What are Fly Infestations and are They Dangerous?

fly infestations and are they dangerous

Are you dealing with fly infestations and wondering if they pose a danger? Understanding the different types of flies, and their risks can provide insight.

And if you already have a fly infestation, knowing the natural and chemical remedies can help eliminate these annoying pests.

Fly Types

House Fly (Musca domestica)

An adult housefly is typically 6 to 7 mm long, and the female is usually larger than the male.

You can tell the difference between males and females by the space between their red eyes, as males’ eyes almost touch, and females have a space between them.

They have sponging mouthparts for sucking up liquid or semi-liquid foods. They also have four narrow black stripes on their thorax.

This type of fly can spread diseases such as food poisoning and dysentery.

They taste with their feet and survive mostly on garbage, so they tend to be more common wherever humans may be. They also feed on animal feces.

Common Fruit Fly (Drosophila melanogaster)

An adult fruit fly is usually 3 to 4 mm long with dark or red eyes. They can be either brown or tan in color and survive on ripened fruit and vegetables and fermenting items.

Drain Fly (Psychodidae)

An adult drain fly is approximately 3 mm long and is normally light gray or tan with a fuzzy body and antennae. These flies breed inside drains and any areas open to plumbing because they thrive in dark, damp conditions.

Fungus Gnat (Sciaridae)

Adult fungus gnats are less than 3 mm long and are normally brown or black with light-colored legs. They do have a similar resemblance to mosquitoes, but they do not bite, sting, or transmit any diseases.

They do, however, cause damage to houseplants by feeding on their roots. If you see any gnats flying around a plant, it is most likely a fungus gnat as they are drawn to moist soil.

Fly Infestation Signs

Seeing Multiple Flies in Your Home

The first and most obvious sign of a fly infestation is seeing multiple flies in your house. Where the flies tend to congregate could be a clue as to which type of fly you are dealing with.

Correctly identifying the species of fly is crucial if you want to eliminate them, as different species should be dealt with in different ways.

Dark Clusters

Another sign of a fly infestation is dark clusters about the size of a pinhead in areas such as windowsills or near trash cans.

These little dots are fly feces and are also known as flyspeck. If the flyspeck belongs to a house fly, you definitely want to get rid of the flies ASAP, as they can transmit pathogens and bacteria that cause numerous diseases.

However, if you have fruit flies, drain flies, or fungus gnats, they are not typically hazardous to your health; they’re more of a nuisance.

Finding Maggots in Waste

If you have found maggots in your home, this could indicate a potential breeding site. Maggots are fly larvae and can lead to intense fly infestations or animal sickness if you have pets.

Maggots can even infect human tissue and cause a disease called myiasis, but according to the CDC, this typically only happens in Africa and South America.

If you do find maggots, you can sprinkle a generous mixture of salt and lime juice all over the maggots.

If they were found in the trash can, make sure to clean out the bin thoroughly and place salt around the rim of the bin to prevent them from returning. You can also kill them by pouring boiling water on them.

How To Remedy A Fly Infestation

Natural Remedies

If you plant certain herbs and flowers in your garden, such as basil, marigold, lavender, bay leaves, or even catnip, this may be enough to keep flies away from your house.

You can also use a mixture of about 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap to kill flies. Put the mixture in either a glass with plastic wrap secured with a rubber band with holes poked in it or just a jar with holes poked in the lid.

The flies will be attracted to the vinegar in the jar, but the dish soap will cause them to sink and drown.

Cayenne pepper mixed with water in a spray bottle can help to repel houseflies. Just spray it around all of the openings in the house, such as doors and windows.

Insecticide and Repellents

If you have a large infestation, insecticides may be your best bet because they work quickly. Just make sure to buy a pyrethrin-based insecticide that is specifically made for indoor use and follow the instructions well.

Keep in mind though, that you must remedy the reason the flies are coming in the first place, or they will develop resistance.

Sticky traps can also be used to remove infestations, but they are very unsightly. If you’re worried about aesthetics, this is not the choice for you.

Light traps with or without a zapper function can help, but they are not extremely effective.

Hiring a Pest Control Technician

If flies have taken over your home, don’t delay! Call a professional like Gecko Green to take care of these annoying pests and help your family stay fly-free and bacteria-free. 

Our licensed and trained pest control technicians will identify, treat for pests, and help you to prevent infestations in the future!

Call for a free quote today!