Some leftover food, some filth, fair weather and you’ve got yourself a fly party. Flies can be bothersome and they are not likely to leave on their own accord. Therefore, here are some useful tips on how to get rid of flies outside the house.
Under the Cover
Food, fruits, and flesh attract flies like blooming flowers to bees. They just can’t help it. A fly’s natural inclination is to be attracted to anything that’s moist and aging.
The solution: Cover them up. Bar the windows, seal the doors; take out the food covers, and for your garbage – bag ’em and throw ’em. A pantry cabinet can seal away most of your groceries too. In addition, for other things that you don’t need to refrigerate, stow them away in the kitchen cabinets where they can remain dry.
Clean Regularly and Thoroughly
The kitchen is a primary target for all types of flies. It’s wet, it’s filled with food and leftovers, and it smells-for better or for worse.
The Solution: As much as you hate to do it, the key is to clean up NOW. Wash the dishes immediately after use or put those kitchen pans in the dishwasher if you can’t do it after cooking.
Soak up all used utensils in warm water and get back at them once you have the time (or willingness) to. Wipe out all crumbs and other food preparation leftovers (including dinner evidence) and dispose of them in a sealed compost bucket. If you can take out all the garbage accumulated for the day you’re guaranteed a fly-free home.
Follow the Light
If you are fond of watching horror movies then you probably have the right idea in mind-just substitute the undead with flies. This trick works if flies have already invaded your personal space and blowing smoke in the entire house can induce asthma and paranoia.
The Solution: Cover all windows with thick curtains and all other surfaces where light enters your house or room. Then have one door ajar so light trickles in like a hypnotic beacon to the flies – and out they go.
Pretty simple, but not all flies can be tricked so expect a few to hang around the lit area. Be ready with a fly swatter and pound away on the stragglers. If they don’t go quietly then they deserve what’s coming at them.
It’s time to call some back-up. Sure you can first try opening the door and running for your life as the pests exit your living room.
Alternatively, you can just have the professionals sort it out with their trusty pesticides.
You would need to extend your vacation to a nearby hotel, as the smell won’t easily subside.
These tips on how to get rid of flies in the house have a common theme to them: prevention is always better than cure. The minute you open your house to unwanted visitors, they can overstay their welcome. In addition, in the case of flies, things can really get nasty.
The house fly can be classified into two groups. It is a generic term that applies to the common housefly, the lesser house fly and fruit flies, all of whom may enter a dwelling. It can also refer specifically to the common housefly, Musca domestica Linnaeus. The house fly life span is explained below.
The common housefly is distributed throughout the world and is a very successful breed. Its success can be attributed to a number of factors including its adaptability and resourcefulness.
Otherwise known as a housefly, the Musca domestica Linnaeus is seen anywhere — in places and spots where there are rotting food and/or manure.
Oftentimes house flies will pick up a scent most from afar and try to seek its source. Until then, they keep on flying.
Flies are just as opportunistic when laying eggs. Rather than prepare an area for their eggs, they simply find a wet and warm area where there is some food and lay their eggs there.
Freshly laid manure is a perfect place. The cream-white eggs are laid in clusters of between 75 and 100 eggs. Within 24 hours of being laid, they will hatch into larvae (maggots).
The larvae are completely self-sufficient – another sign of this breed’s robustness and adaptability. After a few days, the larvae will move to drier areas (or the medium they were hatched into may dry out anyway).
They will then pupate and from the puparium will emerge a mini version of a fly. After about an hour, the young fly will mate if possible and then take off and start its life as a flying adult.
This, of course, is when the trouble starts.
The amount of houseflies at any given time is largely governed by temperature. A fly’s functions, including breeding, will slow as the temperature cools. It thrives and multiplies rapidly in warm to hot temperatures but doesn’t like the temperature to be too hot.
This is one of the many attributes they share with humans. Alarmingly, house flies share some other human characteristics such as the inability to see in the dark and a liking for sweet and fatty foods.
