Fly Control: How to Get Rid of Flies

Flies (Diptera: Insecta)

Flies in or around the home are usually linked with old food, garbage or the simply flying into the home through an open door or window. Many species of nuisance flies occur in Washington, including house flies, face flies, blow flies, cluster flies, vinegar flies, drain flies (or moth flies), midges, fungus gnats, and March flies. Most of these species are found in the Pacific Northwest and the Greater Seattle area. The best solution to fly problems in homes is to exclude them with tight-fitting window screens and by caulking screens and other openings where flies can enter. Keep garbage covered or spray garbage containers regularly, as well as favored resting places around the exterior of the home.

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General Facts/Information of Flies

House Flies. The house fly and face fly appear almost identical; however, their habits are quite different. Adult house flies lay eggs in all kinds of decaying organic material, including manure (usually cow manure). House flies generally overwinter or wait out the winter season by continuous breeding in protected barns, while face flies overwinter or wait out the winter season as adults in barns, attics, and in wall voids in houses. Face flies can be pest all winter long, similar to cluster flies.

Blow Flies. Most blow flies are metallic blue or green. In Washington, the sudden appearance of large numbers of blow flies in the home usually indicates a breeding site nearby. Dead nestling birds in the attic or a dead animal in the crawl space are the most common sources. Nestling birds are usually rapidly consumed and the flies disappear, but with larger animals, it may be necessary to remove the carcass and spray the area to control the flies.

Cluster Flies. The cluster fly is atypical blow fly whose larvae parasitize earthworms to live on or in (a host) as a parasite. The adults are the overwintering (or wait out the winter season) stage, and they often congregate in attics to overwinter or wait out the winter season, like the face fly. They do no damage but can be annoying since they emerge into the home a few time all winter long. They usually fly to a nearby window and fly at it until they die. Properly screening attic vents and caulking gaps in siding, etc., is the best solution.

Fungus Flies. Fungus gnats are small gray-black flies that generally feed on fungus or plant material. They may breed in potted houseplants and become a nuisance inside the home. Control can usually be achieved by removing breeding sites, keeping dead leaves picked up in potted plants, and not over-watering plants.

Vinegar Flies. Vinegar flies or fruit flies are tiny flies usually attracted to decaying fruit or fruit juice. Control involves eliminating the breeding sites and fogging. Contact your local Pest Fighter or pest control operator (PCO) for help with treating these nuisance flies.

Moth Flies. Moth or drain flies are minute, hairy-winged flies that become a nuisance whey they develop in the organic material in  a sink or bathtub drain.  Adults can be be killed by fogging, and larvae can sometimes be controlled by pouring boiling water down the drain. Do no pour insecticides down the drain as that is harmful and an unpleasant thing to do. If boiling water fails to provide control, remove the trap on the drain and thoroughly clean it out.

Midges. Midges are small, mosquito-like flies that do not bite. They develop in water, like mosquitoes, and become a nuisance when they congregate around doorways and on patios. They can be very annoying to people who have lakefront property. Fogging the air and spraying a residual on vegetation will reduce the problem, but it tends to recur. Mosquito larvicides provide little control since midge larvae live in the mud.

March Flies. March flies appear in great numbers in western Washington every spring and often cause much alarm for the homeowner. They are medium-sized flies with long legs and a black dot at the leading edge of each forewing. The larvae live in marshy areas and feed on decaying organic matter. Usually in late March or early April, adults emerge and congregate in yards where they are attracted to blossoms on trees. Many get caught and die on the sticky material of rhododendron flower buds.

How to Control Flies and Nuisance Pests?

Nuisance pest often can be controlled by "bug proofing" the home. This may consist of using caulking at entryways, around pipes, windows, vents, doors, etc., and using tight-fitting window and door screens. Elimination of harborage, such as brush or wood piles and compost heaps next to them, will reduce populations of thee pests.

The nuisance pest group includes many noninsects, which Pest Fighter PCOs may encounter difficulty in controlling with some insecticides. The effective integrated pest management control product is the best valued added solution we provide for home owners and businesses looking to control nuisance pest infestations. Periodic perimeter treatments during the warmer months can help relieve customer complaints about nuisance pest, especially in heavily wooded locations.

Pest Fighter pest control company is a professional, licensed and insured pest control operator (PCO) located in the Greater Seattle area, serving King County, Pierce County and Snohomish County. Pest Fighter not only prevents pest problems, but we offer an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) solution for both treating pest problems and monitoring for the presence of pests and pest damage. For help in controlling flies in your area of Washington, contact your local Pest Fighter or pest control operator (or PCO).