June 26, 2019
Many consider flies to be nuisance pests but fly infestations can be dangerous. There are many types of flies in our area that spread harmful bacteria and diseases. So it is important to understand what factors can lead to a fly infestation and what conditions can attract flies to your home. Here's what you need to know.
During the summer months, flies are busy. Very busy. Studies reveal that flies can travel as far as 20 miles from where they hatch. Most stay within a mile radius but that is still enough range for flies to explore several city blocks or for flies to travel from a local farm into a peri-urban neighborhood. Keep in mind that flies are being produced in many places outside of your yard and that they can easily travel into your yard from these places. When they do, it is important that they don't find a breeding site on your property because a few random visits from flies is a lot easier to deal with than hundreds of flies hatching near your home.
What Flies Want
Flies aren't all that mysterious. They are drawn to rotting organic matter in all of its many forms. They feed on it and they lay their eggs in it. If you want fewer flies, it is important to seek out the following potential trouble spots and address them.
- An open trash can. Not only can a fly find many things to feed on in your trash, it can also be drawn to your trash receptacles. When organic matter gets splattered on the side of your receptacle or pools in the bottom, it is the perfect breeding spot for flies. It is important to keep trash receptacles clean and remove trash from your property weekly. This will work to prevent fly reproduction.
- Pet and livestock droppings. Do you have a dog, cat, pig, chicken, or some other animal that roams around in your yard? If you do, you are likely to have more trouble with flies than homeowners who don't. Several fly species feed on the droppings of animals and lay their eggs in them so their larvae can have easy access to sustenance. It's gross but true. Do everything you can to pick up or cover animal waste products.
- Dead animals. If a wild animal dies in your yard, flies will take notice. They are quick to use a carcass for food and breeding. Sometimes, however, animals make it difficult for you to find them with your eyes. They are prone to hide somewhere before they kick the bucket. But you may be able to detect them with your nose. The smell of a dead animal can be quite potent.
- Alcohol. Anything that is fermented will draw flies from a long distance. Be sure to discard empty alcohol containers in a sealed plastic bag to keep the fermented smells from drawing flies.
- Soda. Empty soda cans and soda spills are common attractants for flies. Put your recyclables in a sealed bag and dispose of them before they can get too stinky. If you spill soda or any sugary drink outside, be sure to clean it up or dilute it with water.
- Compost. If you keep compost in your yard, be sure to keep it properly balanced to reduce the smell and resist the flies. There are many sources on the internet for finding the right carbon/nitrogen ratio.
- Rotting fruit. If you have a fruit tree, you may have more trouble with flies. When fruit drops to the ground and begins to rot, it is like a dinner bell for flies. Keep fruit trees away from your home to prevent high populations of flies near your outside walls.
- Potted plants. Fungus gnats can be attracted by potted plants or soil in plant beds. If they lay their eggs in your potted plants, they could be brought into your home when you bring those plants in for the winter.
What to Do About Flies
Fly control isn't a quick and easy fix, despite what the manufacturers of retail fly control products say. It requires a systematic application of field-tested strategies and products that take into consideration fly behavior patterns. And to understand the behavior patterns of the flies being treated, it is important to be able to properly identify those flies. All this is best done by a licensed professional.
If you need assistance with fly control in Houston, contact Modern Pest Control. We offer industry-leading pest control service for the Greater Houston area. Schedule a free inspection to get started.