General Question

MacBean's avatar

Should I kill it?

Asked by MacBean (19524points) May 24th, 2009

For the past couple of days every time I’ve gone into my bathroom I’ve noticed a housefly wandering around on the window. It meanders slowly up and down the glass, just minding its own business and never buzzing around or being annoying. So I’ve left it alone.

A few minutes ago I looked a little closer and I noticed that one of its wings is deformed. I tapped the glass next to it and it freaked out and fell onto the sill below, then got up, got back onto the glass, and continued to walk around (though rather frantically now). So apparently, it can’t fly with its mangled wing.

Should I put the little (actually, it’s pretty friggin’ big) flightless fly out of its misery? Or should I continue to let it journey up and down the window peacefully until it reaches the end of its lifespan naturally and dies of old age? I mean, can it find food there on the window or will it starve to death? And how did it get there, anyway? Actually, how did it even manage to grow to this stage, really, with such a deformity? Isn’t nature usually pretty merciless when it comes to things like that?

[Mods, if I may, I’d like to ask that silly answers not be deleted, even if they’re given first. I’m not even sure how seriously I take this question, even though I honestly want to know what others would do and what they think I should do.]

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37 Answers

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

If it’s survived this long, and it doesn’t bother you, I say let it live. It probably doesn’t have far to go.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I’d say turn it loose into the Great Outdoors and let nature takes its course. That is, unless you think it would make an interesting pet, then you could capture it, put it in a fly-proof cage, and feed it until old age or loneliness takes its toll.

For whom does the caged fly with the deformed wing buzz?

oratio's avatar

Interesting moral dilemma. I would probably either open it up and let it go out. But I guess killing it would be merciful. Though I don’t think a fly has much of an emotional life. Thats just projection.

bythebay's avatar

Let it go outside and let nature takes its course. While you’re sitting on the potty doing your business, pooping, it’s doing it’s business all over your window.

missingbite's avatar

Kill it. They carry diseases. And if you get another one they can mate and you will have a bunch of house fly’s that carry diseases.

Buttonstc's avatar

I guess it would depend upon what your beliefs are regarding reincarnation.

If you don’t believe in it then just squash it and put it put of it’s misery. If I were a fly so deformed that I couldn’t procure food I would rather be put out of my misery quickly rather than starve to death slowly.

But if you allow that reincarnation may be a possibility then you could be killing off one of your ancestors (or something like that. )

But speaking of broken wings and such——-if you want something else to ponder whilst sitting on the pot, consider the following: “Hold fast to dreams then, for without them, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”

Langston Hughes

hug_of_war's avatar

I would have it killed. Starving to death seems a worse fate

Lupin's avatar

It’s up to you to decide. You soon might have more company than you think.

Buttonstc's avatar

EDIT: I just jotted that quote from memory—- and a faulty one at that.

It sounds so much more
poetic and pretty the way it was originally written so here it is.

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

And all of this over a little handicapped fly. What’s wrong with this picture….... :)

MrGV's avatar

Burn it.

Jude's avatar

I’d give a quick squish and put it out of it’s misery.

tinyfaery's avatar

Any pets? I always let my cats take care of the bug issues in my house.

Darwin's avatar

Set it free by letting it go outdoors, where it can become part of the Great Circle of Life. If you squish it, probably no one else will get to eat it. At least outdoors a lizard could make use of it.

Supacase's avatar

I’m not sure being eaten alive would be better than starving. It is obviously eating something to get that big. Maybe the little guy has never flown and doesn’t know what it’s missing; it just thinks wandering up and down the window is what life’s all about. I would say if you see it starting to slow down or struggle, kill it quickly. Also, if you see another fly in the house kill it before they can make little fly babies.

mangeons's avatar

@Darwin gave the perfect answer that I was going to say. :)

btko's avatar

I don’t think it’s “natural” for a fly to die buzzing against a window for days. If it were me I would capture it and put it outside.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I would say open the window and see what it does. If it seems content to hang around on the window sill, let him be, if he tries to leave, let him go. Perhaps all he wants to do is experience the great outdoors once before he dies.

snotty's avatar

let it go outside, most natural thing to do

Jeruba's avatar

I’d certainly be inclined to let it out. Actually I might trap it (with a cup and a sheet of paper) and carry it out. I do the same with spiders, bees, and other little fellows that aren’t where they belong. No mercy for ants, though.

Hey, @mangeons, where’ve you been? Missed you!

ratboy's avatar

Your moral obligation is to see that it receives immediate medical attention.

mangeons's avatar

I haven’t disappeared, @Jeruba. Don’t worry. ;)

MissAusten's avatar

Well, if it was in my house I wouldn’t have to worry about it. My five year old would pick it up, deposit it into a collection jar, pop it into the freezer for an hour or so, thaw it out, stick an insect pin through its thorax, and add it to his insect collection. :)

aidje's avatar

I’m thinking reconstructive surgery.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Well.. You’re in a toilet aren’t ya? While you’re taking a dump, just throw it into the bowl. So it’ll die either from drowning or concussion.

I’m sorry. When it comes to ants, mosquitoes or houseflies wandering around my house, I think that they should DIEEEEE!! As long as I don’t get squishy bug juice all over my hands, of course.

MacBean's avatar

Well, I’ve now named it George, so there will be no squishing. My plan is to observe for a little while longer—I don’t know why, I just have a “You never know!” kind of feeling—and if there is no miraculous wing regrowth and it’s still alive tomorrow, I’ll open the window and shoo it out.

If I find it dead on the sill, I’m totally having a funeral for it. This is what happens when I name things…

wundayatta's avatar

Makes me wonder why you identify with this fly so much? You seem to be anthropomorphizing it—since you gave it a name. Strange that you can identify with a fly. Maybe it’s the deformity. Still, flies give birth to maggots, and eat rotten flesh and shit. They can carry germs around.

So, can you shed any light on what you are thinking, or what your history is that leads to this identification with a fly?

MacBean's avatar

The malformed wing definitely endeared it to me. Before I noticed that, my attitude was, “Ew, a dirty fly.” Then it changed to, “Aw, poor little thing.”

Blondesjon's avatar

If it’s going to stay there I would at least make it earn it’s keep. A small piece of cotton, dipped Windex, could be affixed to his abdomen and you could tape little pieces of tissue to the bottoms of it’s feet so it is cleaning your window as it crawls along.

arnbev959's avatar

Reminds me of this dilemma of mine.

If you let George out it probably won’t survive long. Some spider or bird or something will probably eat him, as he would be easy prey.

If you leave him in he’ll starve unless you give him something to eat. You should probably give him something to eat.

Jeruba's avatar

Remember that flies like pretty much the same food we do, especially the shiny things like moist fruit and juicy meat. You could make him a teeny little burger with some catsup.

Jeruba's avatar

(A month later) So…I guess…there was a funeral?

MacBean's avatar

No, actually, GEORGE DISAPPEARED. I suspect my mother had something to do with it, but I’m just going to pretend there was miraculous wing regeneration.

mangeons's avatar

gasp George disappeared? ::tears::

tinyfaery's avatar

George McFly. hee hee

Jeruba's avatar

Someday when a lizard stops to smile at you in the path, or a bird comes to your hand, a stray puppy finds your lap or you make a friend under unusual circumstances…look for a little limp, a weak paw or wing, a slight tilt off the perpendicular, and you’ll know.


It’s probably dead by the time I answer this question. Lol.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Terminate with extreme prejudice.

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