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The warm weather comes with a bust of flies in most homes. Most people find flies annoying, but they may not be aware of the deadly dangers associated with them. House flies are the most common insects you will find flying around and yet, they are not only a nuisance but they also carry diseases that can be fatal to human beings.
House flies, also known as Musca domestica are small insects of about 5 to 8 mm long. They are gray or black and have hairy bodies with a pair of membranous wings. They carry multiple pathogens and transmit almost 65 diseases to humans. A recent study revealed that there are around 100,000 species of flies or more meaning that there yet other specifies to be identified.
These nasty little bugs spend hours on end feeding on decaying and moist organic matter. They are attracted to carcasses, fecal matter, wet discharges such as open wounds and sputum. If you walk into dump sites, garbage heaps, sewers and any other place that is full of dirt you will not miss flies feeding on the filth.
Due to their attraction to rots, both animal, and vegetable, they carry with them all sorts of diseases. They easily transmit bacteria and other diseases such as typhoid, dysentery, cholera, anthrax, tuberculosis, etc. to humans.
Just as their name implies, flies can fly anywhere. They don’t just live in the dumpsites and other filthy places. After feeding on the decaying and rotting matter, it is likely that these nasty insects may land in your home and worst of all in your food. They can fly into your kitchen, and you may find them on your plates, cups, countertop, and cupboards and in stored raw foods.
There are many reasons why flies should not be spotted in your house. Apart from being annoying, flies can cause a lot of problems for your health. Read through the guide for dangers associated with flies and the reason why you should work hard to shun them from your house.
You might be wondering how flies spread germs. In most cases, flies are attracted to our food, and that’s how the chain of disease transmission starts. Since they land on all manner of filthy, if a fly gets on something as simple as the sandwich you are feeding on, you are more likely to get sick. This is because flies regurgitate. This means that they kind of vomit their stomach contents into the food they are about to eat. They have acid in their stomach that dissolves the food matter and makes it easy for them to suck the food back into their bodies.
The fly has a straw-like mouth called proboscis. The proboscis is usually rolled up most of the time, and the fly will only roll it out when it needs to dissolve food and feed it back into its stomach. The problem is not how much food the fly feeds on; it’s the contents that it spits into your food.
Since flies are attracted to fecal matter, they will leave the fecal spots in anything that they land on including your utensils and food. This is another dangerous way of transmitting bacteria to humans. For example, if a fly was feeding on dog poop outside, some of it is likely to stick on its tiny legs and the next thing it will be walking all over your house spreading whatever it carried from the fecal matter.
Here are some the diseases that can be transmitted by flies:
Flies are common insects, and it’s not unusual to spot one or two flies in your home. However, it’s important to note that a small number of flies can quickly turn to an infestation and so, its essential to be on the lookout for possible signs.
When a fertilized female house fly identifies an indoor source of food such as decaying organic matter, it will get in, feed and lay eggs. Flies can lay many eggs at once which hatch into larvae within 24 hours. The larvae will keep feeding on the decaying matter and continue to develop into pupae. If the sanitary conditions are not controlled, and the home is not cleaned, you will be dealing with a house fly infestation very soon. You will need extreme measures to eradicate this situation.
Here are the common signs of fly infestation:
Clusters of dark spots – if you notice small clusters of dark spots on the wall surfaces and other areas that are usually not easy to clean such as drains, you could be having a fly infestation. Look at the areas around the sinks, drainage channels and on damaged tiles on the floor.
The small clusters of dark spot indicate spots left by flies when they land on these surfaces, and if they are many, it’s an indication that you are dealing with a significant number of flies in your home.
Spotting maggots – maggots indicate that the female flies are laying eggs which are hatching into larvae. This means flies are already in the larval stage which is a sign that there is a breeding site in your home or the surroundings. It’s also likely that you have waste or garbage area that has decaying and rotting organic matter where the larvae are breeding.
Spotting flies more regularly – if you keep seeing a large number of flies buzzing around your home especially in the areas around the garbage bins, and trash containers you could be dealing with a large number of flies. Make sure you check all the areas where water tends to pool like in the guttering or, pot plants that are waterclogged.
To be able to ascertain what attracts flies to your property, you should be able to identify the species of flies you are sighting. The common houseflies you see mostly in your home are attracted to any form of decaying organic matter such as rotten meat, feces, leftover spoiled food substances, etc.
