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Today I had lunch in a small Mexican taco place, and they had hanging, in the middle of the room, two clear plastic bags filled with water:

enter image description here

I asked the reason for the hanging bags of water, and was told it's intended to scare flies away. Allegedly, the combined effects of make-shift prism, along with a fly's compound eye, alters the flies' perception of... something (??) such that they are confused, or frightened, or otherwise repelled from the area.

It strikes me as a completely ridiculous claim, but it's clearly taken as serious enough that someone actually went to the effort of hanging mistletoe-like water bags, and the friend I was with was also familiar with the old wive's tale.

So, is there any reason to think that bags in this configuration would repel flies?

marked as duplicate by ChrisW, user5582, Larian LeQuella Jun 22 '14 at 1:27

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  • I've seen this in Texas steakhouses, too. – user5582 Jun 20 '14 at 20:51
  • 1
    ^ The linked question is about mosquitoes but the answer to it is about flies. – ChrisW Jun 20 '14 at 20:52
  • Mythbusters 2010 "Bug Special" took this one on, with a verdict of "busted". Unfortunately, the only official video I can find only shows the setup for their experiment. – Brian S Jun 20 '14 at 21:40

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