While flies seem to be a constant nuisance throughout the summer months, it is fall when they really cause problems for homeowners. The population is largest in late summer and early fall, and all those flies start to seek entrance into homes. Getting rid of flies requires a well-rounded approach that includes sanitation, exclusion, and sometimes even chemical methods.
There are many different species of flies, but three common flies that are household pests are cluster flies, house flies, and fruit flies. While each species has unique characteristics, methods of control are very similar.
Cluster flies are the largest of the three species. They are slightly bigger than house flies and measure about 5/16 of an inch in length. Cluster flies get their name because they commonly cluster in large groups in the fall in search of warmth. These congregating flies are most often found on west and south-facing walls of homes and buildings. Cluster flies are gray with longitudinal black lines on the thorax. They also have yellowish hairs on their backs that give them a golden appearance.
Cluster flies feed on fruits, plant sap, flowers, feces, and other organic matter. Their behaviors are not only annoying and distracting, but cluster flies can also spread diseases. Getting rid of cluster flies starts with exclusion. Sealing the exterior of the home is a particularly important step when it comes to cluster flies. Fill all cracks and gaps with caulking. Next, make sure all of the windows have screens that are free of holes and tears. If the screens are not in good condition, they should be repaired or replaced. Lastly, check the weatherstripping around doors to ensure that it is intact. After your home is sealed, maintaining a clean home is the next step. Daily cleaning and trash removal is an essential part of fly control. If the flies cannot be controlled by following these steps, chemical options are available. Using a residual insecticide on the exterior of your home can keep not only flies, but many other pests out.
Cluster Fly By gailhampshire from Cradley, Malvern, U.K (Cluster-fly. Pollenia sp.) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
House flies are one of the most common pests found throughout the world. House flies grow up to half an inch long. They are a dull gray color and may have dark stripes. Like other species of flies, they have 6 legs, one pair of wings, and reddish compound eyes.
House flies are also known as “filth flies” because they eat, live in, and breed in garbage, rotten food, sewers, and other unsanitary conditions. There will also be a higher chance of seeing flies after a flood. According to Orlando Water Damage Restoration, flies are more common in damp areas, especially after carpets and furniture are soaked.
House flies are known to carry over 100 different pathogens that can cause diseases like salmonella, dysentery, cholera, and tuberculosis. They will often rest on walls, less than 5 feet from the ground during the day, and move to higher areas at night. Aside from spreading diseases, flies also leave black spots of excrement wherever they spend their time.
Once again, sanitation is a critical part of fly control. Keeping the home, and especially the kitchen, clean is very important. To prevent fly problems, wipe down counters often, vacuum or sweep up crumbs, do the dishes immediately after using them, and take out the trash regularly. Sticky traps, live-capture traps, insect lights, and other chemical means can be used to control major fly infestations.
House fly By Gladson Machado [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Fruit flies are especially prevalent in the fall because they feed off of and breed in rotting fruits and vegetables. Harvest time always brings fruit flies. Fruit flies are the smallest of the three species. They average only ⅛ of an inch long. Fruit flies have a yellowish thorax and abdomen, black markings on the dorsal surface of the abdomen, and very bright red eyes.
Fruit flies are especially problematic for restaurants, fruit markets, and other businesses. They can ruin fruits and vegetables, cause unsanitary conditions in homes, spread disease, and cause intestinal problems. Although sickness is rare, eating the live larva of a fruit fly may cause an upset stomach and diarrhea.
The biggest factor in controlling fruit flies is removing their food sources. Always dispose of overripe or rotting food in your home or yard. Store food in the refrigerator or cover it well to avoid attracting fruit flies. Cleanliness is also a huge factor. Maintaining a clean home without access to food sources will help tremendously to control the fly population. Common places where fruit flies congregate are drains, trash cans, garbage disposals, and areas where food is stored.
Flies are unsanitary creatures and can be a real nuisance in your home and yard. If you need help with fly control or other pest control, call the experts at Midwest Pest Control. Our helpful technicians will come inspect your property to determine possible problem areas and then create a customized plan to eliminate your pests. For pest control in Tulsa, you won’t find better than Midwest Pest Control.