So... What's a Fly?
When you hear the word "fly," the common housefly probably comes to mind most often. Flies enter homes through holes in window screens, open doors, and any unsealed cracks and crevices around your home.
Common houseflies are most commonly recognized in their adult stage. The adults have two wings and measure about 1/4" in length. They’re easily recognizable by their gray-colored, bristled bodies and round, red eyes— you may see them landing on piles of manure. However, houseflies are only one type of nuisance fly attracted to filth.
Blow flies and flesh flies are also germ-carrying pests that can be found within the home.
Larvae of houseflies and other filth flies are maggots that feed on rotting matter.
Reproduction Patterns of Flies
The female housefly lays about 50 to 100 eggs at one time in organic debris. The eggs will hatch into maggots in a mere 12 hours after being deposited. These maggots will feed on the organic debris and then each will build a cocoon where it will pupate and turn into an adult housefly.
It's a good thing that houseflies can only survive for about two to three weeks at most, because during that time, a female can lay over 500 eggs. If even half of those eggs are females, and each of those females can produce 500 eggs, and so forth, it is no wonder flies are found in endless numbers!
Female blow flies live between 2 to 8 weeks, but they can lay thousands of eggs during their short life span. Eggs can hatch within 24 hours under ideal conditions. Their larvae develop inside rotting animal carcasses, causing it to take on a bloated appearance.
Female flesh flies’ eggs hatch in the female’s body. She then deposits up to hundreds of larvae inside a decaying host, such as a rotting animal carcass or on rotting meat. The larvae feed on the host for about 4 days. The adult flesh flies emerge in about two weeks, and repeat the same reproduction cycle.
Are Flies Harmful?
Common houseflies, blow flies, and flesh flies do not bite, but they do carry certain diseases. This makes it important to find natural ways to kill flies.
To understand why flies spread various diseases, take a look at their unique feeding habit. Flies land and feed on decaying organic matter that contains bacteria, and then land on your food that’s sitting unprotected on your indoor dinner table or at an outdoor picnic.
Their mouths also consist of proboscises. The proboscises are curled up under the flies’ heads while flying. A fly uncurls the proboscis to release saliva and other digestive juices onto food and to take in the juices created by doing so.
Flies also land on feces of animals and humans, garbage, rotting animals, and spoiled foods. These items can contain bacteria, fungi, and other potentially harmful germs. Flies can easily spread the bacteria and other germs when they come inside your home. Once you consume the food flies land on, the bacteria may begin to multiply and could make you sick.
To prevent yourself from contracting diseases that flies carry, it’s important to learn how to keep flies away by understanding their habitat and how to control them.
Flies can be found throughout the world. Due to all of the organic material waste we produce, flies are attracted to our dwellings, outdoor buildings, yards, and just about any other area we humans can be found! These insects carry diseases; therefore, it is imperative that we control them and learn how to get rid of flies.
Controlling Fly Populations
Shooing flies away from your food or face, or following them around with a flyswatter can become tedious. If the flyswatter is your weapon of choice for fighting off pesky flies because you’re concerned about using chemical pesticides, there are additional natural methods to get rid of crane flies and other flies.
There are other steps you can take to help control the fly populations and get rid of the flies in your home. This includes taking measures to make your home less attractive to flies and using control measures as a way to kill flies.
Create an Unfriendly Fly Environment
Your home can become a fly magnet if you leave food uncovered or trash bins open. Female flies may use your trash as a place to lay their eggs. To make your home less attractive to these pests, make sure your kitchen is clean by following a few tips.
If your family takes the time to follow these tips, you can greatly reduce the amount of flies in your home because you have removed their food source and breeding grounds.
If you’re having trouble with large numbers of blow flies or flesh flies in your home, look around for dead rodents or birds inside your home. Rotting carcasses can sometimes hide in basements, crawlspaces, walls, and other areas where animals may hide or take shelter inside.
Invest in Hungry Plants
If you like houseplants, consider placing some insect-eating plants in your home. These plants may also be able to control whiteflies on your indoor plants.
Venus Flytrap - Venus flytraps are a fun and attractive plant. They have two hinged leaves with large hairs along the edges. When flies or other insects land on the plant leaves, it triggers the plant’s trap to snap shut. The two halves remain closed until the fly is digested.
Venus flytraps need a frost-free area to grow with high humidity and good light. To care for them, you must keep the plant constantly moist — mist it regularly to provide additional humidity.
Pitcher Plant - Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants. Their long, trumpet-shaped leaves have a hooded top, and the plant’s nectar attracts insects. Once trapped, insects are digested by enzymes and bacteria. Pitcher plants are also easy to grow. Like the Venus fly trap, pitcher plants need good lighting, consistently wet soil, a humid atmosphere and regular misting to grow well.
Both Venus flytraps and picture plants don’t require feeding, just a little TLC. While these plants will readily help you get rid of white flies and other pests, they cannot control large fly infestations.
Indoor and Outdoor Fly traps such as the Victor® Poison-Free Fly Magnet can provide you with a way to attract and eliminate flies without using harmful chemicals. Aerosol sprays containing pyrethrins/d-limonene such as Safer® Brand Flying Insect Killer provides another option in controlling houseflies by eliminating flies on contact.
Indoor Fly Traps such as the Victor® Poison-Free Indoor Fly Trap can be used inside the home when directions are followed. Outdoor fly traps such as the Victor® Fly Magnet Trap can be used when many flies have infiltrated an area. Fly paper is another option for fly trapping. TERRO® Super Fly Roll can eliminate your fly problem without the use of harmful chemicals.
Outdoor fly traps such as the Victor® Fly Magnet Trap contain food attractants that draws flies. These traps should be placed outdoors according to trap instructions. Set these traps away from outdoor living spaces. By attracting flies, the trap will keep them away from your home, patio, or deck.
Indoor fly traps such as the Victor® Poison-Free Indoor Fly Trap may also contain food based baits and can be used safely in the home when directions are followed. Some traps attract flies just because of their 3-D look. Flies are always looking for a place to land and the color contrast of some traps creates the look of an edge for them to land.
Fly Paper such as the TERRO® Super Fly Roll contain an adhesive type of paper, and can be placed around windows, in garages, and in barns and stables.
What is the Best Solution for Flies?
The best solutions break down quickly to their natural elements. Such solutions are preferable to chemical pesticides that leave residuals where they are sprayed causing long-term detrimental effects on the environment.
Pest solutions made for both indoor and outdoor use help decrease indoor air pollution. Even when synthetic or man-made pest control products are used outdoors, the residue they leave behind can make its way into your home on the clothing and shoes of children.
To get rid of flies in your home, as well as other pests, Safer® Brand products don’t involve harmful pesticides. Instead, you can relax with fewer pests around your home and yard.