That last point may explain why they are so keen to visit our kitchens. They are less fussy than we are. They will have no problem with visiting our trash and rubbish tips looking for discarded food.
Flies often take advantage of reliable sources of food and are eternally curious – just like us.
Although they are not curious in the intellectual sense the way that we are, they do tend to explore. This behavior is simply their way of getting their next feed. They will fly around until something comes up.
Flies are responsible for spreading disease – sometimes very serious diseases. There is a universal need to keep them away from our food and food preparation areas.
A business that prepares and produces food has a legal duty in most jurisdictions to ensure cleanliness, and of course, pest control measures are taken to deal with house flies to avoid infestation.
This fly species earned such a name because they are often seen near and around horses. They are not, however, merely harmless insects. Below are some important horse fly facts.
About The Horse Fly Species
Horseflies are larger than common house flies. Their sizes normally differ about a bit under or over an inch. They often have black bodies and clear wings.
Female horse flies are really the ones to worry about because they feed on blood. They do this by using their sharp mandibles to wound horses and then lap up the blood from the wound.
Despite their name, they do not just feed on the blood of horses. They can feed on the blood of any mammal, including cattle and humans.
Horse flies are said to live and thrive where there are forests or wooded areas nearby. They may lay their eggs in water, both stagnant and running, or on moist ground and plants. There seem to be more horse flies when the temperature is warm. This means horses and humans are more prone to horse bites in the summer.
There would have been no problem if horse fly bites were as harmless as a regular mosquito bite. For horses, however, a horse fly bite can be a major source of discomfort.
Flies that gather over horses can result in numerous bites. Horses that get repeatedly bitten may lose their appetite for food and activity.
In some cases, horse flies can also transmit Equine Infectious Anemia. Aside from the obvious depletion of blood in the system, this disease can also cause general weakness, heartbeat irregularities and swelling of the chest, stomach, and legs.
In its severe form, the disease can kill the infected horse. If infected horses are not isolated and treated, other horses could get infected.
Fillies can pass the disease to their young foals through milk while other horses may get infected from sharing needles used for maintenance medications or other treatments.
What You Can Do
The problem with horse flies is that they cannot be dealt with decisively. If you decide to wipe out all the flies in sight, you may end up destroying environmental systems or harming other animals.
Spraying pesticide for example over a large area could affect or even kill other animals and plants in the area. It is also physically impossible to remove all wet and moist areas where flies could be breeding.
Even if this were possible for a group of horse owners, small environmental systems would be negatively affected.
Some homeowners resort to a variety of sticky fly traps. Since horse flies love movement, it is often a good idea to use attractive traps that can be moved around a pasture on a van or open cart.
Horse flies normally do not live in stables but it wouldn’t hurt if you made sure that stables are always clean and dry.
Horse flies are indeed a bane to horses. They are, however, even more of an inconvenience to horse owners who have to deal with irritated or sickly horses.
Let’s begin by defining what a gnat is. Depending on where you come from, the term gnat has come to represent a grouping of numerous bothersome insects. So a gnat is not one specific bug but several. It is not uncommon for you or some you know to say ‘ these gnats are such a nuisance’. Notice that they say that for different flies.
That said, some gnats are more of a nuisance than an actual threat as they do not bite mammals and will feed on everything else such as over ripe fruit and insects as opposed to blood.
However, there are a select few gnats that are sheer terror. They not only swarm you when indoors or outdoors but they also have a painful bite when they want to feed on human or your livestock’s blood.
Where do gnats come from?
There are numerous species of gnats that are likely to be found in varying habitats. A prerequisite for them to consider an area of occupation as ideal is dependent on two major things. These are Moisture and food.
In your home, most gnats species are attracted by decaying matter such as over ripe fruit or vegetables. They are a staple in areas such as the trash can. Most species will be attracted by light while others will reproduce in overwatered pot plants.
Whether the gnats in your home are coming from outside the house or within the house, you will want to get rid of them. The size of a gnats is often smaller than that of a mosquito. They are capable of getting into your home through the tiniest of spaces such as through torn window nets, spaces on the doors or even through the wall spaces left by wire cables when entering the house.
