Flies Management Guidelines--UC IPM (2023)

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Pests of Homes, Structures, People, and Pets

Flies

Revised5/15

In this Guideline:

  • House fly
  • Little house fly
  • Canyon fly
  • Face fly
  • Stable fly
  • Blow flies
  • Summary
  • About Pest Notes
  • Publication
  • Glossary

Adult houseflies, Musca domestica, mating.

Face flies, Musca autumnalis, on the face of a steer.

Stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans, engorged after a blood meal.

Adult female little house fly, Fanna canicularis.

(Video) Integrated Pest Management - Part 1

Canyon fly, Fannia conspicua.

Of the thousands of species of flies, only a few are common pests in and around the home. Some of the more common nuisance flies are the house fly (Musca domestica), the face fly (Musca autumnalis) , the stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans) , the little house fly (Fannia canicularis) , and several species of blow flies (especially in the genus Lucilia). These pests breed in animal wastes and decaying organic material, including animal carrion and food waste from which they can pick up bacteria and viruses that may cause human disease.

All flies undergo complete metamorphosis with egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages in their development . The female fly deposits her eggs in animal feces, carrion or moist organic material where the larvae, or "maggots," complete their development, feeding on bacteria associated with their developmental site. The maggots will pass through three larval stages increasing in size with each stage. When the maggots have completed their development and are ready to undergo the next step in their metamorphosis, they convert their last larval skin into a puparium, a hardened shell within which the pupa develops. Within the puparium, the pupa transforms into an adult fly, which pops off the end of the puparium and emerges. Body fluids pump into the fly’s wing veins causing the wings to unfold and expand and allowing them to dry and harden so that the adult can fly. The rate of fly development is dependent upon temperature; and under optimal summertime conditions, flies may develop from egg to adult in as little as 7 days. Once the female fly has mated, she can lay several batches of eggs, typically containing over 100 eggs each.

While humans commonly find adult flies to be the most bothersome life stage, the larval stage is the best target for management efforts. Elimination of larval habitat is the preferred method of pest fly suppression. By removing material in which the larvae develop, the life cycle of the fly can be broken, preventing subsequent production of adult flies. While chemical pesticides may be effective for suppressing adult fly populations in some situations, they are not a substitute for proper sanitation and aggressive elimination of fly developmental sites. Flies can quickly develop resistance to insecticides and house flies are now resistant to many of the pesticides registered for their management. Use insecticides only as a last resort to obtain immediate control of adult flies.

HOUSE FLY

Identification and Life Cycle

The house fly (Musca domestica) is a cosmopolitan companion of humans and domestic animals. House flies are generally found in greatest numbers during the hotter summer months. House flies are less than 3⁄8 inch in length and have four dark stripes down the back of their thorax. House flies have sponging mouthparts and eat solid food by first liquefying it with their saliva. House flies can also regurgitate onto a solid food to assist with the liquefying process.

Under favorable conditions, house fly numbers can increase quickly due to their rapid immature developmental time and the large number of eggs produced by each female—several batches of about 100 to 150 eggs. Eggs are laid in warm, moist, organic materials such as manure, garbage, lawn clippings, decaying vegetables and fruits, or soils contaminated with any of these materials. Larvae of the house fly are cream colored, have a blunt posterior end, and taper to a point at the head. Young larvae respond negatively to light and will burrow into the organic material in which they are developing. Older larvae respond positively to light and will emerge from their organic habitat to seek drier and cooler areas to transform into pupae. Under optimal summertime conditions, house flies can complete their development from egg to adult in as little as 7 days.

Damage

Because they have sponging mouthparts, house flies cannot bite; however, they may play an important role in disease transmission to humans and animals. House flies can carry a number of disease agents which they pick up while feeding on animal feces, animal body secretions, or kitchen waste and which they can deposit onto human foods following contact with or feeding on these human foods. House flies are known to carry bacteria and viruses that cause conditions such as diarrhea, cholera, food poisoning, yaws, dysentery, and eye infections. House flies can also cause nuisance to homeowners by their persistent attempts to land on human foods or even humans themselves (they will readily feed on animal sweat and other body secretions). House flies also leave dark fecal and regurgitation spots on wall surfaces where they rest, and with a preference for resting on light colored surfaces, these spots can be quite noticeable when fly numbers are high.