The other species known as fruit flies are usually attracted to sugary matters such overripe fruits, soda and alcohol spills. The drain flies will be found in moist places and are known to feed on organic materials. They lay eggs and breed on drains or any waterlogged surfaces.
The key to getting rid of flies is identifying the type of flies in your home to know what they feed on. This way you will be able to use the right measures to eradicate them and identify their breeding sites as well. If you have a large fly infestation, a pest control professional will be able to assist with a proper solution of getting rid of the flies.
If you are spotting flies in your home regularly, you might be at risk contacting the diseases associated with them. Flies can contaminate your food and expose you to bacteria and other related fatal diseases. Even though flies do not bite or sting, they are capable of spreading pathogens especially if the lay eggs around your home or worse, in your food.
The good news is that there are plenty of DIY methods that can help you minimize or eliminate the flies menace in your home. This guide will provide you with useful steps that you can follow to get rid of flies in your property.
If you start sighting more and more flies in your home as days go, it’s possible that they have a breeding site nearby. You need to locate the breeding sites and destroy them to control and stop the growth of flies. Even though a fly has a lifespan of 28 days, a fertilized female can lay almost 500 eggs in four days. Going by this number, you figure out the speed at which these insects can multiply and become unmanageable in a very short period.
To be able to know where to look for the breeding sites, you need to identify the species of flies on your property. Different types of flies breed and feed differently. Here is a list of the most common species of flies that you most likely to find in your and their breeding sites.
House flies – they breed in dumpsters, composite piles and dumpsters especially the ones with food and animal feces.
Cluster flies – you will find their breeding sites mostly in the lawn because they lay their eggs in earthworm burrows.
Flesh flies – they breed in wet garbage or places where you find dead animals and carcasses
Blowflies – just like the flesh flies, they breed in wet garbage and areas with dead animals and carcasses.
Fruit flies – you will find their breeding sites where there are decomposing fruits, vegetables, fermenting beer, or around places with food and leakages coming from appliances.
Midges flies – their breeding sites are found in areas with pools of water or on soil where wet garbage leaks
Moth flies – these are also known as drain flies. Their breeding sites can be found in a decomposing matter or on sticky material found in sewers, and on sink drains.
Phorid flies – these species of flies breed in a decomposing organic matter such as plants and animals. They are likely to be found in places where animals are buried, or broken sewers and in the garbage.
Once you identify the species of flies on your property, you can need to perform an inspection within your vicinity to see if you can locate the possible breeding sites. It’s essential to note that the breeding sites can be up to around 500m-800m away from your home.
The inspection will take you some time but if you pay attention, you will find the source. Watch keenly to see where the flies land in large numbers. Inspect the area to see what is attracting them to that particular spot. This way you will be able to know the type of flies you are dealing with and the proper management method.
Once you find the breeding site, the first thing to do is to clean it up and get rid of anything that is attracting the flies. Using borax and water mixture clean up the walls and the floor or ground. Flies leave traces that are meant to attract other flies within the area, and that’s why it’s critical to perform this cleaning exercise.
After the cleanup, you can clear the area. If the breeding site in near garbage bins makes sure, you empty the garbage twice or thrice per week and ensure that the container stays covered up with tightly fitting lids. In case there are dead animals nearby make sure they are disposed of properly and then clean the area. Also, make sure dead and decaying plants are disposed of and remove pet feces regularly.
If you have dogs, make sure the kennels are always clean. After feeding the dogs, make sure you clear the food and clean up any spilling.
Eliminate stagnant water and avoid having pooling areas in your yard. It is critical to ensure that you leave your compound clean and dry. This way you will have stopped a new reproduction, and now you will be dealing with the adult flies roaming in your property.
In case the breeding site is on the neighboring property, talk to the owner to see if they can help by destroying it. If they seem uncooperative, you can seek help from your local municipal authorities. As noted, your efforts in getting rid of the adult flies will be futile if the breeding site is still active.
Three different control measures that you can utilize to minimize or get rid of flies in your property. These are methods that follow up after you destroy the breeding sites. The choice of control method will depend on the level of infestation. Read through the list to familiarize yourself with the outdoor fly elimination and control methods.
For this method, you will require a hand pump sprayer and an insecticide spray. If you are dealing with a small population of flies, spray the exterior surface of your home and walls with residual concentrated insecticide.
If the number of flies is high or medium, dilute the insecticide with water as per the directions on the product label. Make sure you dilute the mixture in hand sprayer pump sprayer. Once the mixture is ready, spray every surface and overhangs including doors frames, windows frames, on the walls, etc.
