Rise of the flies: What Siouxlanders should know about keeping homes fly-free

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Siouxlanders might have noticed an increase in flies making their way into their homes and are looking for solutions to keep the pests outside.  

Entomologist and Market Technical Director for Presto-X Andrew Taylor said the recent decrease in temperatures in Siouxland may have an effect on the insects’ desire to get inside.  

Flies most commonly trying to enter people’s homes in Siouxland this time of year are the cluster fly and face fly, according to Taylor. 

“The cluster fly is predominant throughout most of the US but it really becomes a problem up here when we start to transition into the wintertime, they look for places to stay warm,” said Taylor, “What they do is they go after earthworms, and they parasitize the earthworms so basically you know killing the earthworm and when they emerge that’s the time they’re looking for a place to hide; so usually they’ll be on the outside of buildings and stuff.” 

The face fly is most commonly found in farm areas because they feed off secretions of cattle and horses for nutrition for their eggs. Taylor said they lay the eggs in cow patties and then begin to look for a place to overwinter. 

Throughout winter is when an adult fly looks for a place that is warm where they can survive through the cold season. They usually will congregate around buildings or other places they might find warmth and look for places to get inside such as soffits. Taylor said by gaining entry through soffits they can make their way into attics. While it gets pretty cold, it’s just warm enough that they can survive through the winter.  

Tyler said the best way to keep flies from getting into the home is to call an exterminator to spray insecticide in areas including soffits, pipes that lead into the home, the foundation, and other entry points so they die before getting in.  

“That’s the best thing to do, I’ve done that with my own home.” Tyler said, “The first year I moved up here, I wasn’t from here, I had ladybugs, Asian lady beetles, you know, in my home, but I didn’t spray. The next year I sprayed, and I never had an issue with them coming back. So, that’s key.” 

Tyler also said that if the insects are already in the home, hanging an odorless fly strip by a window will also help. Flies will look for a way out, which is why they congregate by windows. The other option would be to purchase a fly light. Tyler said to be wary of which lights to purchase because some generic brands could have technical issues. 

“If the homeowner finds these flies, and they’re thinking, ‘I’m getting a ton of flies,’ bag it and don’t crush it. Bring it to their local extension office, which Iowa state is great, or to your pest control provider and show it to them, and they can put it under a scope. You could also send pictures in for identification, just make sure you get the top and the bottom of the fly and make sure we can see the wings and that helps us identify it.” 

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