When 80-year-old Ruan Tang had retired, around 14 years ago, she wanted to spend her time doing something useful for her community. And when she realized how much the flies were bothering people during the summer, she decided to do something about it. Tang is now a woman on a mission – to swat as many pesky flies as possible.
“I decided that killing flies was the best way for me to be useful – and I’ve been doing it now every day since,” she said. Tang, who belongs to the Changmingsixiang Community in eastern China’s Hangzhou City, has made it her full-time hobby – for the past 14 years she has spent eight hours a day, seven days a week, killing flies.
For at least two hours at a time, Ruan circles garbage bins in her neighborhood, swatting away until she is sure she has killed all the flies hiding inside. On a really good day, she estimates that she can kill around 1,000 flies. Which is amazing, considering how difficult it is to swat those pesky little pests.
Tang has become something of a local hero – the Chinese media and all her neighbors can’t praise her enough. According to a local paper, flies are “an enemy of the people, noisy, disease spreading and revolting.” But with Tang to the rescue, the community has really had some relief. “She manages to kill them in an envorinmentally friendly way,” wrote the newspaper. “Who knows how many flies there would be in the area if she was not in action?”
Tang’s 58-year-old neighbor Jian Hsiao said: “She really is a fly killing specialist, she is our heroine. Just imagine how many of these pesty insects would be there if she had not been wiping out so many every day.”