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A Guide to Cluster Flies: What They Are and How to Combat Them

Cluster flies are a substantial problem in Essex and Suffolk because rural counties like these are more prone to infestation. The flies return to the same site every year, often in greater numbers, so it is vital that you call in the experts in pest control in Felixstowe, and further afield, to tackle current and future infestations.

Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions provide effective pest control in Felixstowe, Ipswich, Colchester, Clacton, Harwich and the surrounding areas. In addition to cluster fly extermination, we also provide effective solutions for a wide range of other pests that pose a threat to your home or business, including mice, fleas, rats, wasps, pigeons, moles, cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas and ants. To find out more, contact us on the link below.

Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions are the experts in fly eradication services. Click here for more information about our fly pest control services for households or businesses in East Anglia.

What Are Cluster Flies?

Cluster flies don’t pose a health risk to humans, but they are a major nuisance and start to swarm in the upper areas of buildings when the weather turns cooler. They are so-called as they infest buildings in vast numbers, sometimes several thousand at a time. They enter properties via small gaps or roof cavities in autumn (around September) and leave in spring (March or April time) when the weather warms up again. The most common type of cluster flies are 3 – 4 mm long, but some species are longer and have a wingspan of up to a centimetre long.

Cluster flies look similar to a housefly but there are some fundamental differences between them; their appearance for a start. They are dark in colour with yellow bristly hair. They also don’t move as fast as a housefly, and the wings of a cluster fly overlap when it is not flying.

What Industries do They Effect?

Cluster flies can settle anywhere: in homes, offices, factories and empty buildings. Although it is shocking to find cluster flies in a property because of their sheer numbers, it’s important to note that this is not an indication of poor hygiene, they are attracted by the warmth of the building.

When they group together in large numbers, cluster flies give off a sickly sweet smell and this odour is thought to attract other flies to settle in a building. As cluster flies get in through nooks and crannies, the structure of a property also attracts cluster flies and they will hibernate in roof spaces, wall cavities, or window frames (loft or sash windows are a particular favourite for cluster flies).

Homes that have external shaded areas, such as a large tree close to a property, are rarely the target of cluster flies and this is most likely because of the temperature drop on the outside of the building.

What Harm Can Cluster Flies Cause?

As mentioned earlier, cluster flies are more of a nuisance than anything else. For businesses, they are unsightly and present a bad image to visitors. Once inside a building, the flies congregate at windows, or around lights, and their constant buzzing annoys householders or staff.

Although they are not a direct health hazard, cluster flies are an unwelcome presence in any building, but especially in food premises such as factories, restaurants, bakeries or supermarkets. An infestation of cluster flies is off-putting for staff and customers and suggests poor hygiene. And the flies – whether dead or alive – will attract more insects to the premises. This is why it is important to call in pest control in Felixstowe and other rural villages.

How Our Pest Control Experts Tackle Cluster Flies

If you need pest control in Felixstowe, Ipswich, Suffolk or Essex, it is vital to call in the experts at Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions.

It is difficult to tackle a cluster fly infestation yourself because of the nature of where they hibernate – these places are often difficult to get to. Proofing the building and sealing window frames can help, but this is not 100 per cent effective. It is also not advisable to apply external treatments to window frames, roof edging etc., as the external conditions (weather etc.) will stop this having any effect.

When we are called out to deal with cluster flies, the first step in our treatment is to carry out a survey in the loft or roof space to check if bats are present in the premises. This is because it is against the law to harm or disturb an area that bats inhabit. If we do find bats at your premises, our options are more limited, but there are still ways to deal with cluster flies and it is important to seek advice first.

The ways we tackle cluster flies are as follows:

  • Screening openings such as windows, vents etc. with fine mesh. Proofing has limited effectiveness but can reduce numbers.
  • Residual spray insecticide – this works for weeks afterwards across the entire area of infestation
  • ULV (Ultra Low Volume) – Involves the use of a special machine to create a mist that penetrates cracks and spaces in a building or roof space. It is effective at eliminating an infestation and, a few hours after use, it’s safe to go back into the area where the machine has been used.
  • Electric Fly Killer Units – this eliminates the need for an insecticide. However, you will need a very large tray (several inches deep) or the sheer number of flies will mount up, and this can cause a fire risk. It is important to choose the right Electric Fly Killer Units and seek advice before buying.

To tackle cluster flies, contact Essex and Suffolk Pest Control Solution who operate in Felixstowe, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Manningtree, Colchester, Harlow, Braintree, and surrounding areas.

Contact us today to find out more about our fast, efficient service and competitive pricing.