Where Are All These Flies Coming From?

Why are so many flies are in one place?

It’s getting to be that time of year again. Just when it was finally getting nice out again, they return: the flies. Thousands of them. Hundreds of thousands of them. It seems like they’re everywhere, especially around your home. And all of a sudden!

What are these flies? Where are they coming from? Why now? Most importantly, what can you do about them? Don’t worry: we’re here to answer all your fly questions. Hopefully, we can help make your spring fly-free in the process.

What are the flies in my home?

There are several different common varieties of fly that commonly enter people’s homes. Each type of fly wants different things and behaves in different ways:

  • House flies are amongst the most common insect pests infesting houses in Michigan. They’re ⅛ to ¼ inches long, dark grey, broad flies with dark stripes and dark red eyes. They live in garbage, particularly moist or rotting organic material.
  • Fruit flies and specifically the common fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster are very common house infesters. These flies are only 3 to 4 mm long, tan or clear-colored flies with bright red eyes. Fruit flies live in fermenting liquids, especially sugary liquids.
  • Blowflies are particularly common in spring and summer. They’re round, metallic green, blue, or copper-colored and only around ¼ to ½ inches long.
  • Phorid flies look similar to a fruit fly. Both are very small (1/16 to ⅛ inches long), tan-colored, and have red eyes. Phorid flies are attracted to light, garbage, and humidity.

If you’re dealing with a fly problem this spring, chances are these are your culprits.

What do flies want?

What do they want?

As you probably noticed, each of the flies we’ve listed has a few things in common. The big one? Garbage. Virtually every fly loves living around, reproducing in, and feeding on garbage. Even more specifically, they love moist, rotting, or fermenting organic material. They’re attracting to any garbage that rots, breaks down, or starts to smell.

Flies can live off of and produce eggs in a very thin film of moisture. Even runoff from plumbing leaks or condensation from drafts is enough. If you have flies in your home, then they’re probably using rotting material or humidity nearby as a nest. Most flies reproduce indoors constantly and frequently whenever they can.

Where did they come from?

Unfortunately, most of the flies in your home were probably born there. They lay eggs in thin films of moisture near food sources. When the eggs hatch, offspring feed and grow rapidly until they’re fully grown. Then, the fully-grown adults reproduce, and the cycle begins again.

Before they can start reproducing, however, the first generation has to get inside your home somehow. That can happen a couple of ways. First, the pests are very good at sensing temperature changes and smelling out rotting food. They’ll follow the smell of rotting food to drafts, then use small cracks to wiggle inside.

Why are flies here now?

Why are they here now?

The speed of a flies’ life cycles is determined mostly by temperature. During warm seasons, most fly species complete their life cycles extremely quickly. Houseflies, for instance, may complete their life cycle from egg to adult in seven to ten days. The longer and warmer the summer, the more the pests will grow, mate, and spread.

Files have incredible reproductive capabilities: a single fruit fly, for instance, could lay up to 500 eggs. They seem especially prevalent in spring and summer because warm outdoor temperatures allow them to reproduce even more frequently. It’s not just you; they really are pretty much everywhere.

What can I do about them?

If you can keep pests from accessing moisture, you can keep them from reproducing in your home. Flies usually find moisture around garbage or another source of food. Keep garbage cans sealed whenever you aren’t using them. Take out all your garbage every night before bed. Rinse out and dry containers before disposing of them.

Pay close attention to possible plumbing leaks and other sources of runoff. Check under sinks in the kitchen and bathroom, especially around garbage. Consider investing in dehumidifiers for particularly humid areas of your home. Clean up and prevent any other sources of excess moisture, too. No matter how small it may seem, flies can and will use it.

 

Once established, flies can be annoyingly difficult to get rid of. It’s quite hard to find fly eggs, and once they hatch you’ll have a new generation to deal with. It’s much easier to avoid letting pests reproduce in your home in the first place. By following these tips, you can do just that.

Of course, maybe you already have flies in your home. In that case, we recommend giving Griffin Pest Control a call right away. Our experts can find and wipe out your fly infestation, no matter how hidden or entrenched. Don’t let flies ruin the nice weather for you; call today!

Where Do Flies Come From in Winter?

Winter fly image

Having flies in your home is never fun, but during the winter it’s down-right intolerable. After everything else you have to put up with, you don’t even get a break from pests? Unfortunately, flies are surprisingly common indoor pests during the winter. They might be around even if you can’t see them!

