Hunting down pesky flies with the Bug-A-Salt helps pass the time until more traditional hunting seasons open. (Photo courtesy Rob Phillips)

This is the time of year when there is not much happening if you are a hunter. The special hunt drawings have been held, so everyone pretty much knows what they will be hunting, where and when. So now all there is to do is wait patiently until the first of the hunting seasons arrive.

It is also the time of year when house flies become an incredible nuisance. Could there possibly be some kind of a correlation between these two things?

The answer, happily, is yes. Now it is possible to literally hunt down those pesky house flies. Throw away that antediluvian (it means old-fashioned) fly swatter, and pick up the latest in house fly eradication tools, the Bug-A-Salt 2.0.

My sons, who know I have a burning hatred of flies and the filth they bring into the house, gifted me the Bug-A-Salt gun for Father’s Day. And, I have gone hunting every day since. Fly hunting that is.

The gun shoots table salt. Yes, that’s correct, the ammo is good old sodium chloride, or NaCl, for you chemistry buffs. You pour a table spoon of Morton salt into the hopper, cock the gun by working the forearm as you would a pump shotgun, and it is loaded and ready to kill!

The gun shoots a fine mist of salt, which from about three feet away will take a fly down hard. In fact, it kills them dead.

The salt shot from the Bug-A-Salt will not harm furniture and, much to my wife’s joy, will not splatter fly guts on the kitchen counter or the picture windows as often occurs with the heavy-handed smack of a fly swatter. It’s like miniature bird hunting.

The Bug-A-Salt is not a toy. The company that makes the gun recommends use by adults aged 18 and up. And they issue strong warnings to not to shoot anything or anyone in the face, or eyes. Unless, that is, it is a stinking, no good, fly.

By the way, did you know there were over 120,000 species of flies on our planet? The house fly is the most common and the most despised. It can carry over 100 different kinds of germs causing diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery, and the bubonic plague.

And here’s one you don’t even want to think about, especially after you walk over and see a fly sitting on that piece of fruit you were about to eat. Flies defecate every four to five minutes.

If you have dogs, like I do, you also can deduct very quickly where those flies that are invading your house, have come from.

Can’t recall when your school won that state title? Need to settle a bet? One place for decades of Valley sports.

They need to be kilt, I tell you. And now, instead of keeping an antique wire-handled fly swatter at the ready, I have my Bug-A-Salt gun cocked and loaded, set to go at a moment’s notice.

I’ve yet to try the gun on mosquitos, spiders or other unwanted creepy-crawlers, but it is my guess it would do just fine. I will certainly be giving it a go, when the next undesirable shows itself.

The only issue I have had with the newly opened fly hunting season at my house, is my black Lab Bailey really thinks we are hunting, and every time I shoot a fly, she goes ballistic wanting to retrieve something. She doesn’t understand the quarry is the size of a pea. She wants to go get something the size of a peacock.

You can see the Bug-A-Salt in action at their website, Bug-A-Salt.com. Slow motion video show filthy vermin being taken out by a blast of salt.

The guns are not inexpensive. But they are not cheap either. The gun seems to be well-built for lots and lots of use. You can purchase them online or at a number of different places that sell home goods, hardware and even sporting goods.

After taking out a whole bunch of flies in the past week, I can tell you keeping the house, house fly free, has never been so much fun. It’s almost to the point where I keep the doors open a little bit longer to let a few more of the little buggers in.

This could be a bad year for flies. It will definitely get worse before it gets better. In these gotta-stay-home times, you can only mow the lawn so often. It’s time to take up arms and go to war on the scourge that is the house fly. Grab the Bug-A-Salt and go to work thinning the herd.

Once the house is clear of house flies, go ahead and head out into the great outdoors and make some pre-emptive strikes. It’s as close to hunting as you’re going to get right now.

There are people who are described as being so kind they would never hurt a fly. Yet, I’ve never met anyone who truly likes house flies and the germs they bring into our homes. Even non-hunters might enjoy the Bug-A-Salt. Who knows, the little salt-shooter might just awaken your primal hunting spirit!

For you hunters out there, at least for now, there’s something to help pass the days until the traditional hunting seasons begin. Let your salt fly!

• Rob Phillips is an award-winning freelance outdoor writer who has written the Northwest Sportsman column for over 25 years. He can be reached at rob1@spdandg.com