How to Get Rid Of Fruit Flies And Keep Them Away

Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Let me start off with a simple question. Which flying insect loves fruit more than you do?

Any Guesses?

Yes, you are right – we are talking about fruit flies.

Fruit flies are known by many names like Vinegar or Pomace flies. The scientific name of a Fruit fly is “drosophila”. In the world of science, they have a special place, as they have been crucial in the study of genetics.

However, inside your kitchen, they are more of an annoying pest than a subject of scientific study.

In this article, we are going to see how to get rid of fruit flies – but before that lets understand how a typical fruit fly looks like.

Fruit flies are small, red-eyed, 1/4 inch long. They are commonly associated with overripe/fermenting fruits or vegetables.

Table Of Contents

Identifying a Fruit Fly

How-to-get-rid-of-fruit-flies

Physical Features

Fruit fly adults are dull yellowish, brownish black or, brownish yellow in color. Their size varies from 1/10 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch. Most of the fruit fly species have red eyes.

They also have transverse black rings across the abdomen as shown in the following image. Fruit flies exhibit sexual dimorphism, which means that males and female fruit flies differ in size and appearance.

Fruit-Fly-3D-Structure

Male fruit flies are typically 2.5 millimeters shorter than the females. In addition to this, male fruit flies have darker backs, with a distinct black patch on the abdomen.

Male-VS-Female-FruitFly-Comparison

Behavior and Habitat

Fruit flies live in a wide range of habitats. Most common habitats include homes, especially kitchens, grocery stores, restaurants, or any other place where food may be present in rotting or fermenting condition.

Fruit flies are mostly attracted to overripe fruits or vegetables. In addition to fruits, they can also breed in drains, garbage cans or soapy mop buckets.

They only need a warm and moist environment with some organic matter to breed and thrive.

Following is a list of common fruit fly breeding sites:

  • Trash cans, especially when the bottoms of the trash cans become wet due to leaking plastic liners.
  • Bags containing vegetables like potatoes or onions.
  • Damaged or overripe fruits like bananas, tomatoes, pineapples etc.
  • Vinegar, Wine or Beer containers with open or loose lids.
  • Damp mops or cleaning rags.
  • Any type of rotting organic matter.
  • Kitchen sinks and floor drains.

Life Cycle of a Fruit Fly

Fruit-fly-lifecycle

Female fruit flies lay their eggs on the exterior surface of rotting fruits and vegetables. Each female lays around 300 – 500 eggs. These eggs hatch into larvae and the larvae feed on the yeast and fungi growing near the infested area.

When fully grown the larvae are ready to pupate. For pupation, they leave the food and pupate in some dryer area.

The complete development from an egg to adult takes around 8 to 10 days in the summers. As soon as the adult comes out of a pupa it is ready to mate and the cycle repeats within next 24 hours.

Damages

  • Causing plant injury: Fruit flies often lay their eggs in the fresh flesh of fruits and vegetables. After the eggs hatch, they begin to consume the fruits or other organic matter near it like plant shoots, flowers etc., hence damaging the plants.
  • Economic Injury: In some countries, high levels of fruit fly population damage the fruits before they are picked from the trees, resulting in a huge wastage.
  • Food Contamination: Fruit flies contaminate the food by bacterial contamination. And ingestion of fruit fly infested food has been reported to cause diarrhea, intestinal upset, or intestinal myiasis.

How to Get Rid Of Fruit Flies

The process of getting rid of fruit flies can be divided into two stages:

Stage 1 (Fruit Fly Control Techniques) – Stage 1 primarily comprises of the methods that can be used to control the further growth of fruit flies. Here we try to control the growth of flies by cleaning or rather destroying their breeding sources. This will help to stop any further growth of the flies.

Stage 2 (Fruit Fly Elimination Techniques) – After we have cleaned all the possible breeding sites of the fruit flies, we will be left only with the adult flies. Since they now have no place to lay eggs, so the fruit fly problem will come to an end after the adult flies are killed. And this is the Stage 2 of the process.

Stage 1: Fruit Fly Control Techniques

Once a home or restaurant gets infested with fruit flies, all the probable breeding sites must be located and cleaned. Unless the breeding sites are identified and cleaned, the fly infestation will continue no matter how many insecticidal fogs or sprays are used.

Step 1: Find the Breeding Place

Finding the breeding spot is the most important step in the Stage 1 of the process. Sometimes it can be very challenging and will often require a good amount of thought and determination.

Following is a list of common fruit fly breeding sites:

  • Trash cans, especially when the bottoms of the trash cans become wet due to leaking plastic liners.
  • Bags containing vegetables like potatoes or onions.
  • Damaged or overripe fruits like bananas, tomatoes, pineapples etc.
  • Vinegar, Wine or Beer containers with open or loose lids.
  • Damp mops or cleaning rags.
  • Any type of rotting organic matter.
  • Kitchen sinks and floor drains.

Rotten-Fruit-With-Fruit-Flies

Generally, the breeding sites would have plenty of decaying organic matter with warm and moist climate. To become doubly sure, you can wrap a potential breeding source like a trash can or a kitchen sink with a clear plastic food storage bag and leave it overnight. If flies are breeding in these areas, the adults will emerge and will be caught in the bag.

Step 2: Clean the Breeding Source

After you have found a possible breeding source of fruit flies, clean it up or remove the breeding source if it’s some decaying fruit or vegetable.

For cleaning the breeding source you can use a borax and water solution. After washing the site, try to keep the area clean and dry.

Stage 2: Fruit Fly Elimination Techniques

In stage 2 of the process, we are going to have a look at some methods to kill or trap the adult fruit flies in the infested areas. In this section, we are going to see some quick fire ways to eradicate fruit flies.

Traps:

traps-to-get-rid-of-fruit-flies

Basically, there are 3 major types of fruit fly traps. In this section, I will focus more on the construction part of these traps. And in the next section, I will explain different types of lures/attractants that can be used with these traps.

Soda bottle Trap

This is one of the most common traps that can be easily made with a few basic things. To make this fly trap we need following items:

  • An empty plastic bottle (soda bottle or water bottle)
  • A sharp knife
  • Cellophane Tape
  • Lure

After you have collected all the above-mentioned items, take the knife and cut the plastic bottle as shown in the below image.

Cut the bottle

Next, drill a 5 mm hole in the bottle cap.

drill-hole-in-cap

After this, put the attractant\lure in the lower part of the bottle and place the upper part upside down as shown.

join the bottle

Finally, apply cellophane tape on the edges of the bottle to seal it tightly.

Paper Cone Trap

This is another simple but effective trap. To make it collect following items:

  • Wide mouth jar
  • Lure
  • Paper cone

First, cut a small hole of around 0.5 cm diameter at the apex of the paper cone.

Paper Cone

Next, take the jar and pour some lure in the jar. Then place the cone in the jar upside down as shown in the below image. Make sure that the cone does not come in direct contact of the lure.

Homemade Fly Trap 1

You can also apply some cellophane tape on the sides of the jar so that it can hold the cone firmly.

Tumbler Trap

This is a simple but very effective home-made fruit fly trap. Below is a list of items that you need to make this trap:

  • A tumbler
  • Lure
  • A thin plastic sheet
  • A rubber band

Take the tumbler and put the lure inside it. Cover it with the thin plastic sheet and fasten a rubber band to prevent the plastic sheet from coming off.

Tumbler with Plastic Cover

Finally, poke some holes into the plastic sheet and the trap is ready.

