Flies infestation is a problem that you should never underestimate, so if you suspect having such an issue then learning how to get rid of cluster flies can provide a huge help. Whereas most people think that all flies are the same, they aren’t. Flies, like other animals or insects, are coming in different species and types. They may share similar and general traits, but different types may require different approaches and treatments. So, before you make any hasty decision or poor option, it doesn’t hurt to know their basic facts thoroughly.
Understanding Cluster Flies and Facts
Cluster flies also go with another name: attic flies. Although they aren’t dangerous or risky, they are considered household pests – a nuisance that you may want to avoid, especially in a large number. Cluster flies are generally bigger than the common houseflies, with light and also dark gray checkered area on the abdomen. The thorax of the adult fly would be covered in golden and short hairs. The wings would overlap when not in use. The adult body size has a general size ranging from 8mm to 10mm. When compared to the housefly, cluster flues are sluggish with darker colors.
Finding out how to get rid of cluster flies in the garden may not be urgent as they won’t cause you any problem. However, things would be more complicated once the flies decide to enter the house. You see, these insects always find a way for them to survive during the overwintering period. It means that once the temperature drops and the weather has changed (into a colder period), then they need a warm place to survive winter months.
They like a warm environment, so when the season changes (into a colder one), they need a shelter to remain warm. You may find them flying around the house in the late fall period or during the sunny winter’s days. Despite their bigger body size than the houseflies, they are still able to pass through the small opening, such as cracks, crevices, and holes. If you ever find any of them in the garden or on your patio, it doesn’t hurt to check your house’s exterior parts for possible entry points. You don’t want them to migrate to your house when it gets cold.
These insects are always attracted to light and warmth, so if you find any fly close to your lights, doors, and windows, it is highly likely that they are the cluster flies. They don’t spread diseases and they don’t bite. However, their droppings can make the affected areas turn black or dark. Not to mention that they may attract other insects if they die within the (wall) voids. When they are swarming and gathering together in huge numbers, they can be super annoying.
They generally hibernate during colder months and they will start being active again in the springtime. You may not suspect that you have the cluster flies’ infestation – once they are inside a structure or a building, they will hide and they won’t appear to humans. But when it is spring and everything starts getting warm again, they would be awakened and they will try to leave the building to get food. This is the most common time when people see the flies around.
How to Get Rid of Cluster Flies In Your House Naturally
You should know how to get rid of cluster flies naturally before trying methods with chemicals. At least, go with the least dangerous options before going for insecticides. Read Also: How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
As it was mentioned before, cluster flies only need your house for shelter. They don’t lay eggs or breed, so when they can’t go out, they will simply die. Use the vacuum cleaner when you see them gather around the window sills or door panels. Not only they are attracted to the light and warmth, but they are also trying to find their way out. Any vacuum will do – whether it is the regular and big size ones or the portable type. Remember, these are slow-moving creatures, so sucking them up shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Once you have vacuumed them, you need to remove and throw away the bag right away. And make sure to empty the vacuum in a faraway spot – far from your house so they won’t find a way to return to your property anymore. A word of advice: if you often have insect issues, it may be a good idea to have a shop vac or a small and portable handheld type since vacuuming them can be quite an effective way.
Remove Food Sources
These insects like decomposing foods as well as sweet ones. If you have any leftovers, don’t leave it in the open. Put it in the container and put it inside the cupboard. If you have to throw away food, make sure that you have a garbage bin with a lid so the flies won’t have access to their food source – making your home less ideal for them.
Seal Your House
As it was mentioned before, cluster flies can fit into the smallest holes or cracks easily. One method of how to get rid of cluster flies is to seal them up. You may want to check your rooms in detail, especially in the attics and basement. If you see any gaps or crevices, you need to seal them up. You can use a caulk or caulk gun to seal small cracks and gaps. A tube won’t cost more than $5. If you find any bigger gaps, use the spray foam insulation.
Checking the property can take quite an effort, but it is worth it. If you want to check the perimeter, do it at night. You can light a room (use strong light) and then go outside the room. If you see any light that shows through, mark it with chalk. You can sell it the following day. Or if you have someone else with you, you can use a strong flashlight and point it thoroughly. The other person should be outside, telling you when there is a light showing through. This method may seem complicated, overwhelming, and exhausting, but it is rewarding in the end.
Sweetened Water Traps
Mix water with a little sugar and put it in the Mason jar. Make sure to perforate the lid. The sweetened water will lure the insects to enter the jar. Once it is in there, it can’t escape and die. Another alternative to this method is to use the soda bottle – the 2-liter one. Just cut the bottle in half and then put the top side upside-down within the bottom side. Put the sweetened water in the bottle as the bait. The result will be similar: once the flies are inside, they won’t be able to come out. They will die. Besides the sweetened water, you can also use any sweet liquid or fruit.
Sticky (Fly) Strip
You can use the sticky strip to effectively capture the flies. The strip is one of the most common methods in how to get rid of cluster flies. However, this method is more suitable if you have another outbuilding (a shed, a barn, an abandoned garage, etc) that you won’t have to check or look at often.
The strip is quite an effective option to catch flies, it isn’t very liked by most people. First of all, it is very sticky. You need to handle it extra carefully or you may end getting stuck to it yourself. It can be a mess. Not to mention that the stick will likely be attached to your clothes, fingers, and even hair.
It would be super difficult when this happens. Not to mention if you hang it and then someone gets caught on it by accident. Second, the flies would be stuck – resulting in a dangling strip full of them. This isn’t the prettiest sight it can be gross. It is certainly unpleasant to see it in your dining area or kitchen. Feel free to use it in your house or outside. At least you already know what you will get with the strip. The strip generally comes in a tube form – simply unroll it. Again, it is super sticky so be careful about it.
Cover the Food
It is a part where you cut the food source to the flies. One method of how to get rid of cluster flies in my house is to cover the food. There are modern screens that you simply place over food – you can use it during the table’s set up process. The collapsible screens are handy, especially if you like enjoying your food outdoor or if you have an outdoor kitchen.
Cluster flies always need surface water to survive. You need to make sure that you have a good and working drainage to prevent their infestation. Poor drainage will lead to health issues as insects and pests would consider your humid and damp house as their ideal home, nest, and breeding ground. Check for soft spots (in the lawn) or standing water. You should also be aware if you have been dealing with major insect issues.
Clean Your Trash Bins
Yes, you need to regularly clean the dumpster and trash bins – they are often the major reasons for insects and pests issues. You may have tried your best not to spill any liquid or waste in the bin, but there is no way to make sure of it. The best way to deal with the issue is to do the following things:
- Choose a garbage bin with a cover lid. This will prevent any pests or insects from getting into your bin as their food haven
- When you have food scraps, make sure to remove it right away – don’t keep it too long than needed. The longer you have the scraps in your bin, the bigger chances that swarms of insects and pests would stay in your house
- Spray Lysol to clean and sanitize the dumpster and bins. You can also use bleach if you don’t have Lysol
- If you don’t like spraying chemicals, then make your homemade solution. Vinegar Also one of the best solutions (by mixing up the water with vinegar) and put it in the spray bottle. You can spray the bin and dumpster with it. You can also use the Citronella sprays for this purpose.
So, there you have it, the various options to get rid of the cluster flies. Now that you know some of the ways on how to get rid of cluster flies, you won’t have to worry about the pest anymore.