Does A Bag Of Water And Pennies Repel Flies?

Have you ever been to a restaurant or market place that had water bags hanging around the windows?  And upon closer inspection you see they have pennies or bits of foil inside the water?

If you asked, you might have been told that these bags of water repel flies.  Many believe that a bag of water containing pennies or foil flakes will confuse a fly and make it leave the area.  People say that the sunlight shining through the water will hit the pennies or foil and cause a prismatic effect, making the flies to avoid the area.

We decided to try this ourselves using sandwich bags, pennies and a big bowl of inviting cat food.  Flies are constantly buzzing around this food bowl, eventually making their way indoors.

Did it work?  See for yourself.  That fly is enjoying a tasty meal and completely ignoring the “prismatic effect.”  Honestly, we were greatly disappointed.  After all, we are a family that believes in home remedies and many old wives tales.

repel flies bag

But don’t let our simple test keep you from trying this yourself.  If you have an area that attracts flies, try the bag-penny-foil test and let us know.  Did it work?  What did you do differently from our own experiment?  Do bags with water and pennies actually repel flies?  Not on our back porch, but maybe yours!

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10 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Mike Gerber
    01 October 2009, 12:41 pm

    That’s crazy. I’m going to have to give that a shot.


  2. Glitter Words
    01 October 2009, 3:30 pm

    I have seen those bags near Luray on an apple farm. Didn’t know what they were at the time.


  3. Liz
    09 November 2009, 2:03 am

    We have an RV and screen room and this really works. Could eat without being pestered. Flies and other flying insects were seen sitting still on ceilings which made them an easy target for a swatter.


    Katherine Reply:

    Liz, thanks so much for the response! I certainly plan to try this again – so many people say it works!


  4. Stacie
    16 November 2009, 9:36 pm

    Wow, I’ve seen those bags a couple of times, we even tried to guess with my friends what the possible purpose could be. Thanks for explaining it!


  5. Glass Queens
    21 November 2009, 12:39 pm

    Pennies in a bag? It’s hard to believe that it would work. Come to think of it, not even all bug repellents work, so how much can we expect from mix of water and foil?


  6. cheap iphones
    22 November 2009, 8:42 am

    Never heard of anything like that. Sounds like some kind of an urban legend.


  7. Gail
    23 January 2010, 8:40 pm

    all the s at work swear by it. We have several cubicles in our warehouse type work space and flies aren’t near where the water bags are hanging


  8. Memory Cards Digital Camera
    09 August 2010, 3:07 am

    Craziest thing I’ve ever heard. No wonder it never worked. A fly paper will do a better job. Keep the place clean will surely do the trick. Flies hate clean areas.


  9. Alvin Huang
    30 September 2010, 10:03 pm

    This would be very helpful and useful most especially in different food establishments because they can prevent the occurrence of flies.


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