Dealing with Fly Problems in your Home
Flies can be a nuisance when buzzing around the home particularly if in large numbers. However, some species of flies also pose a health risk.
In particular, house flies can transmit a wide range of disease-causing microbes, including those responsible for food poisoning, dysentery, tuberculosis, cholera and parasitic worm infections.
Mosquitoes are associated with a variety of human diseases including malaria and dengue fever; mosquitoes also transmit the organism associated with dog heartworm.
Mosquito bites can be very irritating and distressing.
Types of Fly Problems
There are thousands of different species of flies but the most common fly problems are caused by:
- Houseflies – Adults 1/4″ – 5/16″. Female houseflies lay 400-600 eggs in decaying matter or faeces which develop into maggot larvae. Attracted to any uncovered food or organic waste.
- Blow Flies or Bottle Flies – Adults 1/4″ – 1/2″, usually metallic blue or green but can be black or grey. Significant numbers in a house will often indicate a dead animal (such as a mouse) in the property.
- Bush Fly – Adults 5-6mm long. Its appearance is similar to a housefly, except that it is smaller and has only two dark longitudinal bands on the thorax. Is the most widely known Australian fly.
- Mosquitoes – Adults 3/16. Tend to be found near still water where their larvae develop. Our guide to insect bites advises on treatment for bites.
How to keep flies away
To some extent, you can prevent fly activity by minimizing food sources and larval habitat:
- Always cover food – flies spread diseases by landing on food.
- Clear away food and liquid spillages immediately.
- Clean food debris from under kitchen appliances.
- Make sure all rubbish bins have tightly sealed lids.
- Keep compost enclosed and covered.
- Clean up after pets – animal droppings are very attractive landing and breeding spots for flies.
- Mosquitoes are highly dependent on water; without water, mosquito eggs will not hatch. A small puddle is enough to serve as a breeding site. Minimize breeding sites by minimizing standing water:
- Ensure drains and gutters are clear, free of debris and running.
- Eliminate standing water in containers. (e.g. tires, flower pots)
- Change water in birdbaths and fountains each week.
Finally, you can help prevent flies and mosquitoes from entering your home:
- Close windows and doors or block light with curtains.
- Fit fine-mesh screens to windows, especially around kitchen and garbage areas.
Professional fly and Mosquito control
Although many homeowners struggle with do it yourself fly and mosquito control remedies the results are often less than satisfactory. Small problems can develop into large ones and this is when many people seek out the services of a pest control professional.