Many people are surprised when they find flies buzzing around their homes in the middle of winter. Though flies may seem more like a summer pest, there are many species that will overwinter by hiding indoors. Cluster flies are one of the most common overwintering species, and homeowners throughout the Pacific Northwest often find these pests indoors as soon as temperatures drop.
How Do Cluster Flies Survive in the Winter?
Cluster flies begin preparing for winter by clustering as adults in warm and protected areas, such as wall voids or attics. Most homes are warm all year-round so on many occasions they “wake up” and fly around inside the house instead of escaping outside. This is because they “forget” how they got inside in the first place.
If there is a silver lining, it is good to know that these flies are the “cleanest” and most “sanitary” of all flies. They lay their eggs in the soil, and when they hatch the larvae crawl inside earthworms, then leave the earthworm as adults. They do not feed on any trash or any of the nasty things associated with all other flies. However, they can be a HUGE nuisance once inside.
How Can I Get Rid of Flies?
Flies are a nuisance no matter the time of year, which is why it’s useful to know how to get rid of infestations. Fly prevention doesn’t have to be difficult, either! Here are our top tips for getting rid of flies in winter:
- Seal any cracks or gaps. If you have lots of cracks or gaps leading into your home, it will be easy for pests to get inside – and not just flies! Use caulk to seal off any openings around your house, especially around your foundation, windows, or utilities. BUT, in the case of Cluster Flies, wait until late Spring or early Summer. Otherwise, you may accidentally trap all the flies inside and temporarily have a worse issue.
- Repair any broken screens. If you’re in the habit of leaving your windows open, be sure they’re all protected with a screen. Also remember to check the screens for any holes or tears that pests could crawl through.
- Use sticky flypaper. Sticky fly paper is exactly what it sounds like – a sticky ribbon of paper designed to trap flying insects. Flypaper often has a sweet scent to draw pests in, and you can treat an infestation by placing some in rooms where you keep finding flies.
- Make a fly repellent. Flies are sensitive to certain scents, which you can use to make a natural fly repellent. Some great fly-repelling essential oils include lavender, mint, and lemon. Mix a few drops of these with water in a spray bottle and spritz around your home, especially along entry points.
Get Effective Pest Control Today
If you are struggling with a fly infestation and can’t seem to find a solution, don’t worry! The experts at United Pest Solutions are prepared to provide services or recommendations to get rid of these pests. Our skilled technicians have been proudly serving the Seattle WA area for nearly 60 years, and we are dedicated to providing you with excellent service and effective solutions.
Rather than dealing with obnoxious buzzing for months on end, give us a call today!