I live an area that has 'fly season'. This is new to me as I now live in the suburbs in a dry desert-ish area and have lived all my life, previously, on the Oregon coast. Maybe it's too wet there for a 'fly season', idk. I lived on a dairy farm and the flies weren't even 1/10 this bad. No kidding. Anyway, I guess this time of year the flies go crazy and are EVERYWHERE in large quantities. I have messy children (food crumbs everywhere even outside lol), a small flock of hens, several meat rabbits with a couple litters on the way, and a few other common pets. So the flies are INSANE!!!! They're driving me crazy! I'm doing everything I can think of to deal with them. I hate chemicals but have even resorted to bombing my house because they were so ridiculously thick in the main living areas. That only helped for a few days. I've got every kind of trap I could find everywhere, 6 fly swatters (one for me and one for each kid whom I pay 5 cents per fly killed), I put those magic mesh door things on my doorways, and a ton of other things.... I read somewhere, and now can't find where I read it, that Muscovy ducks are amazing for bug control. Especially flies and mosquitos. I like the idea that they are so quiet supposedly also. Basically, I'm hoping everyone will tell me that 'oh yes, they're so quiet and sweet and eat every single bug in sight so you will never ever have to worry about fly season again! And they eat spiders. You'll never see another spider again!' Hey I can dream right? Oh and the spider thing was for my own personal benefit. I just don't like them lol. And for all the spiders I see creeping around they sure aren't pulling their weight with the fly problem! Oh and if everyone could weigh in on the duck poop situation that would be great! I've always been told that ducks eat 1lb of food and s**t 10lbs. I give my animals, except the rabbits, free run of my yard and I'm aware that there's going to be at least some poo on my back patio. I don't really mind as long as it's not an insane amount. I go out every day and sweep it off the patio into the grass, and every few days I hose it down and scrub it with a wire brush if need be. Patio is concrete. But considering they will be in a backyard instead of on acreage (I wish) I was wondering if my yard would become one giant duck poop mine field. I have barred rock chickens so if anyone could give a comparison between the poo output of muscovies vs BR or similar sized chickens? Boy I never thought I would have to ask about the pooping habits of animals Oh and I was thinking about only one female or possibly a trio but I need to look more into space requirements before I commit. I'd love to have ducklings. My backyard is about 4000 sq ft and fenced. I clip my chickens wings so I would have to clip theirs too. My neighbors wouldn't appreciate the visitors Friendliness? I've read a lot of mixed reviews on this. I know ducks are entertaining but how would they do with children under 12 years old? My children love animals as much as I do and I've never had an animal that they had to 'love from afar' before. My oldest son would probably be the only one who would want to pick them up like he does with our chickens but the other kids love to pet and give treats. I'm sure I have more questions but that will do for now. Thank you to anyone and everyone who can help me out with info! And any other tidbits you might want to throw in for someone looking into muscovies would be awesome.