How to Get Rid of Cluster Flies
Cluster flies are slightly bigger than house flies, much slower, and more prominent in the winter. Eggs are deposited in the soil and hatch very quick, where fly larvae will feed on earthworms for development. They possess tiny golden hairs on their back and will occasionally infest residential areas.
Cluster flies in the house may be indicative of sanitation issues or poor sealing. Because they feed on animal feces and spoiled food items, efforts should be made to ensure that pet waste is cleaned daily. A visual inspection of the home is also necessary. Cluster flies are overwintering pests, where their presence increases during the transition from fall to winter. Populations are extremely high in rural areas with lots of land because the cluster fly relies on heavy worm populations for their development.
Several techniques can be combined to ensure the elimination of cluster flies. Some bait traps are sold at various retail outlets, to be posted around the outside of the property. These traps are relatively stinky and should be placed far away from the structure. Trapping cluster flies with homemade traps is relatively simple.
- Cluster Flies love food. You can cut a 2 liter bottle in half, placing the top side upside down in the bottom end. Inside, place a piece of rotting fruit or a little bit of juice – they will enter and be unable to escape. Survivors can be killed with a fly swatter.
- Water filled bags WILL NOT repel cluster flies. This is a homemade remedy without little scientific evidence to support its effectiveness. Hanging bags of water around the house to prevent flies is a waste of your time.
- Dumpsters, garbage bins, and recycle bins must be sanitized. Cluster flies will feed on garbage and decaying organic matter. Clean lids and bins with soap and water and make sure all of your trash is bagged and sealed. Garbage disposals in the kitchen should be cleaned and sanitized as well.
- Pet waste should be removed from the property. Flies will feed on animal feces and are attracted to manure. If you live on a farm, avoid having either of the two within 100 feet of the affected property.
- Make sure all the points of entry are sealed. This includes light fixtures, doors, windows, screens, etc. Cluster flies are notorious for entering through even the tiniest cracks and crevices.
Sanitation and trapping techniques can be combined to greatly reduce the amount of flies inside of the house. In some cases, heavy activity may be related to an unforeseen issue such as a dead squirrel in the attic or dead mouse inside of the walls. If this is the case, removal of the dead animal should be the strongest priority.
Insecticides are rarely used in fly management programs. Cluster flies can be difficult to control because they must land in the product in order for it to kill them. In cases with very heavy activity, pesticides may be used as a final resort. Many products exist at your local super markets that are labeled for flies. Chemical treatments will only be effective if they are combined with the trapping and sanitization tips listed above.
- Apply product inside dumpsters and garbage bins. Cluster flies lack eyelids and have to wet their eyes with their feet. When they come into contact with the spray, this is how they will digest the product.
- Kill any cluster flies around the house. They prefer bright areas and are attracted to light. Check around light fixtures, cracks and crevices, ceilings, and windows.
- Treat around light fixtures, doors and windows outside. Covering every possible point of entry is necessary in any pest management program. If you are experiencing cluster flies on the upper level, it's recommended you check out the attic as well.
- Foggers can be used as a final option. Fogging is used to cover large areas with insecticide, increasing the likelihood of flies contacting the product. They are self-releasing aerosols and the property should be vacated prior to their use.
It's very important that you read the product label before attempting to treat for flies. There are important rules that must be followed when using insecticides indoors and out, especially with foggers, where you must disable any gas flames prior to use.