Are biting gnats dangerous?
Biting gnats, like mosquitoes are female and feed on blood in order to reproduce viable eggs. Their bite is more painful than that of a mosquito. That is because while mosquitoes will pierce’s your skin through a sharp proboscis in order to draw blood. A female biting gnat is equipped with four sharp cutters that it uses to puncture your skin in order to draw blood. This is not only painful but creates a small visible wound that is more prone to infections.
Painful as a gnat bite may be in both humans and livestock, gnats do not transmit any disease to humans. However gnats are capable of transmitting a deadly disease to livestock known as Bluetongue.
Getting rid of gnats
Some species of gnats such fruitflies are easy get rid of through homemade traps and high standards of hygiene.
Biting gnats may need a more thorough approach due to the massive losses they can cause to Farmers and the discomfort they bring to humans. While clearing tall grasses and weeds as well as pruning trees and shrubs in home will help, getting rid of any debris such as piles of moist leaves in the yard is a good idea. Not over watering pot plants in the home is also recommended.
If you fear that you have an infestation of biting gnats in your home area, seeking the help of a licensed pest officer may be your best bet. An officer will assess the scale of an infestation and provide solutions that will eradicate the problem and help you avert discomfort and livestock loss.
The tsetse African small biting flies have a peculiar life cycle, can have its population reduced in various ways, transmit the wormlike trypanosomes, and are the cause of the sleeping sickness disease as discovered by Dr. David Bruce, parasitologist and early treatment provider.
Tsetse flies may be subtle in appearance as they are similar to house flies. Like all insects, an adult tsetse fly has three sections: a head, thorax, and abdomen.
The head comprises two huge eyes on each side and a large bulb on the bottom to which is attached a forward-pointing proboscis, or the part through which blood is sucked. The large thorax comprises three combined segments, six legs, two wings, and two organs for balancing, called halteres.
The abdomen is small but increases in size as the fly consumes enough blood to weigh twice as much as its original weight. Most tsetse flies are extremely tough externally. It is difficult to crush one.
Tsetse flies are different in four distinct bodily characteristics: proboscis folded wings, hatchet cell, and branched arista hairs. A long proboscis protrudes forward and is connected to the bottom of the pest’s head by an obvious bulb.
The fly folds its two wings fully one above the other while resting. Hatchet cell refers to a cell in the center of both of a tsetse fly’s wings.
These distinct cells are so named because of their hatchet shape. The bristle-like parts of the creature’s antennae, called the arista, have branched hairs.
The tsetse fly has a peculiar life cycle. A female can only produce one egg at a time. The egg hatches inside the fly and the larva lives on a milky substance within the mother. The larva then leaves the mother and burrows into the ground.
Once in the ground, the larva forms a hard outer case in which it changes. During this period the larva feeds on stored food. It is now a pupa. After twenty to thirty days, the case is broken and an adult tsetse fly emerges.
Sleeping sickness, transmitted by the tsetse fly, is a parasitic disease that is found in areas south of the Sahara Desert as far as the Cape of Good Hope.
There are three strains of sleeping sickness, which affect man and beast. East African and West African are the two strains in humans while nagana in the form of the disease found in animals.
Infected with either of the two strains an individual will not seem plagued for one or two weeks. The victim will subsequently experience recurring fever, pains, and aches. The back of the neck will swell eventually.
This is a sign, called Winterbottom’s sign, which is used by doctors to determine the presence of the sickness. At a touch, the neck will pain. In the case of the East African strain, if it goes untreated there is swift death.
The West African strain, however, will cause a longer period of illness, as long as two to three years. In this period, the victim will experience several symptoms that will cause suffering. These include intense headaches, lack of concentration and interest, weariness during the daytime, and problems sleeping at night.