Winter flies may seem inexplicable, but, as always, there’s a pretty straight forward reason they’re in your home. Learning why your flies are around and what they want will help you make sure they can’t get it. Here’s all the info you should know about flies in winter, including how to keep them out.

How do flies survive winter?

There are hundreds of thousands of common fly species, and they deal with winter in all kinds of ways. “Filth” flies like blow flies, fruit flies, and phorid flies tend to live in and around garbage all year. During the winter, they simply nestle into garbage in sheltered areas and hunker down to preserve heat.

Other flies, such as face and cluster flies, lay eggs in warm areas during the fall. The flies laying the eggs dies of natural causes, but their offspring hatch all winter. Once the offspring are inside, they can continue reproducing, laying eggs, and hatching. Larger flies, like cluster flies, may also enter the state of diapause to preserve energy and body heat.

What are the flies inside my home?

What are the flies inside my home?

The flies most likely to bother you in your home this winter are cluster flies, fruit flies, or house flies. Fruit flies and cluster flies are particularly common in Michigan, even during the winter. These flies are easy to tell apart: fruit flies are tiny, lightly-colored flies with big red eyes. Cluster flies are big, stocky flies with dark coloration.

Unsurprisingly, fruit flies are most common around your kitchen. They seek out warm, moist places where they can access food. Adult fruit flies lay eggs in rotting fruit and plant material. They may live in and around your garbage or drain. Cluster flies are common around windows, attics, and basements. They look for warm, secluded places where they can huddle together and enter diapause. Cluster flies occasionally re-emerge on warm days to regain heat and energy.

How do flies get inside my home?

Cluster flies work their way into homes starting in late summer and fall. They cluster together in large groups on the sides of walls to soak up sun and stay warm. As temperatures cool, the flies look for cracks and gaps they can use to stay out of the wind. Often, these cracks may lead them into your home, either behind the walls or in attics and basements. Common access points include cracks under baseboard, windows or door trim, and around fans, lights, or utilities.

Fruit flies may infiltrate your home by hiding inside grocery bags or other transported food materials. Fruit fly eggs are tiny and very difficult to see. If you accidentally bring a couple eggs indoors, those eggs may hatch and grow into an infestation. Adult fruit flies can also sense rotting or fermenting material and follow it back to your home. They may lay their eggs around your garbage or other areas where they can find rotting food.

What do flies want?

What do flies want?

Without warm, secluded shelter, flies can’t survive freezing temperatures. Most common flies can’t hibernate, either, which means they need a shelter where they can access food. If you have flies, it means your home provides both of these things. Cluster flies look for warm, hidden areas where they can remain dormant for long periods. They won’t eat much, reproduce, or cause any real damage. The only time you may see them is during warm days, when they may emerge.

Fruit flies might be more annoying. They will eat, reproduce, and infest food supplies. Fruit flies attach themselves to any fermenting or rotting food–not just fruit. They’ll work their way into the rotting food to lay eggs and feed continuously. Like cluster flies, they need their food sources to be in warm places to survive. Fruit fly eggs will also die if exposed to freezing temperatures, so fruit flies have several incentives to get inside.

How can I get rid of flies?

Cluster flies are difficult to control in winter, because they may already be hiding in your walls. If you try sealing their access points now, you may trap the flies in your walls. That could create a mess and attract other, even less pleasant pests. When spring comes, cluster flies will typically leave your home to warm up outside. Until then, we recommend swatting or vacuuming the flies you encounter and leaving the rest alone.

Getting rid of fruit flies means wiping out their food and shelter sources. Look for any sources of rotting or fermenting food inside your home. Clear and clean out each of your garbage bins. Sanitize the places where you keep your garbage. Seal off possible access points around food, such as window frames in your kitchen or dining room. Fruit flies can squeeze through the smallest of gaps, so be thorough! Make sure you check around utility lines like pipes and electrical, too.‌

The good news is, flies aren’t really a big deal. None of the common flies that get in your home can hurt you or your stuff. At worst, you should consider them an annoyance. The bad news is, even if they’re “just” an annoyance, they’re still… annoying.

Luckily, you don’t have to deal with your flies. When you decide enough is enough, just give Griffin Pest Solutions a call. We’ll wipe out your flies so you can get back to enjoying (or at least tolerating) your winter in peace.

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What Are the Flies in my Kitchen?