Lures:

Now, let’s see different types of lures that can be used with the above traps. Researchers have found that fruit flies use their olfactory system (sense of smell) to find an overripe fruit or vegetable. What they are sensing and smelling, are things like acetic acid, which is present in overripe or rotting fruits.

The lures like apple cider vinegar, wine or tequila contain acetic acid molecules and hence the fruit flies are attracted to them.

Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

apple-cider-vinegar-trap-for-fruit-flies

Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the most popular attractants used in the fruit fly traps. To use it as a lure in fly traps – Mix a cup and a half of apple cider vinegar with 3 – 5 drops of dish soap.

Dish soap breaks the surface tension of the solution and causes the flies to sink as soon as they come in contact with the attractant.

Heating the apple cider vinegar in the microwave for about 10 – 12 seconds before using it makes it more effective. Household vinegar is composed of diluted acetic acid with water. When the vinegar is heated, the water molecules evaporate, thereby increasing the concentration of acetic acid in the mixture. Doing this releases more of the vinegar’s fragrance and hence attracts more fruit flies.

You can use this lure with any of the three traps mentioned in the Traps Section.

Red Wine Trap for Fruit Flies

Wine is another great attractant for fruit flies, especially red wine. To use it as a lure simply take 1/2 cup of wine in any of the above traps along with 2 – 3 drops of dish soap.

Although you can use any type of Wine in the traps, like Red Wine, White Wine, Rosé Wine or Fortified Wine. But Red wine seems to work best when it comes to attracting fruit flies. This is because red wine is considered to be the most aromatic wine.

You can use this lure with any of the three traps mentioned in the Traps Section.

Banana Peel or Rotten Fruit Trap

http://www.getridoffliesguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Rotten-Fruit-Trap-For-Fruit-Flies-compressor.jpg

Fresh or stale banana peels or rotten fruit can also be used as an attractant in fruit fly traps. Though they are not great, but still they do a steady job of trapping pesky flies. To use this lure simply take few banana peels or rotten fruits and use them as a lure in the tumbler trap.

Tequila Trap

Tequila also works great in fruit fly traps. The way it works is very much similar to the wine or vinegar lures.

You could use it with any of the traps mentioned in the Traps Section.

Yeast Trap for Fruit Flies

As we know, fermented food products can attract fruit flies. So, yeast trap can be a great lure to trap fruit flies. To use this lure simply follow the below steps:

  • Take a glass jar and add warm water to it.
  • Next, sprinkle some dry yeast over it.
  • Add a teaspoon of sugar. Adding sugar will make the yeast bait more effective.
  • Finally, stir the mixture and use this as a lure in any of the traps mentioned in the Traps Section.

Note: It is important in such traps to change the lure daily. As it can become a potential breeding site for fruit flies if left for more than 1 day, thereby worsening the situation.

Milk and Ground Pepper Trap

Ground Pepper

Milk and Pepper based lures have been used to attract fruit flies from ancient times. To make this lure take 1 cup milk and add 3 – 4 tablespoons sugar to it. Next, add 1 tablespoon ground pepper to the solution.

Heat the solution for 5 minutes on simmer and its ready to be used as a lure in any of the traps mentioned in the Traps Section.

Banana Bag Trap

The banana bag trap is another nice and frugal way to eliminate fruit flies. To use banana bag traps you would need the following items:

  • An empty bread bag or any other long and thin plastic bag
  • An overripe banana

Cut the overripe banana into slices and put a few slices into the bread bag. Set the trap in an area where you notice the flies. Make sure the plastic bag is opened enough for them to fly in.

Let the trap sit overnight.

In the morning carefully close the open end of the bag and twist it tight. Tie a knot, if required without disturbing the flies inside. While closing the bag, do not let the air out or the flies may get a chance to escape.

Get more details about this trap here.

Lemon Grass Spray for Fruit Flies:

Fruit flies hate lemongrass spray. Lemongrass oil won’t kill fruit flies, but it can repel them. To make Lemongrass spray you will need the following items:

  • Lemongrass essential oil
  • A clean spray bottle
  • ½ Cup warm water

To make the spray, take ½ cup warm water and add 20 – 22 drops of lemongrass essential oil to it. Pour the solution in the spray bottle and shake well before use.

Spray it along window sills, around the kitchen sink and near doorways. Besides repelling fruit flies it can keep your home refreshingly aromatic.

Peppermint Oil Spray for Repelling Fruit Flies

peppermint-oil

Peppermint oil has natural insecticidal properties and hence it is also used to get rid of fruit flies. To make Peppermint spray you will need the following items:

  • Peppermint Oil
  • A Clean spray bottle
  • ½ Cup warm water

To make this spray, put 7 – 10 drops of peppermint oil in a ½ cup of warm water. Transfer the contents to the spray bottle and shake the mixture well before use.

Spray it in the infested areas and you will see the flies getting repelled by its strong scent.

Alcohol Based Spray

Fruit flies die almost instantly as soon as they come in contact with alcohol. To make an alcohol based spray, take a misting spray bottle and fill it with rubbing alcohol (concentration 70%).

Spray it directly over the hovering fruit flies. You will see them dying instantly. The best thing about alcohol based sprays is that alcohol is a disinfectant and is far less dangerous than any commercial pest sprays.

Using Rue as a Repellent

Rue is an herb that has insecticidal properties and it is believed to repel fruit flies. Dried and crushed rue repels some types of insects, including fruit flies. You can keep some of this natural deterrent near your fruit bowl to keep the pests away.

Although no scientific proof exists that a bouquet of fresh rue or died crushed rue repels fruit flies, but some people swear by it.

Note: Be very careful when trying out Rue – some people are allergic to it.

Vanilla based Fruit Fly Repellent

Vanilla-Repellent-For-Fruit-Flies

To make this repellent, get following items:

  • Shallow Jar with a lid
  • 2 Cotton balls
  • 10 – 15 fresh mint or sage leaves
  • Vanilla extract (about 4 tablespoons)
  • Cheese Cloth

First, take the shallow jar and place the two cotton balls at the bottom. Add about 4 tablespoons of Vanilla extract to the jar. Then place 10 – 15 fresh mint and sage leaves over the cotton balls. Make a few holes in the lid of the jar and finally seal the jar with cheesecloth by screwing the lid over it.

You can keep this jar near the infested area and see the flies getting repelled by its aromatic scent. The jar can be used for almost a week, so make sure to replace the contents each week.

For more details check out this website.

Using Basil as a Repellent

Fruit flies don’t like Basil, especially Lemon basil or Cinnamon basil. Keep a small pot with basil planted in your kitchen near the fruit bowl.

If this is not possible, you can also try sprinkling some basil leaves on your fruit to keep fruit flies away.

Using Lavender as a Repellent

Lavender-Plant

Lavender is an incredibly useful plant, lavender smells wonderful to us, but – to the fruit flies, lavender scent is repulsive. You could try growing some fresh lavender on your kitchen windowsills.

If that is not possible then you could use a lavender oil soaked sponge near your fruit bowls to keep flies away from it.

Fly Paper

Fly paper or fly ribbon is a great cost effective way to trap flies. A fly paper is generally coated with a sweet fragrant or an attractant to which flies get attracted.

homemade-fly-paper

The paper is extremely sticky and sometimes also has a layer of poisonous insecticide over it. This attracts flies to a fly paper and as soon as they try to land on it they get stuck.