Management of House Flies

Flies found inside a building have entered from the outside in almost all cases. Therefore, barriers preventing access to the building are the first line of defense. Cracks around windows and doors where flies may enter should be sealed. Well-fitted screens will also limit their access to buildings. Outdoors, regular removal (at least once a week) and disposal of organic waste, including dog feces, rotting fruit, and kitchen waste will reduce the attractiveness of the area to adult flies and limit their breeding sites. Garbage should not be allowed to accumulate and should be placed in plastic bags and held in containers with tight-fitting lids where feasible. Garbage should also be placed as far from a building entrance as is practicable. In general, poor exclusion and lack of sanitation are the major contributors to house fly problems.

Sticky fly paper or ribbons are effective at eliminating a few flies in relatively confined areas but are not effective enough to manage heavy infestations or to provide control in an outdoor setting. Inverted cone traps containing fly food attractants can be readily purchased commercially and are effective when they are not competing with nearby garbage or animal wastes. The fly food attractants used in these inverted cone traps will be quite foul smelling, so the traps should be placed at some distance from occupied structures. Fly traps using ultraviolet light may be effective when used indoors where they are not competing with daytime sunlight. For control of just a few flies, the time-tested fly swatter is appropriate. Don’t use fly swatters near food preparation areas because they may result in contaminating food with insect body parts. Similarly, never use a "bug zapper" to kill flies near food preparation areas, as the insect body often explodes upon touching the wires and insect body parts can be propelled over several feet from the device.

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Selective use of insecticides against house flies is one component of a total fly management program but should only be used after all possible nonchemical strategies have been employed. In most home situations, pesticides are not needed or recommended. Sanitation methods, along with screens to keep flies out of the home, should be sufficient. If sanitation efforts are not possible, a nonresidual pyrethrin aerosol may be used. Outdoors a professional pest control company can be hired to apply residual insecticides to surfaces such as walls and overhangs that flies tend to accumulate on when resting. Fly baits used in trash storage areas may be effective in reducing the number of adult flies, if proper sanitation practices are followed to prevent development of immature flies in the waste. However, when flies have access to garbage, baits alone will not control them.

LITTLE HOUSE FLY

Identification and Life Cycle

Little house fly (Fannia canicularis) is not tolerant of high daytime temperatures and is, therefore, generally most numerous during the cooler spring and fall months in California. As temperatures rise in summer, populations of Fannia diminish unless developmental sites are protected from temperature extremes.

Adults are approximately 2/3 the size of the house fly and lack the house fly’s distinctive thoracic stripes. Fannia at rest hold their wings directly over the back rather than holding the wings to form a V-shape as is typical for house flies. Flying aggregations of male Fannia typically form in areas with still air and protected from direct sunlight, such as breezeways and porch areas of residential homes. These swarms of males remain in continuous flight awaiting visitation by unmated females. Male swarms are often formed approximately 5 or 6 feet above the ground; just about head height for an adult human thereby maximizing their nuisance potential. Strong air currents tend to disperse these male aggregations.

Larval Fannia are adapted to tolerate a wide moisture range at their developmental sites, making them a particularly difficult nuisance fly to control. Egg laying and larval development frequently occur in animal wastes (especially poultry manure), but various moist organic materials, in particular fermenting grass clippings and compost, can serve as suitable substrates. A related fly, F. femoralis, can also be abundant in cooler coastal areas of California, but this species only rarely causes nuisance. Unlike house fly larvae, larvae of Fannia are brown in color, more flat than round, and have numerous fleshy spines. The developmental time from egg to adult is somewhat longer for little house fly than for the house fly at all temperatures.

Damage

Little house flies are more reluctant to enter homes than are house flies; instead, they tend to congregate in outdoor areas such as patios, entryways, and garages. As temperatures decline, they seek cover in buildings or protective vegetation. They seldom land on human foods and are not considered a significant carrier of human disease agents. However, their habit of hovering at human face height makes them annoying, though they move readily out of the way when approached.

