Are Flies Dangerous Inside the Home?
There are many types of flies that can enter your home. But each of those flies will have a slightly different reason for coming in. And understanding why you have flies in your home can help you keep those fly from entering! Let's take a look at a few of the common flies we see in the Albany area, what they're looking for in your home and, most importantly, the dangers those flies pose to everyone who lives in your home when they find their way inside.
If you're seeing dozens of big, dark-colored flies congregating inside your home, you are probably dealing with cluster flies. You'll typically find these flies in your attic, garage, porch, or shed. Unlike many other fly species, cluster flies have no interest in being in your kitchen. This is because they don't enter our homes to feed on our food. They actually enter to gain access to the warmth your home provides. As the temperatures begin to drop in the late summer and fall months, these pests are drawn to our warm homes and, if they find their way inside, will take up residence in our homes. This can become quite frustrating. But the good news is that cluster flies are not considered a health threat to humans. These flies are considered seasonal, overwintering pests.
If you're seeing tiny, light yellow or tan colored flies with red eyes zipping around in your kitchen, you have a fruit fly infestation on your hands. Of all the flies that get into our homes, these tiny flies are the most pernicious. This is partly because fruit flies do quite well inside our homes and they can reproduce rather quickly. In its short 40-50 day lifespan, a single female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs! Due to their fast reproduction rate, it doesn't take long for these flies to create a swarm in your home. And if they find a food source such as fruit left out on your table or counter, starchy foods stuck to dirty dishes, juice left in the bottom of cups, or some other source of carbohydrates, they'll be able to thrive. This can cause a problem as fruit flies can pick up harmful bacteria from your trash and other unsanitary locations and distribute that bacteria to your food-prep surfaces, your food items, and even the rim of the cup you’re drinking from if they land on them.
The worst fly on our short list of common flies is called a housefly because this fly species will invade our homes at any time of the year. And when they do, they will feed on any decaying organic material they can find including dead animals and rotten or moldy food items. This propensity for feeding on rotting things makes house flies a strong vector for diseases. In fact, a recent study links them to the transmission of at least 65 diseases including typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, yaws, tularemia, poliomyelitis, and tuberculosis! This study also found that flies collected from stables carried fewer pathogens than flies collected from an urban environment. So if you live in a city or densely populated area, take great caution when dealing with house flies.
Most of the time, flies are a problem you can deal with on your own. If cluster flies are an issue for you, it is possible for you to perform a detailed inspection of your foundation, exterior walls, roofline, and roof for possible entry points and seal things up. This will make it harder for cluster flies to overwinter, though it won’t be 100% effective at preventing infestation. But in some cases, a treatment of pest control products may be necessary. If this is the case for your home, it is best to have these treatments applied by a professional. When chemicals are improperly applied to your home, they can present a far greater threat than cluster flies!
If you're battling fruit flies in your home, you can help eliminate your problem by reducing the number of food sources they can use as breeding locations. To accomplish this, store fruit in the refrigerator instead of in a bowl on the counter or table, remove your trash regularly so the fruit fly eggs and larvae don't have time to hatch and take flight, clean your trash receptacle to eliminate any developing pupae, don't allow dirty dishes to sit for a long time, and do a thorough search for any food sources that may have accidentally fallen on the floor. Kids are notorious for leaving behind food items for fruit flies to breed in. If you are having trouble locating breeding sites or have done all of the steps listed above and are still dealing with fruit flies, contact your local pest professional for assistance!
Last, but definitely not least, keeping house flies out of your home begins with storing your exterior trash in clean and sealed receptacles. This will help to lower the fly populations near your home and keep them from being attracted to your home and zipping inside when you open your doors. It is also important to keep things clean in your kitchen and address any possible breeding sites when dealing with house flies. If your infestation persists after performing the following steps, we strongly recommend that you reach out to a licensed pest control professional.
For assistance with pest problems in the Albany area, reach out to Thomas Pest Services for a free in-home estimate!