Although these days in the market, you can find hundreds of brands offering fly papers, but still you can make a homemade fly paper easily. To make a fly paper at home, you would need the following items:

  • Sheets of brown paper or thin cards
  • Scissors
  • Heating Pan
  • A large sized spoon for stirring
  • Corn Syrup
  • Water
  • Thread

First, cut the brown paper into sheets, at least 2 inches wide. Next, take equal parts of water and corn syrup in a pan. Heat the mixture till it starts boiling, keep stirring the mixture with a spoon while heating. After this, turn off the heat and soak the paper strips in the mixture for 4 – 5 hours.

After the paper strips have been soaked for 4 – 5 hours, take them out and let them dry for 2 – 3 hours. Once dry, your home made fly strips are ready to be hanged in the fly infested areas.

Read this: All about fly papers

Use Cedar Wood as a Repellent

Fruit flies are repelled by the aroma of cedar wood. You can keep some cedar wood in your home, like a decoration item near the fruit fly infested area. And soon you will begin to notice a decrease in the fruit fly population.

Pyrethrin Based Insecticide Sprays

Pyrethrin is a natural insecticide that exists as organic compounds in nature. Pyrethrin kills the insects by targeting their nervous system. Pyrethrin occurs naturally in the Chrysanthemum flowers.

Pyrethrins Based Insecticides For Flies

And because of this, it is considered to be a safe insecticide. Pyrethrin sprays like CB 80 Pyrethrin Aerosol or PT 565 can kill a whole swarm of fruit flies in a second.

You can get the concentrated pyrethrin based insecticide from any farm supply or agricultural chemical firms.

Note: Please note that even though Pyrethrin is a naturally occurring insecticide, but still it is toxic. Use it with due caution.

Vacuuming Fruit Flies

Yes, it may sound like a simple tip, but vacuuming fruit flies can be a great method to eliminate them.

This is my favorite method as it is simple and doesn’t force you to deal with chemicals or mess. For this task, I have Black Decker BDH2020FL which is lightweight, portable and gives the adequate suction power.

The method is really simple, you just have to switch on your vacuum cleaner and point the nozzle towards these pesky monsters.

You can check out the Black Decker BDH2020FL here.

Using Electronic Fly Zapper

An electric fly zapper is also known as electrical discharge insect control system.

The device lures the insects towards itself by its super bright light and zaps it as soon as the insect comes in contact with it.

Electronic fly zappers generally emit a milky white light to which most flying insects get attracted. Near the light source is an electric grid, when a fly comes near the electrodes, it gets an electric shock and is killed.

The killed insects are collected in a collection tray, this makes it easy to dispose the dead insects. The device also has a protective guard that prevents people and pets from accidentally touching the grid. Electronic fly zappers are mostly designed for indoor use only.

Check out this Electronic Fruit Fly Zapper at Amazon.

Cleaning the Drains

Apart from breeding in overripe vegetables or fruits, fruit flies can also breed and thrive in drains, feeding on the organic matter present in the drains.

cleaning the drains

To kill the fruit flies that breed in drains, you can use the following method:

  • Take 1 liter boiling water and add ½ liter white vinegar to it.
  • Pour the mixture down the drain daily for 2 – 3 days.
  • Check if the fruit fly problem is controlled or not. This works in almost 70 – 80% cases of fruit fly infestation.

If this doesn’t work, then you may need to clean the drains using a drain cleaning gel and a plumbing snake. Follow the below procedure:

  • First, moisten the drain with 2 – 4 liters of water. After this use a metal pipe brush or a plumbing snake to pull out the grime. Move the brush in an up and down motion to clean the sides of the pipe.
  • Next, pour a drain cleaner gel into the pipe trying to coat the sides of the pipe. Drain cleaner gel is specifically formulated to remove the organic matter from the drains.
  • After a few hours of application of the drain cleaner gel, pour plenty of water. You could also use a plunger to flush any remaining organic matter trapped in the pipe.

Using IGR’s

IGR is an abbreviation used for insect growth regulators. Insect growth regulators are one of the best biological methods to end a fruit fly infestation.

IGR’s are chemically synthesized hormones that interfere with the normal life cycle of an insect. During the life cycle of an insect, it undergoes a process called molting. In the molting process, the insect grows a new exoskeleton under its existing one, and then it sheds the existing exoskeleton to grow further.

Insect growth regulators prevent the insect from reaching the maturity by interfering with the molting process. This makes it impossible for the insect to reach the adult phase of the life cycle and hence it cannot reproduce.

IGR’s are mostly beneficial against drain flies and fruit flies. For fruit flies, you could use Gentrol Aerosol. To use this, spray this aerosol near the possible breeding sources of the fruit flies like trash cans, floor mats, into drains etc.

You can buy Gentrol Aerosol from Amazon

Comparison of Commercially Available Products

Product Image
Product Name
Efficiency
Speed Of Removal
Cost
Electric Fruit Fly Zapper
Check at Amazon
Electric Fruit Fly Zapperstarstarstarstarstarstarstar$
Aunt Fannie's FlyPunch
Check at Amazon
Aunt Fannie's FlyPunch!starstarstarstarstarstar$
BEAPCO Fruit Fly Trap
Check at Amazon
BEAPCO Fruit Fly Trap
starstarstarstarstarstarstar$$
Bye Bye Fruit Fly Lure
Check at Amazon
Bye Bye Fruit Fly Lurestarstarstarstarstarstar$$
TERRO Fruit Fly Trap
Check at Amazon
TERRO Fruit Fly Trap
starstarstarstar$
Gentrol Insect Growth Regulator
Check at Amazon
Gentrol Insect Growth Regulator
starstarstarstarstarstarstar$$
RESCUE Fruit Fly Trap
Check at Amazon
RESCUE Fruit Fly Trap
starstarstarstarstar$
Fruit Fly BarPro Strips
Check at Amazon
Fruit Fly BarPro Strips
starstarstarstarstar$$
Eco Defence Natural Non Toxic Fruit Fly Lure
Check at Amazon
Eco Defence Natural Non Toxic Fruit Fly Lure 
starstarstarstarstarstarstar$$
Note: In the “Cost” column ‘$’ means single digit price [$1 to $9], while ‘$$’ means double digit price [$10 to $99].

[Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links in the above table are affiliate links. This means that and at no extra price to you, I will receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase.  Please understand that I have used most of these products myself, and I recommend them because they are helpful, and not because of the small commissions I may make. Please do not buy any products from the above list that you feel won’t be of any use to you.]

How to Prevent Fruit Flies

It is said prevention is better than cure. So, here are a few tips that can help you to prevent a fruit fly invasion in your home:

  • Wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly with water before storing them. As there is a high chance that it might have fruit fly eggs on it.
  • Cover your garbage cans and dispose of the garbage at least thrice a week.
  • Slow down the ripening of fruit and vegetables by keeping them refrigerated.
  • Ensure that sinks and garbage disposals are clean from pieces of food.
  • Clean the sponge that you use for washing dishes, preferably with soap and water. Rinse well and dry. Do not leave it wet in the sink.

So, this was all about how to get rid of fruit flies. We would love to hear if you have some other methods, stories or ideas related to the topic.

Good luck, soldier! :)

Cluster Flies – Information, Images & How to Get Rid of Them

Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Cluster flies are large black coloured flies with the scientific name ‘ Pollenia rudis’, they show up in homes from late fall through early spring.

A Cluster fly is very much similar to a house fly.

Cluster flies come from the ‘Calliphoridae’ family. This is the same family to which bottle or blow flies belong.

Cluster flies are also known as attic flies. This name describes its characteristics very well i.e. the tendency of clustering in large numbers inside attics.