Management of Little House Flies

As with all nuisance flies, eliminating breeding sites is the preferred method of controlling Fannia. Accumulations of manure (especially poultry) or other decaying organic matter are ideal developmental sites. These developmental sites must be removed, spread thin to fully dry, or properly composted with pile turning as the composted material undergoes heat cycles. Fannia are not attracted to the same fly baits or traps that collect house flies. Some relief can be obtained by placing strong fans in areas where male Fannia tend to swarm, as the increased air movement will make the site less attractive to them.

CANYON FLY

Identification and Life Cycle

Canyon flies (Fannia benjamini complex) are an emerging urban pest in California. These are native flies that have existed in western North America for a very long time. There are seven related fly species within this complex, which collectively are called "canyon flies" due to their geographic association with natural canyons, particularly those within coastal and inland mountain ranges where oak trees dominate the landscape. While distantly related to the other Fannia flies mentioned above, these flies do not appear to develop in animal feces or fermenting green waste. Our best guess at present is that these native flies develop on moist decaying plant matter or leaf litter. However, one canyon fly species (F. conspicua) has become quite problematic in Southern California in recent years following the introduction of an exotic succulent ground cover plant called red apple (Aptenia cordifolia) which was first introduced into the United States in the mid-1980’s and is now widely planted in hillside communities for erosion control and fire protection. The decaying understory of red apple has proven to be an excellent developmental site for this fly species and canyon fly numbers can become incredibly problematic in communities where this plant is common.

Adult canyon flies are similar in size to the little house fly but can be distinguished from other flies by their three-spotted abdomen and yellow coloration at the base of their antennae.

Like other Fannia flies, canyon flies are not tolerant of high temperatures and adult numbers tend to peak from late spring through early summer, with a second peak in late fall. Their daily activity is also restricted by temperature with activity generally limited to the cooler morning and evening hours during these seasonal periods of peak abundance. The life cycle of canyon flies is similar to other Fannia flies, and the larvae have the same general morphology—flattened body shape with fleshy spines.

Damage

Canyon flies feed on the body secretions of animals, such as tears, mucus, sweat, and blood from open wounds. Their persistent attempts to land upon the face and body of the host can result in considerable nuisance to humans. While they cannot bite or make a wound to feed upon blood, they do have small prestomal teeth on their mouthparts which they can use to scrape at mucous membranes around the eyes of animals to encourage production of tears or other eye secretions. These flies have been associated with the transmission of an eye worm to cattle.

Management of Canyon Flies

Adult canyon flies are very difficult to manage. Because these flies feed on animals, they are attracted to several odors associated with animals including carbon dioxide (CO2), a component of animal breath. Traps baited with carbon dioxide will readily capture at least one species of canyon fly (F. conspicua), but removal of these flies using CO2 traps has not proven sufficient to reduce their nuisance. The only successful strategy identified to date for management of these flies is removal of the red apple plant that serves as the developmental site for F. conspicua. For other canyon fly species that do not develop in red apple, there are no management strategies that have proven to be particularly successful. Application of insecticide by fogging vegetation bordering a residence has given some short term relief, but this type of management strategy is not recommended as it impacts many beneficial and benign insect species and typically only provides some management of canyon flies for a few days.

FACE FLY

Identification and Life Cycle

Face flies (Musca autumnalis) are a problem particularly in rural areas of northern and coastal California where pastured cattle are present. The hotter, drier weather in inland Southern California and the southern San Joaquin Valley is not conducive to their development. Face flies require fresh cattle manure for development. The female face fly looks virtually identical to the house fly but male face flies have a distinctive orange-yellow colored abdomen. Like the house fly, it also has sponging mouthparts and cannot bite. However, face fly behavior is distinctive because they are specifically attracted to the eyes, nose, and mouth of cattle and horses.