Fly attracted to food in kitchen

Easily the most common pest problem people deal with every day are flies in their kitchen. It makes sense: kitchens and other food storage areas naturally tend to create ideal fly infestation conditions. There are even all kinds of different common flies, and they’re all looking for something a little different. The trick to keeping flies away is figuring out what that “something” is and making sure they can’t get it.

Start by figuring out which kind of fly is bothering you. Chances are, it’s one of the four particularly pernicious pantry pests we’ve listed below. Once you’ve identified your nemesis, follow the steps below to deprive them of what they want. Don’t give up; a fly-free future is possible! Here’s how to keep four of the most common kitchen flies from bothering you anymore:

House fly

House fliesHouse flies are dark grey flies with four black stripes on their slightly hairy thoraxes. They’re around ⅛ to ¼” long and round or oval-shaped. The easiest way to identify a house fly is to look for their prominent red eyes. Usually, you’ll notice a house fly infestation when you see one of the flies near your garbage or food. You may also find small cream-colored eggs or larvae laid on food material.   

House flies are a problem because they transmit hundreds of pathogens via their saliva and waste. They also soil food products by laying eggs inside of them. Fruit flies are naturally attracted to water, sugar, broth, and soluble food stuff, which they feed on and lay eggs in. The best way to prevent house flies is to make these breeding sites inaccessible. Keep garbage sealed and dispose of it before it begins to rot. Rinse out bottles and cans before you throw them away. Store food like grains and pasta in sealed plastic containers.

Blowfly

blowfliesBlowflies (or bottle flies) are small, round flies that are metallic green, blue, or copper-colored. Their metallic-looking bodies are slightly iridescent and make them relatively easy to spot. They’re usually only around ¼ to ½” long. Blowflies congregate on dead, decaying, or rotting things in great numbers. They tend to be particularly noticeable outside during the summer. If you have them inside, they’re probably flying around either your garbage or some other source of rotting material.

Like house flies, blow flies are a problem primarily because they transmit diseases. Blowflies also reproduce astonishingly quickly. A large number of flies can inhabit a food source in a short period of time. When you have a blowfly problem, the first thing you should check is your garbage. Dispose of all your garbage and rinse out your cans and dumpsters. Look for and remove any sources of decaying organic material such as pet feces or fertilizer.

Fruit fly

Fruit fliesFruit flies or vinegar flies are tiny (⅛” long), very light tan flies with almost translucent bodies. Like house flies, their prominent, bright red flies are their most distinguishing feature. Fruit flies are attracted to any organic material that’s ripe, fermenting, or otherwise moist. They reproduce and lay eggs in any thin film of moisture on top of fermenting material. A single female fruit fly can lay 500 eggs. These flies have extremely short life spans and reproduce extremely quickly.

Fruit flies are primarily considered nuisance pests, but like other flies, they can also contaminate food sources with pathogens. Any food that could produce condensation could attract fruit flies and foster fruit fly growth. Pay close attention to where you’re throwing away food, especially fruits and vegetables. Even small sources of moisture like spilled fruit juice could attract literally thousands of fruit flies. Dispose of any overripe or rotting food regularly, and rinse out your garbage cans once a month.

Cluster fly

Cluster fliesCluster flies like the common cluster fly (Pollenia rudis) usually enter homes during the fall. They look very similar to common house flies, except they have patches of bright yellow hair under their wings. During spring and summer, they reproduce and lay eggs in the soil. Cluster flies produce three to four generations in a mating season. During fall, adult cluster flies attempt to enter enclosed and protected areas in order to survive winter.

Cluster flies are largely considered nuisance pests, similar to other overwintering nuisance pests such as stink bugs. They don’t damage your home or transmit diseases. Their bodies or waste may attract other pests to the areas they inhabit, however. The best way to keep cluster flies out of your home is to block their common entry points. Seal cracks around windows, doors, thresholds, and utility lines. Repair or replace damaged screens. Patch up cracks in chimneys or roofing shingles.

 

If you feel like you’ve tried everything and you still have a fly problem, don’t despair. There’s a reason why flies continue to be the most common pest problem in the US. The frustrating little bugs are very good at getting theirs. Luckily, we’re even better at stopping them.

If you decide you need some help dealing with your kitchen foes, give Griffin a call any time. We have everything we need to make your kitchen fly-free and keep it that way. Your fly-free future still awaits! All you have to do is call now.