Do flies bite?
We expect bites from many creatures in our spaces including mosquitoes and bed bugs even cockroaches. Yes, cockroaches can bite. But perhaps the one insect we do not expect to inflict a bite on us is the fly. Maybe that is because man and flies have been existing with each other for centuries without an escalation in interactions except for the annoying nuisance the latter poses.
What many people don’t realize is that not all the flies they see buzzing around are common house flies. There are other species of flies that are more aggressive and need a blood meal to survive. These types of flies are very aggressive and are also capable of transmitting disease as is the case with the tsetse fly that transmits sleeping sickness. These flies are found in nomadic environments and are dreaded by cattle rearing communities on the African continent. In the United States you will come across the following.
Types of biting flies
These species of flies have mouth parts that can slice into the human skin when they bite into you. They are large in size which can intensify their bite considerably and cause you to feel the most pain out of all the biting flies. Theses flies are aptly named because they love to dig into horses but they will bite you too if you are available.
These flies are slightly smaller than the common house fly and only come around I the spring time. They also feature scissor like mouth parts that they use to slice into your skin. Their bite is more or less like the horse fly bite but not as intense in pain and damage. This is not to say the bite is not painful because it is.
These are close cousins to the deer flies but they do not bite. Instead they use their serrated mouth parts to cause irritation to the skin. And although they don’t break skin they do make you extremely uncomfortable.
These flies come around in the late summer time and love to feed on livestock. They can also be seen in the early fall. Stable flies feature a proboscis that they use to suck the blood out of the livestock. It is quite sharp as you can imagine to be able to penetrate the hide of cattle.
The black fly loves areas that have a nearby water source. This fly has a distinct hunched back which defines it from other buzzing flies. It is a ruthless biter and it is a persistent nuisance in the northern states in America.
Homemade fruit fly trap
Do you love fruits? Do you like to shop at the local produce market for fresh, juicy fruit and stock up at home for smoothies and healthy snacks? That is a great life choice but it can be marred by the ever present fruit flies that wait for you to place your fruit into the basket before they invade your kitchen.
What is a fruit fly?
These are small yellow flies with red eyes that love to hover around ripe fruit. They can be a persistent nuisance all year round but they are especially common during the warm months of year. You will see them around your kitchen in late summer and early fall when fruits are ripening and some are over ripe and fermenting. The adult fruit fly is only an eighth of an inch and the female lays her eggs on top of the moist fruit. For example, if you slice up a mango and leave it unattended and uncovered, you will come back to these small insects feasting on it and laying their eggs on it.
They will breed everywhere where fruit and vegetable matter is disposed like in the trash can, compost pit, and even on rags used to wipe away the juice of the ripe fruit.
Homemade fruit flies traps
You can get rid of fruit flies using natural methods including making fruit fly traps. These insects love fermented materials so this is the best way to attract them and then trap them.
Apple cider trap
Place apple cider vinegar in a jar and cover it with plastic wrap. Poke some holes into the plastic wrap. The fermented smell of the apple cider will attract the flies and they can enter the jar through the holes. The mixture should have some liquid soap to make it harder for the flies to leave though.
Use stale beer or wine
Stale wine and beer bear that fermented smell that is attractive to fruit flies. Leave a bottle open with some of the stale liquid inside. The fruit flies will buzz their way into the bottle but find it difficult to get out of the bottle. The skinny neck of the bottle is enough of a trap so you don’t need to trap the insecs further.
Use a paper cone
Place a over ripe fruit into a jar and insert a paper cone with the slimmer end tapering to the bottom of the jar. The insects will fly inside in search of the fruit but have no way to come out.
The best way to get rid of fruit flies is to remove over ripe fruit and vegetables like tomatoes from your space. The produce that is not being used immediately should be stored in the fridge. Also make sure you take your garbage out regularly, clean up spills and also wash the rags used to clean up thoroughly.
How to catch fruit flies
Flies are also known as gnats especially in the United States and they can be a massive nuisance. But that is not the end of the world. You don’t have to be a victim of fruit flies which love finding a meal on moist organic matter. They will lay eggs on top of the material and in fact, it is advisable to always wash any fruits and vegetables you buy from the produce market. But if you already have a fruit fly infestation the following fruit traps should be helpful in mitigating the situation.
