Spring will come very quickly and I am now wondering if this particular remedy, as reported in The Fowlerville Review, would actually work. If anyone tries it, please let us know! And then I came across another remedy. Here it is as published in the same paper in 1893 ~~
An exchange prints this prescription for getting rid of flies: A half teaspoonful of black pepper, finely ground, mixed with double the quantity of brown sugar, the compound to be moistened with cream. The flies will generally eat greedily of the mixture, if placed where they can easily reach it, but it will be their last meal, for the least bit of it to a fly is rank poison. If watched, they will often be seen to drop dead within a few feet of the plate which they have just left, and some of the heartiest eaters do not live to leave the plate.