Five Fascinating Facts About the Cluster Fly

Many homes and businesses are bothered by house flies over the summer months – but the cluster fly is a completely different problem. Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions offer high-quality fly control in Colchester, Clacton, Stowmarket, Felixstowe, and other towns and villages across both counties. Here we have compiled a guide to the cluster fly.

The ‘Lazy’ Fly

The cluster fly, or Pollenia rudis to give it its proper name, should not be confused with the common house fly. The former has yellow, bristly hair, and adults are typically 3-4mm long, although some species are bigger and have a wing span of up to 1cm. Cluster flies’ wings overlap when they are not airborne, and they are not as active either – their movements are much slower and ‘lazier’.

An Aerial Nuisance

Cluster flies do not lay their eggs on human food, so they do not present a direct threat to human health. They also don’t feed on rubbish or animal manure. However, they can create a nuisance, particularly as they tend to invade homes and offices in large numbers, and their constant buzzing can annoy homeowners, staff and customers. They can also leave tiny spots of excrement on walls and windows, which can look unsightly and be difficult to get rid of.  

Another problem is that they sometimes die in wall voids or false ceilings. In cases like this they can encourage the spread of Stored Product Insects such as larder beetles. The cluster flies’ sickly-sweet smell is also thought to attract other flies.

They’re Also Called Attic Flies

Cluster flies have a habit of seeking out inaccessible nooks and crannies in the home or office – and these tend to be on upper floors. They are particularly attracted to cavity walls, cracks and cavities around ceilings, around windows and in the attic – hence their nickname.

They Like Warm Buildings

If your home or business has been infested with a large number of cluster flies, then this is not usually a sign of poor hygiene. They have been attracted by the warmer temperatures, and they seek out sun-exposed areas. If your home or office is in shadow, perhaps because of overhanging trees or neighbouring buildings, then you are less likely to be bothered by them.

A Common Problem in the Countryside

Because they feed on earthworms, cluster flies are particularly common in rural areas. The adult female lays her eggs in soil, close to earthworm burrows, and the maggots enter and feed on the worms. Other areas where they flourish include large gardens, cemeteries, pastures, parks and fields.

Fly Control with Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions

At Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions we usually treat cluster fly infestations with insecticidal sprays, electric fly killer units or an Ultra Low Volume (ULV) machine.

ULV spraying utilises a liquid insecticide being passed through a specially designed unit, which generates an airborne mist of droplets.  These droplets diffuse through the treated area and settle out onto surfaces, meaning that the insecticide product used is active both as a space spray and a surface spray.  The droplets are small enough to be carried on air currents into small cracks and crevices that are hard to reach using conventional treatments, yet heavy enough to settle out within an hour, so that treated areas can be re-entered with the minimum of delay.

We can also guard against future outbreaks by installing fine mesh screens to create a barrier around windows and doors. Our experienced team also uses discreet, unmarked vans. We offer contracts to both commercial and domestic customers for a wide range of pests, including wasps, rodents and bed bugs, as well as dealing with one-off problems.

If you would like to know more about our fly control services, which are available in Colchester, Clacton, Ipswich, Stowmarket, Hadleigh, Harwich, Felixstowe, Chelmsford and throughout Essex and Suffolk, follow this link or call us on 01473 328092. If you have an emergency, or need to speak to someone about pest control outside office hours, the number to call is 07979 301334.

We offer our professional pest control services in the following locations: Ipswich, Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Colchester, Manningtree, Harwich, Romford, Southend-on-Sea, Brentwood, Clacton-on-sea, Maldon, Chelmsford, Basildon, Witham, Rochford, Billericay, Tendring, Ilford and Braintree. Work further afield in Essex and Suffolk may also be considered. Contact our professional pest control team for more information.


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