Damage

Face flies feed on the eye and nose secretions of cattle and horses in the summer months. Their habit of feeding around the eyes makes them capable of transmitting pinkeye to livestock, and the face fly is a much more successful pinkeye vector than the closely related house fly. In late fall, large numbers of face flies may enter buildings or similar structures to hibernate through the winter months. On warm days, hibernating flies can become active resulting in nuisance to homeowners. When active, face flies are attracted to light, so they are frequently found flying inside homes near windows.

Management of Face Flies

To control adult face flies within the home, locate where the flies are hibernating (overwintering). Begin searching for hibernation sites on the southern and western sides of the building because in fall and winter these walls receive the most sun and, therefore, are usually the warmest parts of the building and attract the greatest number of flies. Face flies seeking shelter will often enter cracks and crevices that lead to structural voids within a building, such as crawl spaces, attics, or false ceilings. These structural voids may need to be inspected if adult face flies persist throughout the winter.

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Flies can be vacuumed off the surfaces on which they are hibernating; in areas inaccessible to vacuuming, a residual insecticide such as a pyrethroid can be applied. For application of residual insecticides, contact a reputable pest control company. To prevent future infestations, cracks on the outside of the building structure that serve as entry points for flies should be sealed.

For most fly species, the best control is achieved by removing larval developmental sites. Because face flies develop in fresh, undisturbed cattle manure (intact manure pats), removal of larval developmental sites (i.e., removal of intact manure pats) may be very difficult and probably impractical in most circumstances. However, by increasing the density of cattle (generally accomplished by restricting their pasture area), the manure pats will be disturbed by the animals as they forage, allowing few flies to develop. Alternatively, removal of cattle from nearby fields or pastures may help to reduce the problem.

STABLE FLY

Identification and Life Cycle

The stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans), sometimes called the "biting fly," is a common fly that attacks people living in neighborhoods where livestock (e.g., horses, cattle) or livestock facilities are present.

Stable flies typically appear in mid-late spring, become severe in early summer, and decrease in numbers throughout the remaining summer months when daytime temperatures are high. These flies are similar in appearance to house flies, except that stable flies have a bayonet-like mouthpart (proboscis) protruding from the front of the head; and they lack the four dark stripes on the thorax that are indicative of house flies.

Under optimal temperatures, the stable fly can develop from egg to adult in 12 days. In addition to developing in the manure of livestock, piles of moist, decaying plant material (e.g., grass clippings, hay, silage) are also potential sources of stable flies, especially when this material is mixed with animal manure and urine. Backyard compost piles can be ideal developmental sites for stable fly larvae and may serve as the production source for an entire neighborhood.

Damage

Both sexes of stable flies feed about once per day on the blood of animals (and sometimes people) and are known to give a painful bite. Although they are blood feeders and capable of transmitting some viruses, stable flies are not known to be significant carriers of disease agents in the United States. Stable flies prefer to feed on the legs and lower body of cattle, horses, and other large animals (including humans). On dogs or similar sized animals, stable flies typically feed around the periphery of the ears earning them another common name "dog flies." Undisturbed, a stable fly can fully engorge with blood in less than 5 minutes. Fully fed stable flies will move to a nearby resting site (e.g., a wall or fence) while the blood meal is digested.

Management of Stable Flies

The most effective and economical method for reducing stable fly numbers is to eliminate their developmental sites. To prevent larval development, moist grass clippings should be removed or incorporated into compost piles. Compost piles must be properly maintained to prevent them from becoming breeding areas for stable flies. Proper maintenance includes periodically turning the pile, which promotes internal heating of the pile and rapid decomposition of the organic matter within the pile.

To protect dogs and horses that are bothered by stable flies, insect repellents containing permethrin or pyrethrins are effective but neither provides long-term control; repeated applications every other day are necessary. Because the stable fly season is relatively short (late spring through early summer), this chemical repellent approach may be the most economical method to control stable flies on companion animals.

BLOW FLIES

Identification and Life Cycle

Blow flies are a group of fly species with similar life histories and behaviors. Adult flies in this group can be readily differentiated from other flies discussed in this publication by their coloration, which is a shiny, metallic green or blue often mixed with some copper color. The term "blow fly" comes from the association of many of these fly species with carrion (dead animals) on which some species will deposit their eggs; however, in the urban environment the most common developmental site for these flies is in human food waste, though accumulations of pet waste may also produce these flies.

