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Pest Directory

How to control flies in your home

If you've ever settled in for a quiet evening to watch TV, read a book or hit the sack early, and were then startled by a quick, loud "Buzzz" in your ear, you know one of the pains of having a fly infestation. But you may not know the other harmful effects of fly invasions - spreading of bacteria, unsightly and embarrassing swarming, and increased reproduction of these nasty pests inside your home.

To understand what attracts flies into your home and how to get rid of them, it helps to know a little about some of the most common types of flies you may encounter.

First, the house fly. We've all seen this type of fly - small, dark gray in color and very irritating. It's the most common type of fly on the planet. So what attracts these pests? The answer is simple: garbage. Yes, these nasty creatures like to feast on last night's burnt pot roast you carelessly tossed in the trash - then forgot to empty. Any decaying matter left unsealed can attract the house fly very quickly. This includes food and organic matter left in dumpsters and compost piles.

To get rid of them, be sure to keep trash bags in your garbage can, and seal them tightly after throwing away food. Also make sure your outdoor garbage cans close tightly. If lids are cracked open, flies will almost certainly invade.

Next up is the drain fly. These tiny moth-like flies hang around - you guessed it - drains, hence the name, "drain fly". They're also typically found near sewage treatment plants, and are sometimes called "sewage flies". These flies prefer dark areas and aren't the best fliers in the world, so you'll generally see them resting on walls, or sides of sinks, toilets or bathtubs near an active water source.

These guys breed on any organic matter that remains wet. So to get rid of them, their habitats need to be thoroughly cleaned and the organic matter completely removed. Using professional-strength drain cleaners will help control drain flies. Drain line breaks can also attract these pests, so repairing damaged lines is also key to keeping drain flies at bay.

Ever left a banana ripening in your fruit bowl just a little too long? Then you've most likely encountered the third most common type of fly: the fruit fly. Also characteristic of their name, fruit flies feast on ripe or rotting fruits and vegetables. These flies can be particularly unsanitary since they move from one area of decay to another spreading bacteria and germs as they go.

To eliminate fruit flies, you need to thoroughly clean the infested area. Fruit flies can breed in incredibly small amounts of decay, so you must pay special attention to removing food from floors, under sinks, and in and around trash cans. Also, if you notice a piece of fruit in your home that is infested with fruit flies, it's best to throw away the whole batch. This is the host in which your fruit flies most likely hitched a ride into your home, so getting rid of their "home base" will go a long way in completely removing the problem.

One key point to keep in mind to controlling flies of all types is to identify and remove their main food sources. Most species of flies lay their eggs on or directly beside their food, so eliminating their food will most likely eliminate the next generation of flies that could invade your home.

As with any pest invasion, do-it-yourself treatment options don't always work. When that happens, be sure to call Terminix to learn how the expert pest control specialists can help wipe out your pest problems.

Types of flies

Flies vary by species and type. To learn more, look up each of the names in the list below:

  • Blow fly or Bottle fly
  • Cluster fly
  • Crane fly
  • Face fly
  • Flesh fly
  • Fruit fly
  • Fungus gnat
  • House fly
  • Drain fly
  • Phorid fly

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