Pest Identification – Flies

If you’ve ever struggled to swat a fly, you know these insects are frustrating to deal with. Imagine having an entire fly infestation in your home or business – it’s not a fun experience. On top of their nuisance, flies are often a health concern you don’t want around your food, your family, or your customers. With a variety of fly species common in Northern California and Nevada, infestations are always possible, and they tend to be troublesome.

Buzzing, Bothering, and Contaminating

Several fly species wreak havoc across Northern California and Nevada, taking advantage of the availability of food and places to lay their eggs. Flies have short lifespans but can reproduce quickly, turning a few flies into a full-fledged infestation in a blink. They can spread up to 100 different pathogens as their population grows, from typhoid fever and dysentery to cholera and E. coli.

The most common way flies transmit disease is through their feces and vomit, which comes in contact with us directly through food or indirectly through contaminated surfaces. Many fly species also bite. Sanitation is an obvious solution to keep flies away from our homes and businesses, but it’s not perfect. Humans typically offer what flies need to sustain colonies: food, shelter, and light.

The following are the most problematic flying insects in Northern California and Nevada:

House Flies

House flies are often called “filth flies” for good reason. They commonly feed on decaying matter in sewers and landfills – it’s no wonder that they carry diseases. They’re usually less than 1/4 of an inch in length, with four dark stripes on their body. Sanitation can help, but installing window and door screens, caulking cracks and crevices, and placing traps also limits their ability to enter and infest your property.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are tough to stop because they eat a lot of the same foods we eat. They actively seek out common household sugary foods: sweet desserts, fermenting products, and –  as their name suggests – fruit. But what makes them even harder to eradicate is their reproduction rate. During their short life span, female fruit flies are capable of laying hundreds of eggs that hatch within 24-30 hours.

Fruit flies seek breeding grounds where they have access to food, including:

  • Spills
  • Messy counters
  • Garbage cans
  • Dirty drains

Cluster Flies

Cluster flies don’t spread disease, but their massive hordes may cause discomfort and threaten your business’ reputation. They’re known to congregate along south-facing walls and windows to absorb sunlight. Infestations occur when they crawl through small gaps in windows and siding in the fall in order to hibernate in your home during colder months. Cluster flies are larger and slower than other fly species. If their large buzzing swarms aren’t enough, cluster flies also leave behind stains and odors when crushed.

Drain Flies

If you spot drain flies in your home or business, it’s a good sign you have a clogged or dirty drain somewhere. These pests breed in areas with standing water, and their preference for the slimy scum that forms in drains and sewers is how they got their name. Drain flies are very small, tan-colored insects with large, leaf-shaped wings and fuzzy hairs all over their bodies. Because they have an accelerated life cycle, a few drain flies can turn into a large infestation in no time. Though they cannot transmit disease to humans directly, they can easily spread bacteria from those dirty drains and sewer lines throughout the rest of your property.

Advanced IPM are Your Fly-Swatting Experts

It’s easy to think a fly swatter is enough to stop flies, but their small size, fast reproduction cycle, and potential for spreading disease makes professional help the most reliable solution. At Advanced IPM, we provide pest control for flying insects and more in Northern California and Nevada. We’ll eliminate both eggs and adults, then identify risk-prone areas to prevent future invasions. Contact us today to get started.