Leather Fly Swatter
The Amish-made swatter is my new favorite insect-killing device, having now outstripped the plastic affair Dr. Skud from a few years back by Philippe Starck.
One thing I did wonder about the leather swatter though was how well it's back side--which is a rougher grain, as opposed to the smoother, refined front side--would stand to cleaning. Thankfully I came across this post on the blog Farm Natters that addresses the very issue. Their verdict: "fly guts don't clean off as easily."
I was also impressed with the really basic construction, just a sturdy wire twisted into the handle and a perforated leather head perfect for mashing mosquitoes.
They were something like $12 at Sugar Tools, but you can get them for a cool $4.95 at the Lehman's website. No more nasty plastic hanging around for your bug-battering needs--just the thing for you urban homesteaders out there between pickling parties and the long, moonshine-filled hours spent naming your children after folksy 19th century poets.
If only I'd had that swatter with me on Lake Megunticook earlier in the week, though. My ankles were as popular with the bugs as my salami sandwich. I could hardly protect both!