Ensure you repeat this application process at least once or twice a month especially during the warmer season when flies are likely to infest your home. Prices for insecticides spray will vary depending on products and brands. The average cost of insecticide spray comes to about $8.98. One gallon pump sprayer costs about $21.42.
The housefly traps efficiently work in controlling the breeding female flies. They can be used in areas with a high or medium infestation. If you are in a situation where you cannot use insecticides, the fly traps are the best alternatives. The fly traps have a conducive environment that attracts the female flies to lay eggs. Once they land inside, they are trapped and cannot fly outside.
Place the fly traps at least 30 feet away from your house. Hang the traps at eye level and ensure that the area receives sunlight sufficiently. Before using the traps read through the instructions well. Make sure replace the traps at least twice a week or when needed.Fly traps cost about $12.50 to $14.95 depending on the brand.
If you are dealing with an open source of flies which cannot be controlled, for instance near a dumpster, a farm or around a kennel area, the fly baits are most ideal. The baits usually have food substances and pheromone that attracts and lures the flies to the bait station. The baits also have an insecticide that is meant to kill the flies once they feed on it.
Following the product instructions, fill the bait station with the fly baits. You can place the bait station on walls, fences and around the dumpsters where the flies are concentrated. Make sure the baits are kept away from children, pets, and livestock. Some baits have locking lids that only allow flies to enter. This way you avoid attracting other unnecessary elements to the bait station.
Make sure you regularly check the bait station at least every 2-3 days and keep refilling them to manage the fly infestation. The average cost of fly baits ranges from $9.35 to $44.95.
To get rid of flies inside your home you will need to follow these steps for a successful elimination:
Sealing all the possible entry points which include windows, doors, vents, the roof, etc. This is to prevent flies from entering your houses from outside. You will need to make sure you have sealed cracks where the flies may find their way inside.
To make sure that the doors and windows are sealed properly, you can use well-fitting mesh and screens. Always ensure that the vents, doors, and windows stay closed if they are not in use. If possible, you can install automatic door closing devices to ensure that doors are not left open unnecessarily.
If there are any holes and cracks in your house’s siding, cover them completely and screen the vents.
Destruction involves the use of treatment and elimination control processes to get rid of flies. The destruction process will depend on the extent of infestation and circumstances. There are two types of destruction processes:
Mechanical control as a form of fly destruction method does not involve the use of chemicals. In this method, the flies are either captured or killed. Here are four mechanical methods that you can use to kill or capture flies.
The UV light trap is one of the best tools to use to attract and capture houseflies. The flies will fly into the UV trap where an electric shock will electrocute them to death, or they get trapped on the glue board. When placing the lights, you should ensure that they are not so visible from outside to avoid attracting new flies into your home. Also, for the light traps to work more effectively, it’s essential to place them in a place where they are not competing with other sources of lights such as sunlight.
Additionally, purchase UV light traps meant for indoor and not the high voltage zappers designed for outdoor use as they may create unhygienic conditions in your home. UV trap lights cost about $36 to $250 depending on the model you choose.
These are simple rolls of paper that are coated with a fragrant that attract flies. The fly tape is extremely sticky to ensure that the flies get stuck when they land on it. Others are usually coated with a top layer of a poisonous substance that kills the flies when they taste it.
The fly tape is very effective and can catch large numbers of flies in your home. Make sure you hang the tape on places where flies tend to crowd to achieve better results. However, the fly tape tends to look gross when loaded with dead flies so make sure you dispose of the tape and replace with a clean one regularly. A pack of 4 fly tape cost about $4.50 to $6.50.
Also known as fly bats are used to kill flies. The bats have a switch that you turn on to charge it to a voltage of around 1000 to 2500V DC. The bats have a handle and to kill a fly you swing it near the fly. When flies get in contact with the swatter, they are electrocuted and die instantly. The flyswatter is considered to be a more sanitary way of killing flies.
However, since they have electric shock, it’s essential to keep them away from children and pets to avoid unnecessary shocks. Electronic paddle fly cost about $12.90 to $27.75.
Chemical control methods involve the use insecticides, aerosols, and sprays to kill the flies. It’s essential to note with time, flies have become resistant to most insecticides. This makes it hard to get rid of them, and you should only resort to this methods when the others have failed.