Under ideal temperatures, blow flies can develop from egg to adult in as little as 7 days. Similar to other nuisance flies, blow fly larvae leave their developmental site to seek out drier and more protected areas for pupation. Many homeowners have witnessed this behavior as a mass emergence of maggots crawling from their backyard trash cans when kitchen waste placed in these trash cans was not sealed in a plastic trash bag. Blow fly larvae and house fly larvae look and behave similarly, making identification difficult for the untrained.

Damage

Like house flies, blow flies have sponging mouthparts and do not bite or feed on blood. They are, however, strongly attracted to human foods and garbage, making cooking outdoors difficult where they are present. As with house flies, they may be involved in the transmission of disease agents acquired from garbage or animal feces and subsequently deposited onto human foods.

Management of Blow Flies

As with the other nuisance fly species, removal of larval developmental sites is the most efficient means of control. Household garbage and pet feces should be placed in plastic garbage bags and sealed before being deposited into trash containers outside the home. Garbage cans should be set out for pickup at least once each week, even if they are not full; because garbage that sits for more than one week is likely to produce adult blow flies. Finally, garbage cans should be regularly washed out with soap and water to remove any garbage residues that might attract blow flies or allow for their development.

Vertically hanging, sticky fly ribbons used to reduce adult house fly numbers will not work to control adult blow flies; unlike house flies, blow flies do not regularly rest on vertical surfaces. Adult blow flies can be controlled using odor-baited traps, as for house flies; but traps should be placed at some distance from the home or structure due to their foul odor.

Selective use of insecticides may be considered when sanitation measures fail to control fly problems. Fly baits used for control of house flies are not likely to provide good control of blow flies because the attractants present in fly baits were designed to attract house flies rather than blow flies. However, when placed on the ground surrounding trash containers, some control may be obtained.

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SUMMARY

Almost all nuisance fly species are best controlled by eliminating larval developmental sites and reducing adult attractants in the vicinity of buildings or other areas of concern. Attractive material (such as garbage cans) should always be placed at some distance from a building entrance; and barriers such as screens, doors, and air curtains should be used to prevent flies from entering buildings.

Chemicals are only rarely required for fly management in residential situations. Their use generally leads only to short-term control because they target adult flies, leaving immature developmental sites unchanged and available to produce the next generation of adult flies.

WARNING ON THE USE OF PESTICIDES

REFERENCES

Gerry, A. C., B. A. Mullens, and N. G. Peterson. 2007. Predicting and Controlling Stable Flies on California Dairies (PDF). Oakland: Univ. Calif. Agric. Nat. Res. Pub 8258.

Loomis, E. C., J. R. Anderson, and A. S. Deal. 1980. Common Flies Associated with Livestock and Poultry. Oakland: Univ. Calif. Agric. Nat. Res. Leaflet 21142.

Moon, R. 2002. Muscid Flies (Muscidae). In G. R. Mullen and L. A. Durden, eds. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 279–301.

Wall, R. and D. Shearer. 1997. Adult Flies (Diptera). In Veterinary Entomology. Chapman and Hall, London. pp. 159-166.

PUBLICATION INFORMATION

Pest Notes: Flies

UC ANR Publication 7457

Author: A. C. Gerry, Dept. of Entomology, University of California, Riverside.

Produced by University of California Statewide IPM Program

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FAQs

How do you manage flies? ›

Sticky traps and ultraviolet light traps placed around a home or business also can reduce housefly populations. Hang resin strips (flypaper) in infested areas where there is little or no air movement. A rule of thumb is to place one 10-inch strip per 1,000 cubic feet of space.

What is the size of drain flies? ›

Moth flies, often called drain flies, are small, about 1/8 inch in length and often dark-colored. Their wings are covered with fine hairs, which give them a moth-like appearance.

What is the life cycle of drain fly? ›

Life Cycle: Adult females lay 30–100 eggs in sludge around sewage and drainage areas. Eggs hatch in 32–48 hours, larval stage lasts 8–24 days, pupal stage 20–40 hours. Adults live about two weeks.