Red wine trap
The fermenting scent of wine is attractive to fruit flies. Fruit flies will flock to the wine bottle so just leave a little wine in the bottle and leave the bottle open. The bottle itself will work as trap because of the slender bottle neck through which they can enter but can’t figure their way out of.
Red wine is preferable to white wine because it has a higher level of fermentation. The higher the level of fermentation the better a trap it becomes. If you don’t have a bottle of wine you can use a bottle of beer which also has a higher fermentation level.
Take a piece of banana and put it into a jar. Cover the top part nicely with some clear wrap and poke holes into the wrap. You can use the tip of a knife or a fork to make the holes. Don’t worry about the holes being small because fruit flies are generally small insects which can make it into such sized holes. However, they you also need to ensure that the holes are not too tiny either. Find the right balance.
Leave the banana in there for some time and the fruit flies will be attracted by its scent. You will notice them swarming into the jar after a few minutes but unfortunately for them, they will not be able to come out of the jar because of the wrap. Plus the wrap eliminates the amount of oxygen in the jar so they die off because of suffocation.
This is the most famous home trap for fruit flies. The scent of vinegar is quite attractive to fruit flies and they can’t help themselves but swarm to it. Just like the banana trap you need to place the vinegar diluted with water (don’t worry this doesn’t affect the potent smell of the vinegar) in a jar and cover the top with plastic wrap. Put some holes into the plastic jar and watch these flies get trapped within.
One of the most frustrating types of pest infestations is associated with drain flies also known as moth flies. This household problem should be handled by pest professionals to keep flies away, as it can easily become a serious and hazardous indoor situation.
Drain flies are classified as an insect and a common pest in Arizona. They are easily identifiable by their extremely small size and fuzzy appearance. The adult size is 1/5 of an inch long.
In fact, this insect is a horrible flier due to the size of its wings and body and when in flight their fling pattern is typically short and chaotic. A drain fly has a set of antennae broken into 13 segments which act similar to a tongue. It helps them locate their food.
Your drains, over time, accumulate an organic build-up of the material or foods you wash down the drains. This build-up is food to these flies you may be encountering.
Many homeowners are left confused and dumbfounded at the sight of flies in their kitchen or bathroom.
Due to the size of a drain fly, unfortunately, they can fit through your screens, small cracks or holes near windows, and easily gain access at times of other entrances.
It has been identified that drain flies are attracted to moisture of damp sources. It is obvious a drain in the sink will provide the ideal environment for these flies to inhabit. Luckily, these insects do not bite; however, pose many health risks to a human.
Due to the poor quality of their flight patterns, drain flies can very easily be drifted into sewer treatment plants or landfills. Here they pick up harmful pathogens that lead to human illnesses.
Naturally, drain flies breed in filthy locations such as these landfills, sewers, grease traps, and even clogged drains. These are not the pests you want indoors. Drain Flies or Moth Flies pose many serious health risks when present in your home.
Ridding drain flies from a home is challenging without the assistance of a professional exterminator and proper products used specifically for drain flies.
Fly problems require many different approaches to ensure that they have been properly treated.
One of the most important things that an exterminator will do is to find the source of the problem. If you have ants in your home, they may be coming from the neighbor’s yard. They could be coming from the woodpile outside your home.
Once the source is located, the next step can begin. That is to get rid of the pests at this location so that you stop the infestation from occurring.
Maintenance suggestions to decrease the chance of having these pests indoors are to routinely clean the drains and other damp sources inside your home or outdoors.
If you notice flies, immediately contact a pest control company for an inspection, consultation and possible treatment in order to catch the problem before it becomes an outbreak.
Whenever summer comes around, we start the age-old war against the bugs, biting insects, and flea infestation that plague us. Indeed, what most people do not realize is that they can actually take some small measures to prevent at least some of the harassment.
For example, fixing up screens on windows and doors is all very well, but checking them out just before the weather gets warm will ensure that no holes are present which will let them into the house.
Around the garden, vegetation that is left to grow too tall or rugged will certainly harbor things like ticks and thrips. Although thrips do not carry anything too dangerous, their stings and bites will certainly make everyone run for cover.
