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Flies are a nuisance, buzzing around anything that smells remotely like food and invading our homes. They can cluster in large numbers or you can find a lone fly on a mission to find a tasty morsel – and they don’t mind sharing germs, bacteria and dirt with us.
But sometimes it can seem that we have a huge number of flies flying and swarming around; if this is the case, you may need the expert help of a pest controller as they is not only something attracting flies to the area, but keeping them coming back for more.
The adult housefly will live for around 30 days, completing a 4 stage life cycle during this short time.
Knowing about flies, their size, habits and life cycles can help homes and businesses across the area deal with this nuisance issue…
The autumn fly is commonly found in rural areas, causing a nuisance to horses and cows. Found around the eye area and the nose, these flies obtain protein through mucus, saliva and tears. At night time there is some respite for livestock as they rest on vegetation. The female looks very similar to the house fly, with the males having an orange abdomen. The female is also larger than the male, measuring around 7mm.
Like all flies, they are prolific breeders with the fly living on average 12 to 20 days and one summer season, there can be as many as 12 generations of this fly. Each female can lay between 500 eggs every 3 to 4 days – no wonder their numbers can escalate!
The bluebottle, also known as the blow fly, this is the one most often seen hovering around the rubbish bin. As scavengers, they are attracted to anything from rotting carcasses, pet faeces and rotting food of all kinds. Known to carry disease, these flies can be a rea nuisance.
Metallic blue in colour, the larva takes about 7 to 12 days to mature and breed in meat or meat substance material, including dead rodents and birds etc. Keeping thrown away food in well-sealed rubbish bins is one answer to keep numbers down.
Cluster flies are usually found in large numbers in quiet, undisturbed areas of the home or any property, usually in attics or wall voids. They need somewhere warm as they hibernate over winter but can also be seen clustering around a window as they are attracted to sunlight.
Sluggish in flight, they measure around 10mm in length, are grey-olive in colour, with their wings overlapping when they rest. They lay eggs in soil in late summer, early autumn with the larva feeding off earthworm, their food host for several days. In total, their life cycle takes anything between 27 and 39 days.
The crane fly, known colloquially as ‘daddy long legs’, present no immediate harm or hazard to human health; preferring damp, mossy woodland they can, on occasion, find their way into our homes, although rarely in large enough numbers to cause concern or distress. With a short lifespan – just enough to complete the reproduction cycle, the larvae can live in damp soil for up to 5 years before they pupate. Super-thin and long, they measure around 60mm.
The filter fly is associated with sewage beds, where the larvae feeds on the organic matter; only small at 2mm, they are tan coloured although they can look grey; again, their lifecycle is short and they rarely make their way in to the home, simply because the conditions are not right for them.
The fruit fly, as the name suggests, are commonly found in places where fruit is rotting or fermenting. They enjoy the condition in orchard, vegetable plots, breweries and occasionally, pubs.
Horse flies can be a nuisance to animals, with the relentless biting of the female that can lead to weight loss in livestock. They can also deliver a bite to humans which, for some people can have a painful and sore topical reaction. Laying their eggs above water, they too have a ferocious breeding habit.
But the fly that causes the most nuisance is the common house fly. Carriers of disease, they are attracted to all types of food, from pet food to our food to animal feed and food waste, as well as faeces. Seeing adult houseflies is a sign of nearby activity. Between 5 and 8mm in length, they can have a buff or yellow abdomen, covered in small hairs that act as ‘taste organs’. They also have complex compound eyes, meaning they see the swift hand of sly swatter looming toward them, making the adept at escaping.
Breeding and laying eggs in moist decay food or other matter, they mature quickly through the life cycle. Eggs hatch within 72 hours; the larvae takes up to 60 days to mature (or as little as 3 days) and the pupae matures in under 28 days.
Treatment and prevention
There are many other species of sly that can cause problems, but the key to successfully ridding you of the nuisance lies in not only identifying the fly but also why the flies find your home interesting. This could be something as simple as a tight fitting lid on the compost bin, making sure the rubbish bin has the correct fitting lid etc., as well as a deep clean within the home.
Don’t be plagued by flies! Get the right treatment and prevention advice.