Unlike blow flies, cluster flies do not reproduce indoors and so home owners do not have to worry about the flies originating from a dead animal carcass or any other unpleasant material within the attic or walls.

Cluster flies emerge in the summer or autumn. Often in large numbers, they enter houses in order to find some warm places where they can hibernate. These flies do not bite humans and are strictly parasitic on earth worms.

Cluster Flies Fact Sheet:

cluster fly

Now let’s see some important facts about cluster flies:

Physical Appearance:

The physical appearance of a cluster fly resembles very much to house or a bottle fly. Adult cluster flies are dark gray in color and about 8 – 10 mm long. They have yellowish golden hairs on their thorax. The abdomen of a cluster fly has a prominent dark and light coloured chequered pattern.

Unlike house flies they do not have dark stripes on their thorax and also they don’t have bluish or greenish metallic coloured bodies like the ones that bottle flies have. At rest, both the wings of a cluster fly overlap across the abdomen.

They may give off a sickly, sweetish odour like buckwheat honey if disturbed. Another important feature of cluster flies is that they are slow and sluggish.

Habitat and Behaviour:

As soon as the fall approaches, the cluster flies begin to enter homes and buildings in large numbers. At this time of the year, the days become shorter and temperature begins to fall, hence they enter human houses in search for overwintering sites.

And as during this time the west and south facing buildings are exposed to more sunlight, so the cluster flies are attracted more to such buildings due to the warmth they can get there. They enter these buildings through small openings or cracks and crevices near window or door frames, open or unscreened windows/vents.

Once inside they gather together in an isolated, safe place such as attics or false ceilings and begin to hibernate. Generally these sites are the upper south or west sides of the buildings. Once the temperature again crosses 12 degree Celsius they become active.

If the temperature inside the building is manually controlled above 12 degree Celsius, the cluster flies may come out thinking it is spring. Cluster flies are strongly attracted to light, so you can also find them near windows and near lamps at night.

Feeding Habits:

Cluster flies are not harmful to property, they enter buildings in the autumn simply to hibernate and nothing else. They do not have biting mount parts like horse flies or gnats. Unlike blow flies cluster flies are not associated with animal carcass, faeces, or woollens.

Cluster flies are strictly parasitic on earthworms. After hatching from eggs the cluster fly larvae find and burrow into the body of an earthworm to feed. The poor worm does not usually survive the experience.

Life Cycle:

In general, per season there are at least 3 to 4 generations of cluster flies. The beginning of a typical cluster fly lifecycle begins after the adults leave their over-wintering sites in the spring and lay eggs on the soil that contains earthworms. The eggs are mostly laid in the soil cracks.

After 3 – 4 days these eggs hatch and the maggots (larvae) enter the body cavities of earthworms. These larvae then feed on the host earthworms for few days. The maggot stage in cluster flies lasts in about 13 to 22 days.

After this they molt and pupate in the soil. Pupal stage lasts 11 – 14 days after which adult flies come out and are ready to start the cycle again. The total lifecycle of a cluster fly is of 30 – 50 days.

Damages:

  • They are predominantly considered as a nuisance because of their habit of hibernating inside human houses. But they do not cause any damage the homes.
  • These flies sometimes leave tiny dark-coloured spots of excrement on walls or windows, but these spots are not known to carry any human disease causing organisms.
  • Cluster flies may give out a strange odour when disturbed.
  • Also, if flies die in wall voids, they may attract larder beetles.

Difference between a House Fly, Bottle Fly and a Cluster Fly:

Cluster fly is very different from a house or a bottle/blow fly. Below features can help you to distinguish between a house or bottle fly from a cluster fly:clusterfly-vs-housefly-vs-blowfly

Cluster flies (8 – 10 mm) are larger in size than a house fly (6 – 7 mm) but smaller than a bottle fly (10 – 14 mm). Cluster flies are a bit darker and have dark and light chequered pattern on their abdomen which house flies or bottle flies do not have. Cluster flies have short yellow or golden coloured hairs on their thorax.

In appearance, bottle flies can be easily distinguished from the other two types of flies, as they have a greenish or a bluish metallic coloured body. Another important aspect that can differentiate between a cluster fly and a house fly is the speed of movement. House and bottle flies are lightening quick whereas cluster flies are slow and sluggish.

If you notice carefully a cluster fly at rest, you will see its wings overlap, whereas housefly’s wings remain separate during rest. Cluster flies enter homes in order to search for a warmer place to hibernate whereas houseflies enter human houses in search of food and water.

How to Prevent Cluster Flies:

The best way to avoid Cluster flies is by mechanical exclusion. Cluster flies can enter your homes through the smallest cracks around door and window frames or through any other tiny unsealed opening.

To prevent cluster fly infestation you could use following tips:

  • Fill all the cracks or crevices, in walls, window or door frames with caulking. Make sure to seal every possible hole or crack like (around – windows, doors, siding, behind chimneys, utility pipes, underneath the fascia etc) in the building.
  • If there are any damaged screens on doors or windows they should be repaired or replaced.
  • Try to install insect screening or mosquito nets over air vents in soffits.
  • In addition to the above tips you could also use synthetic pyrethroid or neonicotinoids insecticides like (bifentrin, cyfluthrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, sumithrin, tralomethrin, dinotefuran etc) on the south and west side walls of your homes to deter cluster flies. But make sure to repeat the application after every 2 – 3 days.

How to Get Rid Of Cluster Flies:

In this section, we will see how you can get rid of cluster flies after they have gained access to the interiors of your home. In such situations you could use the following methods:

Use of Insecticidal Aerosol Sprays:

Insecticidal-Aerosol-Sprays-for-cluster-flies

Once the cluster flies have entered your home and you have identified the infested site, then this is the best method you can use to kill them.

Scientific studies have indicated that indoor aerosol pyrethrin based insecticides are quite effective in killing exposed flies during the winter and spring months. These pyrethrin based insecticides are prepared from natural plant extracts and hence are safe to be used indoors.

Such pyrethrin based insecticides are also safe for pets and are effective against a vast majority of flies and pests. But please make sure to clean the dead insects because there is a possibility that these dead flies may attract carpet beetles that will first feed on the dead insects and later attack woollens.

You can check out this pyrethrin based insecticide at Amazon.

Use of Mini Vacuums (My favourite Method):

Hand-vac-for-cluster-flies

As we know that, cluster flies enter our houses in order to find some places where they can hibernate and hence during this period they are slow and sluggish. And because they are sluggish you could easily use a mini vacuum to catch them.

This is my favourite method as it is simple and doesn’t force you to deal with chemicals or mess. For this task, I have Black Decker BDH2000PL which is lightweight, portable and gives the adequate suction power.

You can check out Black Decker BDH2000PL here on Amazon.

Note: Please make sure to clean your vacuum after use, otherwise cluster flies can release an unpleasant odour inside the vacuum dirt bag.

Use of UV Light Traps:

UV-trap-for-cluster-flies

Another way to get rid of cluster flies is to use the UV light traps. These bright light traps consist of a small but high intensity UV lamp and adhesive glue boards. Cluster flies are attracted to the UV Light and as soon as they land on the lamp they get stuck on the glue boards.

The glue boards are replaceable and can be replaced after few days or months. Such fly traps consume 9-12 watts of energy and are effective in 600-800 square feet.

Check out this one on Amazon, it has lots of positive reviews.

Use of Cluster Buster:

Cluster-buster-installed-on-window

Cluster Buster is a revolutionary product to get rid of cluster flies. Most people say it works like a charm against the cluster flies. You just have to fasten the trap inside the glass of any window near the infested area. The traps are filled with super finely ground (powdered) egg shell.

