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12/23/19

Everyone expects to have issues with flies during the spring and summer. When infestations happen in the winter months, though, suddenly everyone is surprised. Flies in the winter? Isn't that illegal? Unfortunately not only is it not illegal, it's not even uncommon. While not all flies can survive the winter cold, some can - and do. Cluster flies and face flies both lay eggs in out-of-the-way areas of homes so they can hatch during the winter months.

Whether you have flies right now, you’ve had them before, or you just want to make sure you never have to deal with them, we can help. Here’s what you should know about the flies in and around your home this winter, including how to keep them away.

How do flies survive during the winter?

There are over 20,000 different species in North America alone. With that much biodiversity, you’re bound to find different approaches to handling cold weather. For example, trash-loving species like fruit flies, phorid flies, and blow flies prefer to just get cozy in the nearest trash pile. They preserve heat by staying as covered and contained as possible. They feed off the organic material they’ve buried themselves in as a way of surviving until spring.

Other species like face flies and cluster flies actually hatch during the winter. Adults lay their eggs in the safest, warmest areas they can find during the fall. This can be inside homes, tucked into garages, or anywhere they consider reasonably safe and temperate. The egg-laying females die naturally after birth, but the eggs go on to hatch during the winter. Cluster flies are particularly common in winter because of their ability to quickly reproduce indoors, creating “clusters” of problem pests. Clusters flies and several other species can also enter diapause during winter. This semi-dormant state allows these flies to preserve heat and energy when the climate isn’t ideal. Unlike true hibernation, diapause can be quite short-term. The moment the temperature rises again, flies could wake up and begin hunting and spreading.

What can I do to get rid of them?

Cluster flies are definitely the fly species most likely to give you a hard time this winter. They’re especially annoying because they love laying eggs in walls and crevices. You can’t seal any cracks or breaches in walls or you might trap them inside, where they’ll die and attract even more obnoxious pests.

So what can you do? You have two options, depending on how you're feeling. First, if the flies are really bothering you, get in touch with us. We can diagnose the issue and handle removal on your behalf, even this winter. If the flies aren’t too annoying or disruptive, you can actually just leave them alone. You heard that right! During the spring, cluster flies behaving normally will vacate your home so they can enjoy the outdoor heat. Once they're gone, you can seal the ways they got in and prevent their return. We can help then, too.

Obviously, waiting around for flies to leave doesn’t seem like a solution when they’re annoying you right now. If you can’t afford to wait until spring to see the end of your cluster fly problem, we can help.

Get in touch with the experts at Plunkett’s Pest Control any time. We’ll diagnose your current infestation, remove it, and make sure it can’t come back. All before spring!


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