How can psychodidae be prevented? ›

Routinely inspect pipes and clean toilets and drains to reduce potential breeding sites. Pouring hot water down drains is a short-term control option. Insecticides should never be poured in drains. Harsh chemicals are not necessary to manage these flies.

Is there pest control for flies? ›

Permethrin is currently the most common insecticide used for fly control and is widely available."

How do you control drain flies? ›

Pour ½ a cup of salt, ½ a cup of baking soda, and one cup of vinegar down the drain. The vinegar will react with the baking soda, causing it to bubble and fizz. This reaction is what will kill the larvae. Leave the mixture overnight, then flush the next day with hot water.

What is the best drain fly Killer? ›

A super simple fix is to pour boiling water down the drain to eliminate drain flies. Boil a medium-size pot of water once or twice per week, and pour down and around the drain. Another easy option uses baking soda: Combine 1/2 cup salt with 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar, and pour down the drain.

What kills flies in a drain? ›

Pour in 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of baking soda plus a cup of white vinegar. Allow it to work its magic overnight then flush the drain with hot or boiling water the next morning. This will sanitize the drain and kill the flies and their eggs.

What are the 6 stages of a fly lifecycle? ›

Adult flies may live for several weeks. Domestic flies all have a similar life cycle. There are four stages of growth -egg, larva (or maggot), pupa, and adult. Depending upon the type of fly, it may take about one to four weeks for the cycle to be completed.

What are the 4 stages of the fly life cycle? ›

That is their life cycle comprises four stages namely, egg, larva, pupa and adult. After fertilization, the female adult flies, lay their eggs in clusters.

How long is a flys lifespan? ›

What's the difference between drain flies and fruit flies? ›

A drain fly, also known as a sewer fly, has a moth-like appearance with fuzzy wings, antennae, and black or brown coloring. A fruit fly has red eyes and a body that can range from brown to yellow with dark stripes or spots.

What causes septic tank flies? ›

Drain fly infestations typically occur after adult females deposit their eggs on food build up in drains or pipes, or in water sources that are contaminated with fecal matter. Drain fly infestations are often associated with faulty or overfull septic systems, broken sewer pipes, flooding, and broken garbage disposals.

What is the fastest way to get rid of fruit flies? ›

Fill a bowl or glass with apple cider vinegar, cover with plastic wrap, seal the edges with a rubber band, and poke tiny holes in the top. The vinegar will attract the fruit flies, and once they're inside, they won't be able to escape the plastic wrap barrier.

How do you protect against flies? ›

How to Prevent Bites from Flies
  1. Cover up - clothing and gear treated with permethrin - such as Insect Shield - is a tested and proven defense against biting flies.
  2. Use insect repellent like DEET.
  3. Avoid swampy, muddy areas where biting flies lay eggs.
  4. Reduce vegetation and standing water around your home.

How do I get rid of flies 2022? ›

Apple Cider Vinegar – Fill a bowl or glass with apple cider vinegar and cover it with plastic wrap. Seal the edges with a rubber band or tape, and puncture tiny holes in the plastic wrap. The vinegar will attract the fruit flies, and once they're inside, they won't be able to escape the plastic wrap barrier.

How do you control flies on the farm naturally? ›

Keeping the bedding dry should decrease the number of flies emerging. Avoid build up of manure and mud along fence lines in exercise yards, or in gaps under feed bunks. Keep solid manure as dry as possible and turn compost piles to ensure heating which will kill eggs and maggots.

How do you control flies in food? ›

Tips for Keeping Flies off Your Food
  1. Reduce Breeding Environment.
  2. Use Fans in Your Dining Area.
  3. Cover Food and Eliminate Trash.
  4. Keep Your Trash Bins Clean.
  5. Seal Off Enticing Drinks.
  6. Use Bug-Repelling Plants.
  7. Use Bug Repellant.
  8. Use Essential Oils and/or Candles.
15 Oct 2021

What is the best way to control flies in a food preparation area? ›

Keeping your restaurant clean is the best way to avoid fly infestations. Wipe down countertops, bars, tables, kitchen areas, and soda or beverage dispensers on a regular basis throughout the day. Clean areas under appliances and shelves nightly. Garbage cans should be kept tightly covered and emptied frequently.

