|University of Kentucky Entomology|
CLUSTER FLIES, FACE FLIES AND BLOW FLIES IN HOMES
By Mike Potter, Extension Entomologist
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
Homeowners are often bothered by the appearance of sluggish flies in their homes in late winter and early spring. These flies are not breeding in the home and constitute no health hazard. However, they are a nuisance and should be controlled. These flies are collectively called "clustering flies" but may actually be any of three groups or types of flies discussed below.
Cluster Flies Pollenia rudis
These insects, sometimes called "attic flies", often become pests in homes. They usually appear in late fall or early winter and again on warm, sunny days in early spring. They buzz around the home and gather in large numbers at windows, often in rooms that are not regularly used.
The cluster fly is a little larger than the common housefly and moves sluggishly. It can be recognized by the short, golden colored hairs on its thorax, the part of the body to which the legs and wings are attached. The larvae, or maggots, of cluster flies develop as parasites in the bodies of earthworms.
The adult flies emerge in late summer and early fall and seek protected places to spend the winter. In many cases, this is within the walls, attics and basements of homes. Window screens offer no protection from the flies because they crawl in the home through small openings in the walls of the building. These same overwintering flies get into rooms during the winter and spring months entering through window pulley holes, around the baseboards and through other small openings in walls.
Face Flies Musca autumnalis
Face flies are most likely to invade farm homes or homes located near pastures or where cattle are kept since the larvae develop in fresh cattle manure. During the summer, the adults feed on the mucous secretions from the eyes and noses of cattle and horses.
Blow Flies Phormia sp; Lucilia sp.
Cluster flies, face flies and blow flies are difficult to control once they have gained access to homes because they hibernate in wall voids and other inaccessible places. The procedures listed here are the best available but may not insure complete elimination of the insects.
CAUTION! Pesticide recommendations in this publication are registered for use in Kentucky, USA ONLY! The use of some products may not be legal in your state or country. Please check with your local county agent or regulatory official before using any pesticide mentioned in this publication.
Of course, ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS FOR SAFE USE OF ANY PESTICIDE!
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