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During the spring and summer, you may be used to big black flies inside your home, buzzing around the garbage or dumpsters, or zooming past your head. What may come as a surprise is when you suddenly see big black flies inside your home during the fall and winter. These fall and winter fly pests are most commonly cluster flies. They are slightly bigger than the common house fly and can cause great distress for homeowners who suddenly find themselves swatting flies in the winter.
Ehrlich Pest Control specialists know how cluster flies operate and the places they like to hide. Stop a cluster fly infestation this winter and contact Ehrlich today so we can work with you to get rid of cluster flies around your property..
A cluster fly is actually a general name for a number of different flying insects in the genus known as Pollenia. They are part of the blowfly family.
A cluster fly looks a lot like a standard housefly. They are approximately 7 mm long and black. They have large reddish eyes and a thorax that is covered with short hairs.
Cluster flies are even more common in Europe and the UK, but they likely came to the United States via international shipping. Since they lay eggs and their larvae are parasitic to earthworms, it’s even possible they came in a shipment of worms somehow.
Cluster flies tend to fly in a more slower, lumbering sort of fashion than the quick houseflies you swat at during the warmer months.
The best way to stop a cluster fly infestation is to prevent them from getting in. Like with other pests, making sure that all cracks and spaces are sealed in your home’s siding, near where the roof meets walls, roofing tiles and screens that lead into attics or provide access to spaces between walls and siding.
Of course, one of the best ways to get rid of cluster flies is to get your home treated before winter arrives by a trained pest control specialist like the kind that you find with Ehrlich. Ehrlich has the tools and knowledge to spot places cluster flies can get in and where they might like to hide. Our specialists can then provide your home with a treatment plan that will stop cluster flies and other pests from using your home as their winter vacation spot.
Contact Ehrlich today for a free property inspection and to discuss how we can get rid of and prevent cluster flies from infesting your home.
The main concern with house flies and other species of blowfly is that they are notorious for spreading disease and their unsanitary nature. Fortunately, cluster flies are not as unsanitary as their cousins. They do not prefer to eat garbage and other waste products.
Cluster flies lay eggs in the soil and the larvae will hatch and burrow into the ground where they find earthworms. The cluster fly larvae infest worms and live off of their hosts in a parasitic relationship until they reach adulthood.
Cluster flies come out during the fall and winter months and look for a place to overwinter. This means, they essentially hibernate until the months get warmer. Cluster flies look for places to seek shelter where they can stay relatively warm such as inside the walls of your home. They are also known as "attic flies” which gives you some idea of one of their other preferred hiding spots.
Cluster flies can crawl into the smallest spaces and then find a place to hunker down. When the flies end up inside your home during the cold winter months, it’s because either your house has gotten warm enough that they emerge confused and looking for a way out, or the temperature outside has warmed enough to accomplish the same thing.
Cluster flies live outdoors in the warmer months of the year. They are named for their tendency to “cluster” together when they overwinter in the adult stage. During the summer, cluster flies lay eggs outdoors in cracks in the soil. These eggs quickly hatch and the larvae are parasitoids on earthworms. Typically, cluster flies are not noticed outdoors in the summer.
Cluster flies begin to be noticed in the fall when they are looking for a secure place to spend the winter. The tallest structure in the area may have more cluster fly issues than surrounding, lower structures. Cluster flies do not lay eggs or breed indoors; they are only looking for shelter from winter weather. Cluster flies are noticed again as they try to leave homes in the spring time.
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