What Causes Flies?

Flies can be quite a nuisance to residents and property owners alike, especially during the spring and summer months when they’re most active. They tend to reproduce quickly, though their lifespans are usually fairly short. While most won’t bite you, flies can be menacing enough on their own, and they can carry and transmit diseases from places where they’ve fed. Flies are scavenger insects, usually attracted to dead or rotting substances, moisture, and fermenting sugars. The type of fly infesting your home will usually depend on the food source available to them. Here’s what you need to know about what causes flies.

What Flies Eat

Adult flies generally stay in the same area as their food source in order to feed and lay eggs. In fact, many types will lay their eggs near or inside their food source so their maggots will have food to eat once they hatch. Flies’ favorite foods and breeding sites include:

  • Dead animals
  • Garbage cans
  • Feces
  • Rotting food
  • Standing water and sludge
  • Mold and mildew

Where to Find Flies

Flies can be found in almost any place as long as there is organic matter available for them to eat. When indoors, they frequent places that aren’t often properly cleaned or that can easily become dirty. Different fly species may be found in different locations based on the food available to them.

House Flies

Common house flies generally lay their eggs in moist areas where decay is present, such as trash, feces, grass and garden waste, and compost piles. Their eggs look pale and long, like grains of rice, and hatch quickly into maggots.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies’ favorite place to be is in their name. They can often be found swarming fruit bowls or hovering over food prep stations. They can lay several hundred eggs at once, which can hatch within a day. Most female fruit flies will place their eggs in areas of food waste, organic produce, and fermenting liquid. The most common places for a fruit fly infestation to start are trash cans and piles or clusters of overripe fruits and vegetables.

Drain Flies

Drain flies like the moist and dark areas that are found in pipes and garbage disposals. Standing water also provides a great place for them to breed, as they feed on sludge that forms from mold, mildew, and food waste.

Blow Flies/Bottle Flies

Blow flies feed on and lay their eggs in animal waste, rotten meat, and animal carcasses. If you discover these flies in your home, it’s likely that an animal has been living or has died somewhere in the residence (i.e. inside your walls or attic).

Horse Flies

Horse flies tend to live outdoors in wooded areas. Their larvae develop in moist soil near bodies of water. Female horse flies require a blood meal before being able to lay eggs, so they will bite dark-colored animals (like horses and cattle) to get the food they need. Male horse flies usually feed on nectar and are thus most often found near areas with significant vegetation.

How Flies Enter Homes

Flies are small enough insects that there are a number of ways they can get inside your home without you realizing it. Some of their methods include:

  • Hitch a ride indoors on clothing or luggage
  • Flying through open windows and doors (some types of flies are small enough to fit through screens)
  • Maggots may be in dirt or outdoor refuse that gets tracked indoors

What to Do About Fly Infestations

There are many ways to prevent or treat fly infestations. However, if you want to get rid of flies at their source (which is the best way to end an infestation), you may need the help of professional pest control technicians. We at Dodson Pest Control have over 75 years of experience with fly control, and we can create a custom solution for you. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection!

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