Also there is a cross section at the top of the trap. The light from outside when enters the trap, then the translucent walls of the trap emit a light that attracts the cluster flies. Once the flies enter the trap and land on the powdered egg shell, they actually sink into the powder as it is very light and fluffy and hence a ‘quicksand effect’ is produced.

The powdered egg shell clogs the openings in the cluster flies respiratory system and hence kills it instantly. These traps are non toxic and a single trap can be used for 2 – 4 years and can kill up to 1000 flies.

Check out Cluster Buster on Amazon.

So, this was all about cluster flies and the methods that can be used to get rid of them. Do let us know your stories or any other methods that you find useful against cluster flies.

Cheers :)

How to Get Rid of Sand Flies

Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2017 at 2:27 pm

Sand Flies or Sand Fly are also known as Sand Gnat, Sandflea, No-See-Um, Granny Nipper, Chitra, Punky, Biting Midges or Marumakshika. Their most important ability is to bite and suck blood. You might want to compare it to a mosquito.

But believe me, mosquitoes are much like an angel before these blood sucking midges. Their bites are very much larger as compared to mosquito bites.

The bites are mostly red in color and are bumpy and might be itchy in some cases. In addition to this they are capable of spreading a number of diseases like – leishmaniasis and pappacti fever.

In some regions sand flies are also called horse flies, although horse flies are much larger than sand flies. As the name suggests sand flies love sandy areas hence they are mostly found at beaches, coastal lagoons, mangrove swamps, and tidal flats in the spring – June to August.

In this article we are going to see how to get rid of sand flies, but before that let’s have a look at their physical attributes so that we can easily identify sand flies.

Identifying Sand Flies:

Physical Appearance:

Sand Files belong to the family of Psychodidae. The length ranges from 1.5mm to 5mm. They are brownish in color. They have dense growth of hair all over their head, thorax, abdomen, and legs. The antenna is long, beaded and covered with hair. They have large black compound eyes.

Sand Fly

Their wings make them easily distinguishable from other flies, being pointed upwards in a vertical ‘V’ shape above the body as shown in above image. Their mouth-parts are short and pointed downwards and having piercing and sucking ability.

Now we have learnt about identifying the sand flies, so let’s get more insight about their habitat, behavior, feeding habits and life-cycle.

Habitat:

Sand Flies are mostly active in warm climate only when there is a little wind and no rain during the months of june to august. In warm cities they may be prevalent all through the year. Hence they are usually found in wet soils of coastal lagoons, beaches, tidal flats, mangrove swamps.

They are mostly active in dusk and dawn periods. They become inactive in case of strong breezes, wind, and drop in temperature or rain.

When sand flies are inactive they rest in moist and dark places like walls, cracks, fissures and tree trunks.

Behavior:

Sand Flies are very much attracted to shiny surfaces, moving objects, warmth, and carbon dioxide. On the contrary to other flies, they are attracted to darker shades of colors then lighter shades.

Sand Flies always travel in swarms (a group of sand flies). So, if you have just noticed a single sand fly, then just do not ignore it as the other members of the swarm are somewhere near.

Sand Flies are not fast. Hence they are easily going to give it up on you, if you are running or kayaking as they would not be able to keep it up on your pace. But that does not mean that you could get rid of them by slapping them. Reason being that by the time you are going to get rid of one sand fly by slapping it, four more sand flies will start sucking your blood.

Feeding Habits:

Both male and female sand fly feed on the plant nectar. It is the female sand fly that also feeds on blood as they need protein from blood for egg laying and reproductive cycles.

On a lighter and positive note I think that’s an advantage that male sand fly do not feed on blood, else this would have really doubled our worries.

Life Cycle:

The life cycle of a sand fly begins at a dry area having a humid environment. The humid environment prevents the eggs from dehydration. Also the environment needs not be too cold else it might lead the eggs to stop developing.

The overall life cycle of a sand fly takes 20 to 40 days. Below is a stage-wise life cycle of sand flies.

  • Laying Eggs: The female sand fly deposits 30 to 70 eggs at the breeding site. As mentioned above the breeding site has to be a dry area having not too cold but humid weather.
  • Hatching Eggs: After the eggs are laid by the sand fly, it takes 1 – 2 weeks to hatch. After hatching the eggs become larvae.
  • Larvae: Larvae have a distinct black head and about 12 segments. Their body is entirely covered in thick hair and they have a pair of caudal setae at end which remains attached to them till the pupa stage. Depending on the temperature and food availability the length of larvae can range from 1 to 3 mm.
  • Pupae: Pupa development take 05 to 10 days.
  • Adult: After 05 to 10 days of pupae development the adults emerge from pupae, usually before the dawn.

Damages:

Now let’s understand what damages a sand fly causes and how. Before heading onto the damages, let us first understand how the bite of a sand fly actually works.

As soon as a female sand fly bites a human being, she injects her saliva containing anti-coagulant. As you might be aware that human blood has a coagulating property because of which it’s not easy for the sand midget to suck blood. Hence the saliva containing anti-coagulant makes it easier to extract blood.

Else than the anti-coagulant the saliva of sand fly also has allergens that cause red, bumpy and itchy lesions. Below are some common list of damages caused by sand flies, although it might vary from person to person depending on the body’s immune system.

  • Itchy red bumpy lesions (sometimes might be accompanied with pain)
  • Leishmania (Kala- Azar) causing cutaneous sore on human body.
  • Oraya Fever
  • Carrison’s disease
  • Sandly Fever Virus
  • Toscanca Virus
  • Chagres Virus
  • Punta Toro Virus

How to Get Rid of Sand Flies:

There are various methods for getting rid of sand flies, although the method will strongly depend on your needs and infestation area. Below are the list of methods to get rid of sand flies depending on the infested area.

Method 1: Infested Area – Indoors

If indoors like house, offices, pet – house, etc have been infested by sand flies, then below listed steps need to followed.

  • Vacuuming – Vacuum every nook and corner of the house, especially the carpets. If you come across any cracks in walls, floors, ceiling, window panels, etc then vacuum these as well. It has been proven the vacuuming kills adult and eggs of sand flies.
  • Steam Cleaning – Steam cleaning is another most powerful way to kill eggs, larvae, pupae and adult sand flies. Reason being that sand flies cannot sustain in very high temperatures and while steam cleaning the temperature will rise to 1030 degrees eradicating the sand flies.
  • Closing cracks and gaps – If you have come across any cracks \ gaps in walls, floor, ceiling, window panels, door panel then you would need to close them out after vacuuming properly. This will prevent sand flies for future infestation as they love to breed in cracks.
  • DEET Insect Repellent – After cleaning the house properly, spray the DEET Insect Repellent. You could easily find them in the shopping store next to your house.
  • Insecticides – You could also buy insecticides having ‘d-limonene’ and ‘linalool’ as contents. You can easily spray them inside and outside the house to exterminate sand flies. However make sure that you follow the instructions written on the insecticide carefully, in some cases you might need to keep children and pets outside the sprayed area for couple of hours.
  • Citronella Candles or Oil Lamp – Citronella is one of the best repellent for sand gnats. You can burn citronella candle or oil lamp to keep out sand flies.
  • Eucalyptus Oil Spray or Candles – Eucalyptus is another best repellent for sand flies. You can easily find eucalyptus spray and candles in any store. You could easily spray the oil or burn the candles to keep sand flies at bay.
  • Lavender Oil Spray or Candles – Lavender Oil is repellent for sand gnats. You can also spray or burn them to keep sand flies away.
  • Orange Peel Extracts – This a homemade remedy. You can keep orange peel extracts at windows, balcony, terrace, doors, or any other entry or exit to keep the biting midges away.
  • Lemon, Lime or any other citrus juice – This is another homemade remedy wherein you can use the lemon, lime or any other citrus juice for spraying purpose.