What is the purpose of drain flies? ›

In small numbers, they can be helpful in breaking down material that blocks drain pipes. However, sewer fly infestations grow rapidly, and serious infestations can create health hazards. Sometimes referred to as moth flies, sewer flies have small, furry bodies and hairy wings.

What kind of vinegar kills drain flies? ›

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Trap. Set up a trap to attract the drain flies – mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dishwasing detergent in a small bowl. Leave it around the drain and wait for it to attract the drain flies and cause them to sink and die.

Will bleach stop drain flies? ›

A cup of household bleach is generally more than sufficient to kill most drain flies, and all you need to do is pour it down the affected drain. The chemical is strong enough to kill the larvae, and the rest of the adult flies should die off within a few hours to a day or so.

How long do drain fly infestations last? ›

Drain fly infestations normally last up to 20 days, which is the total lifecycle of the insect. If you don't catch the infestation, drain flies can reproduce quickly and start the cycle all over again. If you discover a drain fly infestation, remove all standing water, sewage, and anything that smells.

Do drain flies ever go away? ›

Nine times out of ten, a drain fly problem will go away on its own. Once you get rid of the drain flies that you see, start flushing toilets and running the water in your sinks. This eliminates the standing water in which they dwell.

What is the fly process? ›

Their life cycle includes four stages - egg, larva, pupae and adult fly. Flies live between 15-30 days and multiply in great numbers. One female fly can lay over 500 eggs in her lifetime.

What are the classifications of a fly? ›

Flies are insects of the order Diptera, the name being derived from the Greek δι- di- "two", and πτερόν pteron "wing".

What are the 7 levels of classification for housefly? ›

The classification of the houseflies can be described as follows.
  • Scientific Name: Musca domestica.
  • Kingdom: Animalia,
  • Class: Insecta,
  • Phylum: Athropoda,
  • Family: Muscidae,
  • Order: Diptera,
  • Genus: Musca.
  • Section: Schizophora.

What is the first stage of a fly? ›

Beginning as eggs, flies undergo larval and pupal stages before emerging as adults. The fly's life cycle begins when a fertilized female finds a suitable location for laying her eggs. The ideal egg site is material that the larvae will eat when they hatch from the egg.

What are the 2 types of lifecycle for an insect? ›

Insects fall into one of two categories depending upon their life styles:
  • 4 stage life cycle (complete metamorphosis). The four stages are egg, larva, pupa and adult. ...
  • 3 stage life cycle (incomplete metamorphosis). The three stages are egg, nymph, adult.

How many stages do flies have? ›

The Life Cycle of a Fly

The fly life cycle has four stages. These stages move from eggs to larvae and pupae to adult. House flies have an incredible ability to reproduce, however, the fly lifespan is typically short.

How fast do flies reproduce? ›

Females will begin producing eggs 48 hours after they have emerged as an adult. During her adult life, approximately 1-3 months, she is capable of producing 4-5 batches of 100-150 eggs. These hatch within 48 hours into smooth, white legless maggot larvae and after 3 moults mature into pupae.

Do flies multiply fast? ›

An Adult House Fly Can Breed Quickly

It can lay about 150 eggs at a time and has the capacity to lay eggs 5 to 6 times during its entire life. This means that one fly can multiply over a 100 times in your home.

Do flies live for 48 hours? ›

On average, a housefly can live around 20-25 days. Sometimes they can live up to a month.

What causes an infestation of fruit flies? ›

How did I get fruit flies? Fruit flies often infest homes with ripe, rotting, or decayed fruit and produce. They also enjoy fermented items such as beer, liquor, and wine. Fruit flies also may breed and develop in drains, garbage disposals, trash cans, and mop buckets.

What is the mixture to catch fruit flies? ›

Apple Cider Vinegar and Dish Soap Trap

Fill a small bowl with apple cider vinegar and 2 drops liquid dish soap. Mix well and leave on the counter (away from pets). Fruit flies will be drawn to the bowl and meet their demise.