Ticks, on the other hand, will certainly bring something a bit dangerous, depending on which ones are present, so animals should be treated if they are left to run wild out there.
Within the house itself, there are many areas where all kinds of creepy crawlies get in. Leaving cracks or holes around the property is an open invitation for anything that crawls to come in looking for food sources so it is a good idea to fill gaps as and when they appear.
But, even the fabric of the house itself has to be protected too since termites are a terrible thing to have running amok there.
They need cellulose, the content of any wood, to survive and they will eat anything in their path. They have no interest in whether this is a beam holding up the house, or that valuable rocking chair your grandmother left behind.
All they know is that wood is food and they will eat anything in their quest to keep the queen fed.
Of course, there are some things that have to be done to protect the house from these little munching machines too. Wood anywhere in the home should be checked out now and then to make sure there is no activity going on inside.
The termites eat from the inside of the wood outwards so sometimes nothing is seen until it is too late. Very often, all that is holding the wood together is the paint on top of the wood.
One way to inspect the wood for termite damage is to knock on it. Any hollow sounds normally show that there is activity inside.
Also, if there are any brown tube-like growths coming out of wood areas normally show that the termite has come up against something inedible. It makes the tubes, out of mud and saliva, so that it stays moist inside.
It can then travel wherever it wants to. To check for recent activity, scrape away a small part of the tube and check to see if it is repaired quickly or not.
If nothing happens over the course of the next few days or weeks, then the infestation has stopped, although temporarily.
To stop infestation once and for all, call your local pest control company for inspection.
Flies, if ignored, can make you and anyone in your household ill, as these insects are carriers of some diseases. At the first sign of a fly buzzing around, this article will let you know some DIY fly trap and other techniques that work.
Flies go after every scrap of food and dirt they find in your house leaving behind a trail of bacteria that can cause diseases like diarrhea, food poisoning, and cholera.
It doesn’t matter how quick you may close the door, flies still find a way into your home. Even a handful of female flies can translate to thousands within the shortest period of time.
For instance, an average female fly can lay about 500 eggs in its one-month lifespan. This makes it even worse for you to eliminate flies, especially if you lack the know-how of some most effective DIY techniques.
- Clean your house
This is one of the simplest techniques you can use to do away with flies because it is inexpensive and easy to accomplish.
If you really want to eliminate flies completely, then start by ensuring that your house is clean all the time because flies become more attracted to dirty surfaces than to clean ones.
Use clove, orange, or basil oil as you clean your house, these oils act as fly repellents. Wipe down and dry clean surfaces, cover compost, and clear bread and any other food remain.
- Use natural insect repellents
As mentioned earlier, flies do not like the smell of cloves, basil, oranges, or apples studded with cloves.
For instance, you can capitalize on this fact by setting up a basket of organic cloves in your home, planting basil in window-boxes or by simply making a patch of basil by the front door.
Also, you may cut oranges and pack them with salt after juicing to act as flies deterrent.
- Use a homemade fly trap
Using a flytrap is one of the easiest techniques to execute and monitor, especially the homemade fly trap.
You can coax these insects into a lidded jar by placing food that attracts them to the bottom. Ensure that you punch a few holes in the jar’s lid so that the flies may enter the trap to their demise because after getting into the trap, the flies will not be able to fly back out.
- Use water bags
Using water-filled bags is the most efficient home remedy for how to do away with flies. It involves hanging half-full gallon size water bags at or near areas where flies seem to graze.
The premise behind this technique is simply light refraction that causes the many lens in the flies’ eyes to distort what the flies see. This lens effect casts images that portray spider webs hence scaring flies away.
These are just but a few DIY home remedies that can be used to eliminate the nuisance caused by flies. They are good alternatives to commercial sprays, traps, and flypaper.
Gnats is a general term used to refer to little flying bugs that in the dipterid suborder Nematocera. They mainly belong to three families namely the Anisopodidae, Mycetophilidae and Sciaridae. Gnats can be biting and non-biting but their classic habit that makes them distinguishable is the fact that they fly in large numbers also known as a cloud. They are also referred to as no-see-ums. There are three typical types of gnats that are source of irritation in the home.