We would also suggest you to sprinkle salt on carpets for 24 hours before vacuuming. As there are certain theories suggesting that salt dehydrates sand flies.

This is all about getting rid of sand gnats from indoors. However do not forget to clean your pets as well and keep cleaning your house regularly to prevent any future infestation.

Method 2: Infested Area – Outdoors:

If outdoors like garbage can, garden, lawn, etc have been infested by sand flies, then below listed steps need to followed.

  • Boric Acid – If the sand flies have infested your garbage can then just put some boric acid on the floor near garbage can.
  • Diatomaceous Earth – If the infested area is sand, soil or any moist area then you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth. However you would need to sprinkle it again in case of a shower or rain.
  • Insecticides – If your garden or lawn is infested then you could spray insecticides having ‘d-limonene’ and ‘linalool’ as contents. However make sure that you follow the instructions written on the insecticide carefully, in some cases you might need to keep children and pets outside the sprayed area for couple of hours.
  • Citronella \ Eucalyptus \ Lavender Oil Spray – You can spray citronella oil or eucalyptus oil or lavender oil spray on the infested plants or area.
  • Lemon, Lime or any other citrus juice – This is another homemade remedy wherein you can use the lemon, lime or any other citrus juice for spraying purpose on infested plants.

Other Preventive Measures:

If you are going out on a stroll or walk in area prone to sand fly bites, then we would suggest you to use below listed steps to keep them away:

  • Keep yourself covered – Its really mandatory to keep yourself completely covered, wear socks, full sleeve shirts or tops, full length trousers or pants, hats or caps.
  • Wear light-colored clothes as sand flies are attracted towards dark shades.

Apply below listed repellents before going out in outdoors.

  • Eucalyptus Oil – You can sprinkle it on your clothes, hat or cap. Do not use it on sensitive areas like eyes.
  • Coconut Oil – You can apply it on your hands, feet, legs, face.
  • Avocado Oil mixed with Dettol or Savlon – Sprinkle it on your clothes, hat or cap.
  • The inside of Banana Peel – Rub the banana peel on your hands, legs, etc.
  • Vinegar – You can sprinkle it on your clothes, hat or cap. Do not use it on sensitive areas like eyes.
  • Lavender Oil – You can sprinkle it on your clothes, hat or cap. Do not use it on sensitive areas like eyes.
  • Tee Tree Oil – You can sprinkle it on your clothes, hat or cap. Do not use it on sensitive areas like eyes.
  • Garlic – You can either eat the garlic orally (if you feel like) else you can also rub it on your hands and legs.

You may also like reading: Best ways to get rid of gnats.

So this was all from my end on various ways about getting rid of sand flies. Do let us know if this helps you out or if you have any queries.

Cheers! Have a sand fly free day :-)

How to Get Rid of Yellow Biting Flies

Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2017 at 2:56 pm

Yellow biting flies are one of the fiercest types of flies present in the world. These flies are mostly found in the south-eastern parts of U.S. from New Jersey to Texas; Bahamas; Mexico to Costa Rica. The physical appearance of these flies is very much similar to deer flies and hence any one can easily get confused while identifying them.

As the name suggests, these are yellow bodied flies and the most important thing about them is, their ability to bite (however male species do not bite). Their bites are painful, itchy and may also cause swelling in some cases.

Yellow flies prefer warm and humid weather conditions and are most active during the day time just before the twilight. They mostly stay near large water bodies where they can lay eggs and hence are mostly found in forests near streams or lakes.

In this article, we are going to see how to get rid of yellow biting flies, but before that let’s have a look at their physical attributes so that we can identify them easily.

Identifying Yellow Biting Flies:

Physical Appearance:

Adult yellow flies are predominantly yellowish in color and about 1 – 1.2 cm long. The font pair of legs are black in color while the other pairs are yellowish–gray. The wings are clear with black stigma and brown or tan patches near the apex of wing, and this is the thing that helps them to distinguish from deer flies, which have these brown or tan patches across the middle of wings.

How to Get Rid of Yellow Biting Flies

Yellow flies have a black stripped, yellow furry abdomen, with brilliant blue-green eyes. In some species, the yellow abdomen is covered with a black haired lining along the sides with a broad yellow stripe along the middle.

Behavior and Habitat:

As I have foretold above, yellow flies like warm and humid environment. These flies remain most active during the afternoon time. As far as geographical distribution is considered, these flies are present in the parts of south-eastern U.S. from New Jersey to Texas; Bahamas; Mexico to Costa Rica.

Yellow flies prefer to stay in the areas that are shady and fairly moist; like around edges of forests near rivers or creeks. They usually avoid open sunny areas. Yellow flies are famous for their painful and itchy bites. Females have a biting behaviour as they need to obtain a blood meal before laying eggs. This blood meal helps them to get adequate protein in for the egg development process.

Their mandibles and maxillae penetrate the skin in a scissor-like action and their saliva has anticoagulant properties thereby enabling them to draw lots of blood. Similar to horse flies, yellow flies are also attracted towards dark moving objects and carbon dioxide, and this is how they locate a prey.

Feeding Habits:

Both male and female species of yellow flies feed on plant nectar and pollen for energy. But the female yellow flies also need a blood meal to develop eggs. For this blood meal, they attack humans or animals and feed on their blood. The blood is a rich source of protein and hence helps in the egg development.

Life Cycle:

Yellow flies belong to the ‘Tabanidae’ family and hence all of them go through a complete metamorphosis cycle. Female yellow flies lay their eggs in masses containing 50 to 400 eggs. Eggs are very small generally 1.5mm and whitish in color. Within few hours, these eggs darken and their color changes to black.

After 5-12 days the eggs began to hatch and larvae comes out of them. Yellow fly larvae are aquatic or semi-aquatic in nature and hence prefer to live in mud, swamps or dirty water. They are pale in color with a segmented body having three pairs of pseudopodia on each segment. Larvae primarily feeds on dead and decaying organic matter and wait till the winter season ends.

After the winters are over, larvae start migrating towards a drier place to pupate. Then it enters into the pupa phase, which is a non-feeding, resting phase just before the development of an adult fly. Generally, the life cycle of yellow flies is an year long but during warm conditions they can develop much faster.

Adult female yellow flies are ready for blood meal within hours after emergence from the pupa. Although they are strong fliers, yet the adults are also seen to be living near the larval habitats. But, they may travel large distances to find a blood meal.

Damages:

  • Their attacks to humans and pets are painful and terrifying.
  • Pathogens may be transmitted from one host to another when they switch between hosts.
  • Fly attacks result in lowered gains and low milk production in livestock animals by weakening them. Twenty to thirty yellow flies feeding for six hours are capable of drawing 100 cc of blood from a host.

How to Get Rid of Yellow Flies:

It has been found that certain insecticides have been found useful against immature stages of yellow flies, but use of insecticidal control methods is not recommended at their development sites. The reason behind this is that most of the immature stages of yellow flies occur near wet areas, these wet areas may also be homes for other aquatic plants and animals which may get adversely affected due to the use of insecticides.

