Waterbags | Mexico | Living in Mexico


My friend Paul Gross and I had just finished a couple of plates of Korean barbecued ribs at the new Asian restaurant in San Miguel. We were walking out when Paul said, "I always know when fly season starts because the water bags come out."

I said, "What?" (I'm well-known for my witty ripostes.)

Paul said, "Water bags. See? They're to keep the flies away."


Paul, stylish in sandals with socks, points out water bags.

I said, "Yeah. Right."

"No. Really. You fill plastic bags with water and hang them around the house. Then you don't get flies."

I looked more closely.


Insect repellant?

Yep. Looked like ordinary plastic bags filled with water. Not believing Paul, I asked the restaurant owner: "Are you using water bags to keep flies away?"

He said, "Yeah. See? No fly."


Now, what bothered me about all this is not that people believe that hanging bags full of water repels flies. We are, after all, living in San Miguel de Allende, haven of the science-impaired. No. My issue is that here we apparently have a widespread, highly visible practice of which I am totally unaware. In nearly five years, I've never noticed water bags hanging around.

I'm still not sure I believe it. Maybe Paul cooked up something with the restaurant owner. I wouldn't put it past him.

So help me out. Have any of you heard of this practice? Do people up north do it or is it just a Mexican thing? And most important, does it work?