Fly Pest Control
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 Suffolk and Essex, to tackle current and future infestations.
The specialist fly exterminators at Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions offer a full range of fly pest control services including fly extermination to clients in Suffolk and Essex. Our fast and effective fly pest control service will eradicate flies from your home or business with a minimum of disruption. We offer a discreet and confidential service, arriving in unmarked vehicles if required and all work adheres to strict health and safety legislation. Our fly pest control operatives are CRB checked and qualified to at least BPCA RSPH Level 2 (Pest Management). Emergency fly pest control appointments are available if required.
Of the 120,000+ species of fly that exist on our planet, our fly pest control team regularly get called out to deal with just a few. The Bluebottle (Calliphora sp) & Greenbottle (Lucilla sp), the House Fly (Musca domestica), the Lesser House Fly (Fannia canicularis) and the Cluster Fly (Pollenia rudis) are the most common fly pest problems in Essex and Suffolk. Flies lay their eggs in the soil, on plants, on the bodies of other animals and frequently on dead or rotting flesh. Different flies dine on different foods. Some will eat nectar, some go for plant sap, some even go for blood and other insects, but all are attracted to dead and decaying matter. This exposes them to bacteria which are picked up either through their eating habits or on their feet, which are extremely sticky. Houseflies breed in and around manure piles, rubbish bins and rotting flesh. The reason for this is that all of these places provide a good source of food for the larvae or maggots when they hatch. This non-fussy approach to eating means they can cause food poisoning and dysentery and spread many diseases such as typhoid or cholera.
5 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 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, Braintree and other towns and villages across Essex and Suffolk. 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 housefly. The former has yellow, bristly hair, and adults are typically 3-4mm long, although some species are bigger and have a wingspan 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 the 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.
The life cycle of flies
The House Fly has four distinct stages to its life cycle. The egg hatches to produce larvae, the larvae or maggots then pupate and a fully fledged adult then appears. The female House Fly can lay up to 500 eggs over a 3-4 day period. The eggs are white and usually less than half an inch in size. The larvae or maggots emerge less than 24 hours later and begin to eat immediately. Preferring a warm and moist environment in which to grow, the maggots will stay there for 8-10 days then move to a drier area to pupate. The larvae will encase itself in a red-brown skin for 3-6 days during which time it will develop into an adult fly. Once hatched from its pupal stage, the House Fly has a life span of between 15 and 30 days. Two days into that span the female will start to lay eggs and she’ll continue to do so until her death.
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.
Infestations of flies are usually treated with fly killer units (ie; zappers or light traps), insecticidal sprays and/or smoke generators. Fly-proofing can also be carried out by using screens to block windows and doors. When treating fly infestations, our pest control team endeavour to use the most environmentally friendly products.
If you would like to know more about our fly pest control services, which are available in 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, Braintree and other towns and villages across Essex and Suffolk, call us on 01473 328092. If you have a fly pest control emergency or need to speak to someone about fly pest control outside office hours, the number to call is 07979 301334.
Contact us now for friendly and effective assistance and for more information about our fly pest control services.
Fly Killer Units – Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions supply a range of fly killer units to control flies within your business premises.
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 flies 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 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
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.
- Use of fly traps for fly control
- 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.