Sticky Black Ball Trap:

Most flies from ‘Tabanidae’ family, including yellow biting flies get attracted to dark moving objects, and this is the fact that can be used to kill them. To make a sticky black ball trap you will need following items:

  • A tough string.
  • A medium sized ball.
  • A fly paper (commercial or homemade)
  • A stool
  • Tangle-trap – a sticky black substance commonly found in hardware stores

First of all take the ball and apply a thick coating of Tangle-Trap on it. Tangle-Trap is a sticky substance that comes in a spray or liquid applicator, commonly found in hardware stores.

Yellow Flies Trap

To make the fly trap, attach the dark colored ball to the string and tie the open end of this string to the bottom of the stool. Next, wrap the fly paper over the legs of the stool. After this, hang the stool in the area where you have yellow fly infestation (preferably an open area).

Due to wind movement the ball starts swinging in air. The swinging motion of the dark colored ball will attract the yellow flies. When they come near the trap, they try to land on it and get stuck on the fly paper or the ball.

Chemical Methods:

Chemicals like Permetherin (permanone), Carbaryl (sevin) and Malathion (Cythion) are found to be most effective against yellow flies. These products can be purchased from a local farm or hardware stores and sprayed near the infested area.

Spraying these chemicals may provide a temporary relief against these files, because of the continual entry of  yellow flies from the other nearby areas. Remember, yellow flies are strong fliers, they can fly 1-2 miles from their breeding source in search of a blood meal, and hence use of chemical methods against them can only provide short term relief.

Vegetation Management:

Vegetation management can also be used to get rid of yellow flies. As I have foretold, yellow flies hate sunny open areas and hence removing shrubs or small trees around your house can increase the light levels around the house thereby making the place less favorable for yellow flies.

Protection:

Avoiding yellow flies is the best thing you can do to protect yourselves from them. Follow the below tips to do this:

  • Avoid any outdoor events during the yellow fly season (May-June).
  • In case you need to go for any outdoor events during the yellow fly season then at make sure to avoid the early morning or late evening periods as during these periods yellow flies are most active. Apart from this, avoid shaded areas like forest canopy, try to stay in open sunny areas.
  • In case you need to work near the yellow fly infested areas then wear physical barriers like head-nets, long sleeved shirts and long pants.

Hope, you will find these tips useful against yellow flies. If you have something to say related to the topic then do let us know in the comments section.

How to Get Rid of Bottle Flies

Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Bottle flies also known as blow flies, is a bright blue green species of flies usually larger than a common house fly. These flies belong to the Calliphoridae family of flies, which are polyphyletic in origin (developed from more than one ancestral type). The most peculiar trait of these flies is that, they make a very audible buzzing sound while flying.

Bottle flies generally feed on garbage and decomposed meat and sometimes also on the wounds of live animals. The term blow fly has its roots in an old English term “fly blown”, which meant a piece of meat that had eggs laid on it. If by chance you find these flies inside your house then there must be a breeding patch somewhere inside your house.

These flies are categorized as pests as they transmit diseases by mechanical contamination of food, they are known to transmit disease causing microorganisms like – Salmonella,  E-coli, etc.

Physical Appearance:

Green Bottle Fly

The most prominent feature in a blow fly for identification is its metallic blue green color. Their size varies from 6-14 mm. All the sub-species of bottle flies have blunt mouth parts and unlike horse flies they cannot bite.

Behaviour & Habitat:

Blow flies make an audible buzzing sound while flying and hence they can be very easily spotted. They generally breed near decaying meet or decomposed matter. They mostly infest wounds of cattle and lay their eggs in the open wounds.

Feeding Habits:

Bottle flies are scavengers and hence they feed on decaying meat or organic substances. They can also be seen on flowers where they consume carbohydrate rich nectar. Blow fly larvae feed on the dead tissues inside the carrion.

Life Cycle:

Bottle flies always breed during warmer months of an year. Both the initial stages of a bottle fly i.e. pupae and larva can withstand harsh winters but the adults cannot. A female bottle fly lays nearly 2000 to 3000 eggs in their lifetime the eggs. The eggs are pale yellow or gray in color.

The incubation period for these eggs is 4-5 days but in warm and humid climate it can be as low as 24 hours. After the eggs are hatched, the resulting larvae are rice shaped (9 – 22 mm) in length. Depending on the feeding site and on the substrate on which these larvae are feeding, maggots typically complete development within 4 to 10 days.

At the end of this period, the larvae burrow inside the tissue seeking pupation sites. The pupation period can be upto a week. Next, adult flies emerge from the pupa and the life cycle continues.

Damages:

  • Bottle flies can do mechanical contamination by moving between food and filth.
  • Bottle flies deposit eggs inside the wounds of animals this can cause infections and sometimes blood poisoning.
  • While feeding on the dead tissue they also tend to damage the healthy tissue inside the host’s body.

Signs of bottle fly infestation:

Before learning how to get rid of bottle flies lets understand how to identify the signs of bottle fly infestation. The most prominent signs of a bottle fly infestation are the adult flies. Adult flies can be seen resting on walls or near decaying matter. You can also spot bottle flies by their characteristic buzzing sound.

If you have identified their breeding source then you could also see the bottle fly larvae crawling near the breeding source. The bottle fly larvae are rice shaped and pale yellowish in color. The only visible feature of a blow fly is their head and their hook-like mouthparts.

How to get rid of Bottle flies:

For our convenience we will divide the process to get rid of bottle flies into two parts:

Part 1: Destroying the breeding source:

In this step we will see how to destroy the breeding source of a bottle fly. This is the first and foremost step in the process, without performing this step even if you use all the sprays and traps in the world to kill bottle flies, but they will continue to grow as their breeding source will be still intact. So, this is the most important step of the process:

  1. Identify the breeding source. As I have foretold, that bottle flies breed near decaying meat and decomposed matter. Find any place inside of nearby your house that is similar to it.
  2. Next, after you have identified such a place, clean it. Place the trash receptacle with a tight-fitting lid. If there is any rotten material at the place then dispose it off immediately.
  3. Clean the place with a borax and water solution. This removes the trace that flies leave to attract other flies to an area.

Part 2: Eliminating the Adult bottle flies:

After removing the bottle fly breeding source you will only be left with adult bottle flies. Since they now have no place to lay eggs, your bottle fly problem will disappear when these adults die. To kill these adult bottle flies you could use sprays, or swatters. Below is a list of some methods that you can use to kill them:

  1. Fly Papers: These papers produce a special scent that flies can’t resist. These papers are extremely sticky so that when a fly sits on its surface it gets stuck. These papers are commercially available at a very cheap price but you can also make one at your home.
  2. Disposable fly traps: Disposable fly tarps are plastic traps, when filled with water these produce a fragrance that lures the flies. Due to its construction, once a fly enters its body it cannot move outside and gets trapped. [Read More]
  3. Chemical Sprays: There are some chemical sprays in market that kill bottle flies. These sprays usually have a quick response time and hence are preferred by many people. But I usually don’t prefer them because they are toxic and have a bad effect on the environment.

How to keep Bottle Flies from returning:

When you have removed all the bottle flies from your house it is still possible that they may invade your home again. So, follow these steps to keep them from returning:

  • Proper sanitation and garbage disposal.
  • Make sure that there is no dead animal carcass near your home. If there is one then make sure that you dispose it off properly.
  • Timely treat the wounds of your pets.
  •  If the blow fly problem is severe then sprinkle your garbage cans with baking soda(generic) and poultry dust. Baking soda will dehydrate and deodorize while the poultry dust will kill any larvae if they hatch.