- The fruit fly
- The drain fly
- The fungus fly
Fruit flies love the kitchen where they have access to fruits like bananas, mangoes and pineapples among others. They will congregate where the vegetable and fruits are stored. They have red eyes and yellowish bodies. Drain flies are prone to congregate in areas that are moist and damp like the drainage system. They are typically brownish in color, larger than your ordinary house fly and with fuzzy bodies and wings. Fungus flies or gnats are found around the potted plants in the home and they look sleek an small with a deep black color.
How to kill gnats
Laying a trap is the easiest way to kill off gnats. There are some commercial traps that work effectively but you can make similar traps at home using materials found in your house ranging from dish washing soap to vinegar. Vinegar attracts gnats like the fruit flies because of its fermented smell. To create the trap you can place half a cup of vinegar on the table with a plastic wrap to cover the top of the cup. Make sure to put in some dish washing soap in the vinegar. Then poke holes in the wrap. The flies will find their way into the container in a feeding frenzy but they will be unable to get out dying off inside the container.
Another trap entails placing a very ripe piece of fruit into a jar and make a paper cone which you stick into the jar. The wider part will be up and the narrow part will be in the jar. As the fruit flies enter the jar they will find themselves trapped as the cone has closed off all the exits. The trapped insects will die off in the jar.
Finally, you can just leave a bottle of wine or beer from which the contents were recently poured out open. The narrow neck of the bottle acts as a trap for the insects which can enter but can’t leave. Stale wine and beer attract the flies because of the fermented smell. Add some dishwashing soap to make it harder for the flies to get out.
If you spend a decent amount in your kitchen, you probably wonder why you are never quit able to completely get rid of fruit flies because they seem to perennially be there. That is despite doing one’s best to keep the kitchen environment clean. While you may succeed in keeping the kitchen floor, counter tops and garbage can squeaky clean, this pesky flies still seem to not go away.
If it’s any consolation, you are not alone as most people suffer the same problem. Having a basic understanding of what attracts fruit flies is a good basis on where to start in eliminating them from your kitchen. They love over ripe fruits and vegetables and what’s more, they breed on anything that contains moisture and has fermenting material. That explains why areas such as the sink and shower drains, trash cans and garbage areas are so prone to having loads of fruit fly.
Although the life of the fruit fly is fairly shot, they can multiply with alarming rapidity. A single female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs at ago. Now that is just a recipe for infestation. Hence the reason why one should seek to get rid of them as soon as they start noticing them in the kitchen, bathroom or any part of the house. In case you don’t know how or most methods you have tried before don’t seem to be effective, check out these tried and tested tips that will help you consistently and effectively get rid of fruit flies every time they appear
1. Pour hot water down the drain
The idea behind getting rid of fruit flies is preventing them from multiplying while killing off the visible ones. Since the sink drain is a common breeding ground for fruit flies, one should pour boiling hot water in their drain. An effective alternative to boiling water is boiling white vinegar. Either of this kills any fruit flies and their eggs that might be breeding in the drain.
2. Keep the kitchen clean
Keeping counter tops and garbage cans clean as well as the kitchen floor plays a role in reducing this pesky flies. Washing vegetables when you come from the market also helps get rid of any fruit flies embedded in the veggies. Rotten parts should be immediately discarded as these are breeding grounds for the fruit fly
3. Apple cider vinegar
The scent of apple cider vinegar attracts fruit flies. Pour some in a bowl, cover the top of the bowl with a polythene paper and a put rubber band round the edges of the paper so that the paper holds taut. Using a pointy object such as a toothpick, make 3-4 on the polythene paper. The flies will go in to enjoy the vinegar cider but will not be able to come out.
These solutions can be used separately or all together in attacking fruit flies from all angles and decimating their populations in your household. Keeping the environment clean, while killing the eggs in breeding areas and trapping others all at the same time ensures they have no food, no breeding grounds and the eggs die off. For once you are about to experience what a fruit fly less kitchen feels like.