Pyrethrin Aerosol Sprays
Pyrethrin is one of the safest natural insecticides. If you have a lot of flies buzzing around your home you can use the space spray to get rid of them quickly. The advantage of using the space spray is that you will be able to get rid of the flies without leaving any chemical residue behind.
Make sure you spray on the doorways to prevent new flies from entering your home. Avoid using the spray around food preparation areas. As much as the spray is safe to use, it shouldn’t be ingested or inhaled.
You can choose to use pyrethrin aerosol fogger if you have a relatively bigger space to treat. Make sure you vacate the room after application and
ventilate the room when you are ready to reuse it. The product label has instructions on how to use it and how to re-enter the room after application. The cost of pyrethrin aerosol spray ranges from $25.29 to $31.01 while a pyrethrin fogger cost about $12.01 per can.
Use of Fly Baits
Several fly baits are available in the market and can be used to get rid of flies indoors. The baits contain insecticidal substances that are poisonous. They are made to attract flies, and when they feed on the poisonous ingredients, they die.
The indoor fly baits are not noticeable and work perfectly in areas that are not favorable to sprays and light traps. The baits come in various forms which include pellets, liquid solutions, and pre-baited traps. They are available in powder form that is usually mixed with water and can be painted or sprayed on the surface. They also come in ready to use stickers, which can be strategically placed on the window sills and walls.
When using fly baits make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s essential to note that fly baits contain poisonous substances and you should make sure that you place them in areas that children and pets can’t reach. The cost of fly baits will vary depending on the brand of the product and its formulations. For example, sticker baits can cost as much as $52.15while the normal baits cost about $9.35.
|Control methods||Average cost|
|Pyrethrin aerosol spray||$25.29-$31.01|
There many fly repellants that can efficiently be used to keep flies away from your property. These repellents can be used together with the other methods of controlling a fly infestation. The repellents include:
Several plants produce essential oils that act as natural insecticides and can repel insects. Most of these oils are safe to use, and they can efficiently help minimize the fly population on your property.
Here is a list of plants that have essential oils that repel flies:
To apply the essential oil, use a spray bottle and treat areas where flies seem to gather in large numbers. You can use an essential oil diffuser and fill it with the repellant oils. Place it on spots where flies congregate.
There are plenty of herbs that naturally repel flies. Flies don’t like the scent of these herbs, and they will keep away from them. These herbs include:
You grow these herbs in your yard and pots and hang them near your doorways and on the kitchen windowsill. It is a great way of keeping flies away from entering your house and generally keeping the environment around you clean, fresh and healthy.
Diatomaceous earth is one of the most effective natural repellants that you can use around the yard to control flies. Since flies are attracted to moisture and foul smell, the application of diatomaceous earth will absorb moisture and deodorize the areas. This way, the area becomes a less favorable ground for flies. Diatomaceous earth also damages and withers the flies leaving them dead. You can apply a small amount of diatomaceous earth using pesticide duster into garbage bins and other surfaces where flies tend to gather in large numbers.
No one wants their home or environment to be infested with flies. Flies are associated with filth, dirt and unsanitary conditions. Since no one wants to be associated with this kind of conditions, it’s imperative to implement sound solutions to minimize the risk of attracting flies in your home.
The following sanitary measures will go a long way in ensuring that your home stays clean and has fewer chances of attracting flies.
In the guide, we established that flies are most attracted to organic and moist materials. Accumulation of food waste creates a favorable site for breeding and also act as a source of food. The only way to keep flies away from your home is to deprive them breeding sites and food.
Make sure you clean up your kitchen after food preparation to get rid of spilled food on the floor. In addition, wash dishes after using them and do not keep them dirty for long. If possible, wash them immediately after use. Food waste should be disposed of in garbage cans and make sure you seal then with tight-fitting lids.
Always make sure the garbage containers are properly sealed and that all garbage stays inside the bins. Ensure that the bins are emptied frequently and regularly cleaned. Keep checking for any signs of breeding by looking out for maggots around the garbage containers.
If you keep pets and dogs make sure you sure you get rid of their waste frequently. In case you have diaper bins make sure they are also emptied and disposed of immediately. Flies are attracted to feces materials, so it’s important to dispose of any of these as soon as possible.
Clean your appliances regularly especially the refrigerator and make sure the areas around them stay clean. Use warm soapy water and mops to ensure that the area is properly cleaned and dried out. Flies are attracted to moist areas so make sure your house is moped clean and dry, and the mops are dried out as well.