If someone was to visit your house and sees flies all over the place, the first thing that hits the guest’s mind is how dirty you are. From time to time when they are in the house they cause discomfort around people and you get people chasing them away manually or with insecticides as the best way to get rid of flies.
Flies are the most populated insects in the world because there exists a variety of 30,000 different species, the most common being the house fly.
What is known by everybody is that houseflies do not bite like other flies. Houseflies do not suck blood directly from people unless it is a wound yet other flies like insect flies do; they also like breeding in dirty places or on food.
Here are other interesting facts about flies that you did not know but would be good for you:
If houseflies invade your house you do not have to worry about how long they will stay because flies can only live for about 30 days and they die.
However, they lay up to 3,000 eggs within those 30 days so if it is a female in your house be sure they will not go away that easily because the number of the flies will go up.
Unlike other insects that have two pairs of wings, flies have only a pair that, believe it or not, beat up to 200 times per second and the wings stop beating or flying immediately they are on ground.
Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to kill a fly by hand, even if you think you will not miss it? This is because they are so sensitive to movement. They have two eyes with lenses of over 4,000 per eye.
So if you want to kill a fly it is advisable you be very fast in your movement.
Did you know that flies lay eggs on any food and vomit on it first before feasting? So if you get a fly on your food you can be sure you would not want to eat the food again after knowing this.
The reason they vomit on food is that flies can only swallow food in liquid form. Their saliva turns the food in liquid form making it easy for it to swallow.
Flies can defecate every 4-5 minutes and they do it anywhere. With that, you can be sure that they can even do it on your food or on you. Maybe a reason why it is easy to get diseases from them.
Another reason why it is easy for flies to contaminate food is because of their ability to stick on a surface or place for long. This is enabled by the stickiness of the pads of their feet.
Therefore it is important to note that as much as flies do not bite they easily cause diseases by contaminating food. If you eat contaminated food you suffer from diarrhea and other illnesses.
Cluster fly control isn’t that difficult if you do it yourself, but professional services are required to completely eliminate flies.
The adult cluster fly is a fairly large species at around 10mm in length and a wingspan of around 20mm; it has large reddish compound eyes. the thorax (body) has a distinctive dark greyish/olive color and is covered in golden hairs. When resting the wings are held tight on top of the abdomen.
The adult female lays her eggs loosely on and around damp soil, beneath dead and rotting leaves, etc. after about a week the larvae hatch from the eggs and actively seek earthworms to which they cling and bore through the body wall.
The conventionally shaped fly maggots develop within the earthworm. The larvae have been observed to push their hind ends back through the earthworm’s body wall to allow their breathing spiracles to gain access to free air.
At or near to the end of the earthworms life the larva will bore its way out and pupates in the soil. Since this is a free-living field insect, the life cycle is very dependent on weather conditions.
Here are 7 simple ways to help you trap them:
- Gather several plastic containers. Anything light-weighted especially margarine or yogurt containers work wonderfully and ideal. Make sure that you have at least two for every fruit tree and rinse them well if you are using containers that have once been used.
- You can then tear off a strip of tape about 6 or 7 inches long. Fold it well enough because this will be used as a handle for one of the containers. Repeat this step for every plastic that you are going to use.
- Get another strip of duct long as the circumference of the container. Hold the handle you made in the second step, carefully wrap the other part of the strip of the duct around the container in such a way that it holds both containers. Repeat this procedure for each of the containers.
- Mix one cup of water, one tablespoonful of molasses, 1/3 cup of sugar and 2/3 cup of apple cider vinegar n a bowl. Make a great mixture using a spoon. Make a bit thick mixture.
- Put a little bit of the mixture into each of the pails, it won’t take long for the mixture to be effective, you can pour ½ inch thick each if you have lots of pails.
- Hang each pail over a branch on your fruit trees.try to make them close to clusters of ripe fruits and more effectively close to the trunk so that the leaves and branches because this will prevent rainwater from accumulating in the various containers. Use two containers for small trees and three or more for larger ones.
