Pet flies: the next best thing to mutated pet komodo dragons.

What you need:

Choosing your fly

Ideally an adult fly is used since it is easier to tie a string around it, but you could try using a young fly.

Choosing your string

Make sure that the string is as thin and light as possible so as to make it less cumbersome for the fly. Remember: the fly is going to feel any extra weight you're going to add, so make sure that all the accessories (like string or banners with THIS IS MY FLY written on them) are as lightweight as possible. I'd go for thin nylon or wool.

Preparing the string

Make a knot which acts as a noose at one end of the string. The noose has to be made in such a way that just pulling a string is enough to tighten it.

Capturing the fly

This takes both agility and timing. Locate a fly and wait for it to land on a flat surface (so as to avoid personal injury). Cup your hand and creep up from behind the fly. Get as close as you can without scaring it off and make sure that there are no obstructions between your hand and the fly. Swing your arm with a firm swooping motion and close your hand around the fly. Remember to close your hand while your arm is still in mid-swing and just before impact so as to reduce the chances of the fly escaping. Also, make sure that you don't clutch too hard and squash the fly in the palm of your hand. A leashed fly mess isn't half as much fun as its live equivalent.

Leashing the fly

Presumably, you have a fly trapped in your fist and the string in your immediate vicinity. Shake your fist vigorously for 10 seconds or more and slam the fly onto a surface so as to make it dizzy. Using your forefinger and thumb, pick it up from its middle as gently as you can and get the string with your other hand. Now this is the tricky part. Tying the noose around the fly's middle will usually impede its flight since you'll probably tie its wings down as well. Also, if you try to tighten the noose around its leg, you'll probably cut it off for the fly by mistake. So you're left with the head. Tighten the noose at the point just under its head. Don't pull too hard or you'll behead it by mistake. Also, try not to noose any of its limbs by mistake.


After this maltreatment, you'll have to wait a minute or to for it to recover. The fly might not be able to fly or will fly very badly. This could be because:

  • The leash/payload is too heavy
  • The fly was damaged during capture\taming
  • The fly was too weak

This is expected to happen on the first few attempts. Keep practicing till you get it. A correctly leashed fly is expected to live for at least 2 days when left to its own devices, but you could try feeding it dandruff or something of the sort.

Good luck, and treat your flies well!

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