How do you find the source of drain flies? ›

What Causes Drain Flies? Drain flies thrive in stagnant and standing water. Common sources include slow or clogged drains, rarely used and unused toilets, refrigerator drain pans, and standing water created by leaking pipes. They typically enter buildings through basements, windows, and drains.

Are drain flies a health hazard? ›

These pests are a nuisance because they infest in large numbers. Once inside, drain flies may plug pipes and spread bacteria from the filth they live in, possibly contaminating food in the process. These pests, even though they live in filth, are not known to spread any disease to humans.

What kills lots of fruit flies? ›

Bowl and Soap Trap

Fill a microwave-safe bowl with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. Microwave the bowl so the mixture becomes even more aromatic. Leave the bowl out uncovered as fruit fly bait. The soap will reduce the surface tension, causing any fruit fly that lands on the surface to drown.

What smell keeps fruit flies away? ›

Fruit flies dislike strong smells and you can repel them by grinding up, or hanging, fresh herbs in your kitchen. Lavender, basil, mint, and rosemary are said to be effective.

How do you keep flies away permanently? ›

Troyano says you want to prevent flies from entering your home in the first place, so it's important to keep doors and windows closed when possible, cover food, clear away food debris, and keep trash in tightly sealed lids.

How can I stop flies in my house? ›

Homemade remedies to help get rid of house flies
  1. Put a few drops of eucalyptus oil onto a cloth and hang them near doors or windows.
  2. Place mint on kitchen window sills — this will also keep them away.
  3. Cut up fresh orange peel and place onto a plate.
  4. Citronella candles can help to keep flies away, especially in the garden.
27 Jul 2022

What causes a lot of flies in the house? ›

How did I get house flies? House flies are one of the most common insects on the planet. They breed and feed in filth, including garbage, feces, and rotting or spoiled food. Poor sanitation and ripped screens and unsealed cracks in windows and doors can lead to house fly infestations.

How do you stop flying flies? ›

Choose from either chemical sprays, household cleaners, or hairspray. Chemical sprays kill flies instantly upon contact, though they contain harsh chemicals. You can also spray the flies with household cleaners, like Windex or Formula 409, or with an aerosol like hairspray. All of these sprays will help you kill a fly.

What plants keep flies away? ›

9 Versatile Garden Plants That Repel Flies (& Other Pests)
  • Lavender. One of the most popular ornamental plants around the world, lavender is a crowd (and personal) favorite. ...
  • Rosemary. ...
  • Basil. ...
  • Mint. ...
  • Catnip. ...
  • Bay Laurel. ...
  • Marigold. ...
  • Sage.
12 Jul 2022

What can attract flies? ›

What Brings Flies Indoors?
  • Garbage cans left uncovered. ...
  • Animal carcasses in the walls, attics, or elsewhere. ...
  • Manure or pet faeces around yards. ...
  • Rotten potatoes, onions or overripe or rotting fruits. ...
  • Liquids: beer, wine, cider, vinegar. ...
  • Dirty or leaky drains. ...
  • Spilt animal feed. ...
  • Heat.

Why are there so many flies this year 2022? ›

Flies. In the coming year, cities may see an uptick in fly activity. The cause: trash, warmer winters, and more rainfall. In addition to being a huge nuisance, flies are known for carrying food-borne diseases, which is why any increase in fly activity warrants immediate action.

Why are there so many flies in my house all of a sudden 2022? ›

Therefore, if you find that you suddenly have a lot of flies in your house, chances are there's decaying matter somewhere. No matter how clean you keep your house, you probably have something rotting somewhere. For example, garbage cans and garbage disposals. These spots are prime breeding sites for flies.

Where do flies lay eggs in house? ›

In reality, flies do not have simple nests. Instead, they lay eggs in piles around your home which makes finding where they reproduce extremely hard. Flies lay eggs in leftover food, pet droppings, kitchens, food scraps, compost bins, garden equipment, and clutter brought in from shoes.

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