Help, we are being over-taken by flies

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Quiver0f10, Oct 8, 2004.

  1. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    Ever since we moved to Maine we have had house flies. Every where you go there are flies. Even middle of winter there are flies in the house. My house is very clean too. I don't know if it is because we are in farm country or what but I can't stand it. There is a horse farm 4 houses up the road.

    Today the sun came out and it was warm, I got home from shopping and the front of my house was covered in flies. Inside my girls bedroom window( Between screen and glass, NOT in the house) were 30+ flies.Walking around outside there are flies on the ground that scatter as you walk. We kill the ones inside daily and next day they are back. HELP, there has to be something we can do?????
     
  2. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Fumigate!

    When we moved here we had a lot of flies! We religiously fumigated starting with the basement because the fumes rise. It's an ongoing thing. We use the Raid bug bombs. Be certain to read the instructions concerning pets.
     

  3. ed/IL

    ed/IL Well-Known Member

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    Do a google search. Here is a start.http://www.deerwood.mb.ca/pesticide/fly/page03.html...... The life cycle of a common housefly may be a little as 8 days. A pair of flies, beginning their operation in April, if all their offspring and descendants were allowed to survive, would result in 191 quintillion, 10 quadrillion (that’s 191,010 plus 15 zeros!) flies by August. Allowing 1/8 of a cubic inch per fly, this would result in a layer covering the Earth to a depth of 47 feet! Thank goodness for predators, parasites, pesticides and bad weather!

    ......Under ideal conditions, Blow flies may produce as many as 8 generations in one year.
     
  4. margo

    margo Well-Known Member

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    Funny you bring up this subject. We, too, are under a deluge of the darn things. I call them flying roaches. Ugh. We thought it was because of a couple loads of cow stuff we had delivered about 75 yds away, but I've heard of some other folks around here who have no dung heaps, that they are experiencing the same problem. Could it be because of the local flooding that we experienced last week? I cannot say I've ever seen them this thick, though, the lady bugs are a close second place. Do you suppose that we'll have to deal with them too.????.........Margo
     
  5. Yvonne

    Yvonne Well-Known Member

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    It's not the horse farm if they practice good sanitation.

    To break the fly cycle use food grade DE inside and out.

    We have a horse farm and I can't stand a barn where if you open your mouth you get unwanted protein. You have to be more diligant in the spring and early fall.

    Cooler weather will help, they can't fly then.

    Yvonne
     
  6. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Here in montana we call those "nesting flies" the ones that seem to show up even in the winter! we figure they somehow nest somewhere and hatch a new batch after we close up tight for winter. They are smaller than regular house flies but just as irritating. We end up using bug bomb sometimes and other times we just vacuum them up and get on with life!
     
  7. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

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    They're called cluster flies around here. Aren't they just discusting! :eek: I use sticky fly strips, they do a pretty good job.
     
  8. breezynosacek

    breezynosacek Well-Known Member

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    We've had a problem with them as well. There is some sticky stuff that you spread it's for cow pastures. You spread it on white cloth, plastic or anything else you can hang out in the weather. The flies are attracted to white and they will stick.
     
  9. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It sounds like cluster flies to me also. They look very much like a house fly, but they are very different. First of all, forget the fumigation. You'll waste money and expose yourself, family and stuff to needless pesticides.

    The fly starts out the spring by laying eggs in the soil. When the egg hatches, the larvae attaches itself to an earthworm and lives its larval life inside the worm. As the fall approaches the larvae leave the worm, pupate in the soil and emerge as the insect you see. They fly around, sometimes miles, looking for a warm place to winter. I believe they can see the heat oozing from our structures from miles away. On sunny winter days you get a whole new batch. Depending on the construction style and quality of your home, they will most likely be between the inside and outside walls as well, just like you described between the windows. They will continue to emerge all winter. When the spring comes the cycle starts again. It's probably too late now to have a big impact on what you will see through this winter. The best strategy is to weather proof your structure. This can be tedious, but you get the added benefit of lower heating bills. These critters can squeeze through incredible thin gaps. Normal screens will not deter them.

    You can have some success with a pesticide, but the place to use it is on the outside of the south side of the house. You may need to spray more, but it depends on your orientation as well as the structure. I would recommend orth-o's home defense containing bifenthrin. This pesticide is long lasting and very repellent. If your house is brick you can get away with just spraying the door and window frames and the eves (this insect is usually more of a problem on taller structures). If it is sided, you may need to spary the entire side. Bifenthrin is very toxic to bees, but it should be ok on the structure for the winter. After you spray you can watch them land and quickly leave. If the invasion has already begun as you describe it will trap them in the wall and force them inside. I suggest a vacuum inside through the winter. Be ready next year, this will be an annual event.
     
  10. Nancy in Maine

    Nancy in Maine Well-Known Member

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    Yep, gotta love those cluster flies. One of my daughters is the lucky resident of the south eastern corner of the house. Her room is the worst! All I know to do is vacuum them up every warm sunny day. They only have energy enough to live a few days, but the weaker they get the more annoying they are because they can't navigate as well when they're flying an end up buzzing in your face or hair.

    We have cedar shingles on our house. I wonder if that makes for a more inviting spot for them to go for hibernation? That's what they're doing is hibernating. Then when the warmth of the sun hits them, they wake up and start flying around.

    I let out a half dozen yesterday that found their way to the screen door. But the ladybugs aren't so smart.
     