If one hates blood suckers, then the horsefly is probably high up there on your hate list. The horsefly bite is quite unique and painful owing to the structure of their mouth and skin puncturing method. These insect feeds on human and large mammals such as cats, dogs and cattle.
The bite of a horse fly is quite atrocious to the extent that cattle will often get injured trying to get way for these flies. Even on large animals, the bite still bruises the skin. This bruising often gets infected as it takes longer to heal than other insect bites. For the most part a horsefly bite on a human being is not fatal, but the wound it inflicts is prone to bacterial infection.
Appearance of a horse fly
They are fairly large in size with massive compound eyes. The coloring on their body generally include black under belly and a striped chest.
Male horseflies are not to be feared as they do not suck blood for food. They are not able to as they have not been endowed with blood sucking apparatus on their mouths. Their female counterpart however is blood thirsty and will feed on blood.
Biologically, the female horse fly is wired to drink blood in order to sustain her egg production. For such a small body weight, she does consume a considerable amount of blood. A female horse fly will need about 0.5ml for her reproduction purposes. The special adaptation of the female horsefly is the ability to releases substances that stop blood clotting at the point of skin puncture. This allows them to drink their fill without blood clotting. They can drink as much as 200 milligrams in a matter of minutes.
Are horse fly venomous
Fortunately, horse flies are not venomous and do not spread disease to animals or human beings except for horses. These flies are carriers of equine infectious anemia, commonly known as swamp fever. When they bite a horse, there is a chance that the horsefly might transmit the disease. The disease often times is fatal to horses. The female horsefly is equipped with
The horsefly uses a scissor-like motion to cut the skin in order to draw blood as opposed to puncturing a hole. It is equipped with hooks that it will then use to attach itself to the wound as it sucks blood. The bite is painfully and will normally become raised and red. Because of the cutting action, the wound is larger and take longer to heal.
Unless the wound gets infected there is rarely a need to see a doctor. However, if the bite does get infected then it prudent to seek medical attention. The doctor will often recommend antibiotics to fight the infection. In the meantime, as a way of easing the discomfort before seeing the doctor one can clean the bite area with warm clean water and soap using cotton wool . A cold compress on the wound for 10 minutes will also help.
House flies are gifted at making you just want to kill them. One can’t help but relish the thought of doing them in, the whole lot of them. Unfortunately, that thought is often easier said than done as these pesky flies are not that easy to get a hold of. Although there is much satisfaction in swatting several with a fly swatter, there is no chance of eliminating them effortlessly and consistently from your home. Before flies drive you nuts so that you unwittingly resort to some harsh chemicals, try this floor trap that is sure to beat at them at their own annoying game. You can turn the tables on the houses flies through a simple homemade trap.
What you will need
- Soda or juice bottle
- Duct tape
- Bait (sugary liquid with dish washing soap mixed in)
Step for making the housefly trap
1. Once you have the materials ready you will need to first cut the top part of the bottle. It is important that you cut it at its widest point. This ensures that the top part fits snugly when inverted into the bottom half.
2. You will need some bait mixed with liquid to fill the bottom half of the bottle to a few inches. This ensures that flies are attracted and drown.
3. Now it’s time to take the top half of the bottle and invert it. Rest it on the bottom half. If it was cut at the widest point then it should be a snug fit.
4. This is where the duct tape comes in. Tape the outer edges to seal if any gap and any chance that a fly might crawl out.
Place this trap anywhere with a concentration of houseflies such as near a bowl of fruits or garbage can.
If you are wondering what other bait to use, you should know that flies love rotting fruit, veggies, old meat. The idea behind the fly trap is to drown the fly once it makes its way into the trap. After dripping the scraps of meat into the bottle, it is imperative to ensure there is enough liquid bait to drown the fly(s). The choice of the liquid bait that will work for the housefly can be wine, vinegar, water, dish washing soap or juice.
Once the fly is attracted by the heavenly smell by fly standards, it makes its way into the inverted top of the bottle and enter the bottle to enjoy the goodies. Once in it cannot find its way out and will drown.
You will have to clean the trap and empty of all the flies and maggots inside before re-using. Pouring boiling water into it does the trick. Alternatively, one can just replace the trap with a new one. Just be sure to kill all the maggots in the old one before discarding.