The organic substances under the drains attract moth flies. Make sure the drains are cleaned regularly to get rid of the organic matter to avoid its accumulation. You can treat the drains to prevent larvae from flies from growing.
If there is a fly infestation nearby or in your neighborhood, they will easily enter your house through open doors and windows. To prevent their access, install screens in your windows and doors. Regularly inspect the screens to see if they are damaged. In case they are tampered or damaged make replacements or repair the holes.
Similarly, flies can also gain access to your home through the attic and roof vents. Also, if there are small gaps and openings in your home, they will use them to enter your house. To prevent this, cover the openings with screens. This way, you will still allow free flow of air inside but restrict the insects from coming inside.
Flies can easily multiply to an uncontrollable population within a short of a period of time. In fact, if a small infestation is not controlled, you will be dealing with a large infestation that can be difficult to eliminate. If you have tried all the DIY control methods and they are not working, it is advisable you hire a professional fly exterminator to assist with a solid solution.
Here are reasons why you should hire a fly exterminator:
A professional fly exterminator has been trained on effective ways of getting of controlling flies. They understand their breeding patterns and feeding habits better than you do. They can also identify different species of flies and their temperaments. This kind of knowledge enables them to implement the most effective methods that will eradicate the fly menace in a short period.
If you are dealing with a large infestation, the DIY control methods might only work to some extent, but you will not be able to eliminate the fly problem completely. You will need the help of a professional to effectively manage a large fly infestation and identify all the possible breeding sites.
Sometimes the most effective insecticides are not available for purchase over the counter. But a licensed pest exterminator has access to these insecticides that can help a great deal in getting rid of flies in areas that are highly infested. If you are dealing with a large infestation, it is best to let a professional carry out an inspection and recommend the best treatment.
As mentioned above, some insecticides are only available to a licensed professional exterminator. This is because handling some insecticides can be dangerous and harmful to your health. The local authorities require the exterminators to be insured due to the risks involved in handling insecticides.
If you hire a fly exterminator, they will take the following steps to help control and minimize flies on your property:
The cost of hiring professional extermination varies depending on the size of infestation and size of your home. Most professional fly exterminators charge an average cost of $100 to $300 for a single visit to your home. They will inspect, treat, and place traps, do repairs and offer recommendations on preventive measures.
You can also sign up for monthly, or semi-monthly or annual visits at the following costs:
|Cost of one-time extermination service||Involves the whole extermination process including treatment plan, setting fly traps and sealing entry points||$100-$300|
|Monthly periodic visit||$40-$45|
|Semi-monthly periodic visits||$50-$60|
|Quarterly periodic visits||$100-$300|
When it comes exterminators, there are plenty of them on the market. Choosing the right one might prove to be a daunting task. However, if you follow the tips below, you should not have a hard time getting the right person to help you with flies’ problems on your property.
Make sure before you hire an exterminator, you understand the kind of services they offers. Let the professional describe to you in details the type of extermination methods they use. Are they environmentally conscious? Do you find them too aggressive with their treatment plan? Hire a professional whose methods of extermination feel comfortable to you.
Hire a professional fly extermination company that is a member of the professional bodies such as National Pest Management Association. These are professional bodies that govern their members and make sure they follow the approved methods of extermination. They also screen the pest control companies to make sure they adhere to the set policies.
Do not base your decision of hiring on price alone. In fact, be wary of extremely cheap exterminators. They might be inexperienced or unlicensed without insurance. Others might end up using cheap insecticides that are toxic and not approved which may eventually cause harm to your property.
To avoid such incidences, make sure you get several quotes to know the average costs of extermination. Research the extermination company before hiring and if possible check it out with the Better Business Bureau.
Lastly, avoid hiring door to door exterminators even if they offer you a free inspection. You do not have any background information about such people. They might be scammers who charge you for bogus treatment that might have more adverse effects than what you initially had.
There are many reasons why you should not have flies in your home. Not only are they annoying but flies are filthy insects that carry all sorts of diseases that are fatal to humans. Flies are restless insects that fly from one place to another, and in the process, they can quickly transfer pathogens and parasites to humans who can be dangerous to your health.
They are attracted to decaying organic matter, feces, rotting food, wet garbage, manure and so on. Flies breed quickly and what seemed like a small fly problem can become a serious infestation. To make sure you control flies, identify the breeding sites and use proper methods to destroy them. Follow up with a treatment plan to manage the adult flies. Lastly, maintain proper sanitation measures to prevent fly infestation in the future.