  11. Quiver0f10

    Quiver0f10 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you everyone, I am glad to hear am not alone! My husband and I will work on spraying the outside fo the house and weather proofing before it gets much colder and I am heading to the hardware center today to see what I can get for inside.
     
  12. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Cluster flies will ferment in your vacuum bag! Do not vacuum up a bunch of flies and then just leave them in your vacuum, you'll ruin the vac. Don't ask me how I know this :-(

    One thing I'll say about these flies.. they're not discriminating. They're attracted to light. So as the sun sets we run around the house, open the windows, all the flies go out, close the windows... and hope for a good frost. In about 3 weeks we get the good solid frost we're hoping for and the problem settles down to a tollerable level.
     
  13. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nancy, the shingles are a great attractant to these flies. I think they hibernate under tree bark in a world without warm houses.

    Quiver, pesticides won't help at all inside. As Nancy points out, they don't have a lot of energy once they get trapped in the house and many die on the sills and floors. The pesticide on the inside is an unnecessary expense, and you expose yourself, kids, pets, and stuff to the residue.
     
  14. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

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    Our other house had the cluster flies, terribly. We found out they loved the hollow around the windows where the window weights are. Invariably, we would have them fly around the table at suppertime. We would call the 6-o'clock Charlies. :haha:
     
  15. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    If these are indeed ground breeders, I would think a flock of guineafowl would be helpful. I also like the sticky tapes. I just cannot bear to have the pesticides around. I think they are responsible for the increase of degenerative diseases we see these days.

    Sandi
     
  16. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    3girls,
    The flies travel far greater distances than your yard, so the guinea fowl would be totally ineffective.

    The comment about pesticides and degenerative diseases is inaccurate. Certain pesticides may have caused diseases, but all pesticides are not dangerous. For example, many posters here like Diatomaceous Earth. The toxicity is low and you can use it on your animals, but it is still a pesticide. The most heavily used pesticide on the planet is chlorox. The word pesticide is not a category of chemicals that determines their composition or risk, it is a term applied to anything that is sold with the claim that it will kill a pest. Skin-so-soft has pesticidal properties touted by many, but it is not sold as a pesticide, so the manufacturer does not have to test and publish its toxicity and effectiveness.

    Nearly all pesticides considered unsafe are not on market any longer. If you check the archives on DDT, you'll find support from some in this group to put it back on the market because it was a political banning with no real evidence of damage to humans. In fact it is still made here and used elsewhere in the world.

    While I disagree with your blanket statement about pesticides, you will notice above that I advised against using them inside for this purpose. By using a pyrethroid (generally low toxicity to humans and animals) around entry points on the outside, you repel the insects before they enter. Most people don't come in contact with the outside window frames and eaves on any regular basis. So the application is low risk and high performance.
     
  17. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

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    There is an old wives tale that having a fly in the house at Christmas is a sign of good luck. Have yet to figure that one out. Having them fall off the ceiling into the soup is more than gross. The icky lady bugsd are working their way into the house, too. If you find a good, non-toxic way to get rid of the things, please post it.
     
  18. Sam

    Sam Well-Known Member

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    Okay... Here's how we get rid of flies.....

    Get a large tall container with a lid (we use a glass jar) ... cut a small hole in the top of the lid about the size of a quarter.

    Put a cup of vinegar a cup of sugar in the jar and add some water to make the container about half full. My MIL heats the water a little so that the sugar will dissolve.

    If you have a banana peeling, put that in there (not required, but helps).

    Put the lid on and sit it a few feet from your door. Flies will go inside the container, but they can't come out. They will go inside and drown.

    You will need to dump out the mixture and flies when you have caught a lot of flies.

    Good Luck!
    Sam
     
  19. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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    Those cluster flys must be a regional thing. Folks around here spread tons of chicken house litter on pastures and believe me there isnt anything better smelling than say ten tons of chicken crap spread over a big pasture fermenting in the sun. Anyway you get a fly here and there but nothing like you are all describing.

    Something that I was shown by my great grandpa is as follows. This will work for us folks that just have a farm and a few flys here and there.

    Take the biggest zip lock plastic bags that you can find and fill about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Hang outside any open doors or windows. You will not get fly one in your house. Nobody knows why it works but it is very effective. When we have outdoor festivals alot of folks here hang them around there food booths to keep flys away.

    All I can figure is either the water plays tricks on their eyes or they think it is a hornet or wasp nest. I didnt believe it til I tried it. I leave windows and doors open regularly and have no noticeable fly problems.
     
  20. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The bananas will attract fruit flies and the vinegar will attract fungus gnats. Neither will attract cluster flies.

    Toxicity is just like the temperature, everything has one. Nothing is non-toxic. Sugar has a toxicity and water has a toxicity. If you read labels and safety data sheets, you will soon realize we live in a toxic world and even caulking has cautions for use. Look at any product that says non-toxic and you will find emergency instructions in case you get it in your eye or swallow it. Its really a matter of choices. What matters is how toxic the material, how concentrated it is, how sensitive you are, and how you are exposed. A good example is the paint used on old watch hands to make them glow in the dark. It contained radium, one of the most toxic substances known to man. Fortunately, it was very dilute, people didn't react to it, and it was enclosed in a metal case which prevented exposure. The solution to pollution is dilution.

    Seal out the lady bugs, or spray something repellent on the outside to discourage them from entering your house. The same goes for cluster flies, boxelder bugs, and elm leaf beetles. Clover mites are a different problem with a different remedy.