filled with flies—a process that captured attention online as Reddit users flooded to the comments section to react.

“Gotta catch them all,” joked one commenter, while another said: “Y’know, you’d think that at some point at least one of the flies would look at the bottle full of corpses of their dead brethren and think to themself ‘maybe this is a trick.’

“I feel both satisfied and disgusted,” said one Reddit user. Another joked: “Go ahead, eat the forbidden porridge.”

Another commenter called the bottle: “Forbidden vinaigrette.”

The solution for unwanted insects even seemed to inspire some who went and picked up their own fly traps for their homes. “I’ve just set mine out! Exciting days ahead,” said one commenter.

Some UK charities have urged the public not to kill flies, wasps, and bees that may enter their home this summer. After a public count of insects was conducted and results were compared to a similar study in 2004, conservation charities Buglife and the Kent Wildlife Trust have noted a decline in insects and urged the public to relocate unwanted visitors outside rather than killing them this season.

Similarly, a study released in 2020 used information from more than 160 long-term studies and discovered that the number of insects on Earth was declining by around 9 percent each decade, with the greatest declines recorded in the western and midwestern US states and Europe.

Some commenters on the viral post shared these concerns, too. One Redditor wrote: “Are you aware of insect apocalypse? Birds, other animals, and insects depend on flies for food.”

One Redditor said: “Killing bugs will quickly lead to ecosystem collapse,” while another wrote: “Although flies may be annoying, they are an important part of the ecosystem. You are unnecessarily killing thousands of insects which would otherwise have become food for birds and other critters.”

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