- Check the containers after every three months, when it is full of dead flies, empty them then do some rinsing.mix another batch and refill the empty containers before replacing them on the trees.
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.
Do gnats bite?
A gnat is typically a name given to the many species of flying insects belonging to the dipterid suborder nematocera. These little insect belong to the Anisopodidae, Mycetophilidae and Sciaridae families. Gnats can be biter and non-biters.
Gnats tend to have a short lifespan with the longest being an average of 28 days. Also known as no-see-ums they have an undisputed knack to be extremely annoying and resilient. For example, have you ever tried to swat a mosquito? Or a house fly? Or let’s say swarming gnats during a picnic.
Do gnats bite?
As mentioned above there are two types of gnats: biting and non-biting. The biting gnats usually feed on human or mammal blood. And it is the female of the species that bite like the female anopheles mosquito. They need the blood meal in order to be able to reproduce.
Characteristics of gnats
Gnats range in color from black, gray, and yellow depending on the species. Some species like sand flies are smaller than mosquitoes making them an even bigger menace because they can penetrate through very small spaces. They male gnats feed on nectar and die off soon after mating with the female. The female can also feed on nectar but they need the blood meal when it is time to reproduce.
In most cases, biting gnats are well known as disease vectors. For example, the female mosquito is a carrier of diseases like malaria, Nile virus, dengue, filariasis, Chikungunya, yellow fever, Ross river fever, Saint Louis encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, Western and Eastern equine encephalitis, Barmah forest fever, tularemia, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, Zika fever, La crosse encephalitis and keystone virus.
Other gnats species like the botflies attach their larvae to the bottom side of the mosquito and when the mosquito is busy having its blood meal the body heat from its victim causes the botfly’s larvae to hatch causing myiasis.
Even if the biting gnat doesn’t spread disease it is a nuisance and can cause a lot of discomfort by entering the eyes, nose and ears of animals and humans.
They are not the easiest pests to get rid of but they can be prevented from becoming a full blown infestation. Clear out stagnant water from your environs, keep the grass short and inspect doors and windows to make sure they are intact. You may need to replace the ineffective solutions like screens and also have a professional thoroughly investigate the cause of the influx of gnats in your surroundings.
These are characterized by small red and painful bumps with intolerable itching. Some people can develop fluid blisters when they are bitten by gnats. You can mitigate their bites by applying calamine lotion to soothe the bite site and lessen the itching.
Gnats in House
Have you ever been besieged by millions (or seemingly millions) of small, annoying insects that never seem to move on from your house? They are known as gnats and they can be more than a nuisance especially if you have the biting gnats in your space. Gnats are tiny insects, biting and non-biting, that swarm your space in search of a meal. They can be fungus gnats that feed on the fungus found in the soil in your garden or in the potted plants in your house. Or they can be biting gnats in search of a blood meal from mammals like you or your pets and livestock.
Where do gnats come from?
This is an important question to answer in the fight to get rid of these little insects. Gnats are attracted by two vital elements in the environment: moisture and food. The sources of food must be assured for the gnats to reproduce and survive and the moisture must be nearby so that they can breed and hatch. They get into the house through gaps and holes in the screen doors and around the doors and windows.
They also find entrances around the spaces left when utility lines enter the house. The bottom line is that these little terrors are capable of finding their way into your home through any small space. This is because they can be the size of a mosquito and even smaller. It takes very little to attract gnats but it is extremely hard to get rid of them. Interestingly some of these gnats are attracted by the scent of liquor and beer.
How to get rid of gnats from your house
This is one of the most satisfying ways to catch gnats and it works very effectively without posing as a health threat to your family. Sticky fly paper holds the insects captive and they eventually die off on it without you getting involved. You can hang it in your home or stick it on the areas that get a lot of gnat traffic.
This is especially effective if you have mosquitoes. It works well with larger insects because of their discernable size. The bug zapper is fast and effective because the insect buzzes nearby unknowingly and gets caught up in the electric current. The current is not usually too much to harm human being but it is powerful enough to harm gnats and other insects.