So, this was all from me. Hope you will find these tips helpful and do drop in your comments in case you to want to share anything.

Cheers!

How to Get Rid of Horse Flies – Facts & Control Techniques

Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Horse flies are one of the most ferocious breed of flies. Unlike a common house fly, horse flies have cutting and tearing type mouth parts. They are a nuisance for livestock, horse flies (particularly female ones) land on the body of cattle and bite them to draw their blood.

And unlike mosquitoes, the bite of a horse fly is very painful. They are equipped with scissor-like jaws that can tear flesh. Horse flies are most active in humid and warm conditions, that’s why they are mostly found near beaches and lakes.

Now before we see how to get rid of horse flies, let’s have a look at their physical attributes so that we can identify them easily.

Identifying a Horse Fly:

Horse fly

Physical Appearance:

Horse flies are yellowish-brown or blackish in color. About 20 to 25 mm long with a huge head and hairs all over the body. They resemble to honey bees very much, except for having only one pair of wings. Wings are covered with faint smokey spots.

The eyes of a Horse fly are beautifully colored with lustrous metallic color shades. The eyes are compound, dichoptic (separated) in females and holloptic (continuous) in males. Their mouth is composed of six flesh piercing parts.

Behavior and Habitat:

Horse flies are mostly found in low lying pastures near creeks, streams or tanks. They love damp and warm climate as such climates are most preferable for the immature stages to develop. Female species feed on animal blood while male counterparts are pollen collectors.

Horse flies are attracted towards dark moving objects and carbon di-oxide, and this is how they locate a prey.

Feeding Habits:

The females feed on blood while the males feed on flower nectar, honeydew, plant juices, and other plant liquids. Female horse flies need a blood meal before they can lay eggs, as it provides them the adequate amounts of protein to reproduce effectively. In immature stages like larva or maggot they feed on small insects present near the breeding areas.

Life Cycle:

Eggs are laid on or under gravels or vegetation usually close to a water source. On hatching, the larvae move into water or moist soil. And during this time they feed on small insects or replies. Larvae are generally whitish and spindle-shaped. The larval stage is up to an year long, after this the larvae burrow into the soil, starts to pupate.  The pupal period may range from 6 to 12 days. Adult flies emerge out of the puparium within 3-10 weeks.

Damages:

  • The bite of a horse fly is very painful.
  • They are vectors of diseases such as leucocytozoan.
  • They cause livestock to lose weight.
  • Horse flies are also reported to transmit diseases like anaplasmosis, hog cholera, tularemia and anthrax.

Few Interesting Facts about Horse Flies:

  • Horse fly belongs to ‘tabanidae’ family, and these are one of the world’s largest flies.
  • Horse Flies are found throughout the world except extreme northern and southern latitudes.
  • There are approximately 3,000 species of horse flies in the world.
  • The mouth parts of a female horse fly look like saw blades. It cuts a hole into the skin in order to feed on the blood that comes out.
  • Male horse flies do not bite as they do not have biting mouth parts, hence they feed on flower nectar.
  • A horse fly larva takes a year to become an adult. And an adult horse fly lives for only few days.
  • Horseflies have different names – for example: in Canada people call them ‘ bull dog flies’ and in Australia people call them ‘ March flies’.

How to Get Rid of Horse Flies:

After having learned a lot about horse flies, let’s see how to get rid of them.

In this section, I will enlist few ways that will help you to control them.

1. Using Disposable Fly Traps :

Disposable Fly Traps

Disposable fly traps are one of the best methods to trap horse flies. These traps contain an attractant that gets activated by sunlight and water. After getting activated the attractant lures the horse flies to enter the trap, once the flies enter the trap they get trapped.

To use these traps you just need to unpack them, add bait/attractant with some water, and hang it up. These traps provide a safe way to control even the pesticide resistant horseflies. The best part about these traps is a single trap can catch upto 20,000 flies and can be used for several weeks.

Check out this one at Amazon, it has lots of positive reviews.

Recommended Reading: Disposable Fly Traps

2. Using a homemade Fly Trap against Horse Flies:

As I have already told that, horse flies get attracted to dark moving objects, now we are going to use the same fact against them and make a trap that can attract horse flies to kill them.

How to Get Rid of Horse Flies

To make this trap we need following items:

  • A tough string.
  • A dark coloured medium sized ball.
  • A fly paper (commercial or homemade).
  • A stool.

To make the trap, attach the dark colored ball to the string and tie the open end of this string to the bottom of the stool. Next, wrap the fly paper over the legs of the stool. After this, hang the stool in the area where you have horse fly infestation.

Every few hours, just push the ball so that the ball starts swinging in air. The swinging motion of the dark colored ball will attract the horse flies. When they come near the trap, they try to land on it and get stuck on the fly paper.

3. Coke Bottle Trap made with Rotten Meat:

This one is a very simple trap and has worked for many people. So, for this all you need is:

  • An empty coke bottle.
  • A sharp knife or a pair of scissors to cut the bottle.
  • A drill or any other sharp object to draw some holes.
  • Cellophane tape.
  • 50-100 gram rotten meat.

To make this trap, take the coke bottle and cut it with the knife as shown in the following picture.

Cut the bottle

Next, drill a 1 cm hole in the bottle cap as shown.

drill-hole-in-cap

After this, put the rotten meat pieces with some water in the lower part of the bottle. And fix the upper part upside down as shown.

join the bottle

Fix the edges properly with cellophane tape. Hang these traps near the infested area (away from your cattle). The smell of rotten meat will attract the horse flies and they will try to enter the bottle. And once they enter the bottle it will be difficult for them to escape.

Note: Instead of water, some people suggest that it’s better to add Cow urine (aged for at least 1 week) to the trap as doing this increases the efficiency of the trap.

4. Sticky Fly Paper Trap with Odour Baits:

Many people have achieved success in controlling horse flies by using large sticky fly traps along with some attractant. It has also been proved [here] that the efficiency of regular fly paper traps increases significantly when they are used with odour baits.

To make this work, first of all you will need a large sticky fly paper trap [like this one] and along with them you could use odour baits.

For Odour baits you could use any of the following:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO 2) – As carbon dioxide is a component of cattle breath so horse flies are attracted to it. You could use a CO2 cylinder or ‘dry ice’ to attract them. But you would need large quantities of CO2 gas to make this work in actual field conditions.
  • Acetone (Nail Polish or Varnish Remover) – Acetone is also a component of cattle breath so many species of horse flies are also significantly attracted to this liquid.
  • Octenol (1-octen-3-ol) – Octenol is a component of cattle sweat, and hence it also attracts some species of flies to a moderate extent. But as Octenol is a very costly chemical hence it is only being used in lab experiments against horse flies.
  • Ammonia (NH3 vapour) – Ammonia is a component of cattle urine and is also seen to attract some species of tabanids.
  • Cow urine (aged for at least 1 week) – Cow urine was one of the first things that was discovered to attract horseflies. And as it is freely accessible and quite easily dispensed, it is a popular attractant particularly among cattle farmers.

5. Umbrella Type Horse Fly Trap:

Umbrella trap is proven to be very effective against horse flies. To make this you will need following items:

  • 4 pieces of plastic sheeting or plastic screening 5 feet long 4 feet wide.
  • A stapler or glue.
  • A 5 or 6 feet long pole.
  • A plastic jar.
  • A black plastic or rubber ball 16 to 20 inches in diameter.

To make this trap – join, stitch, or staple the 4 pieces of plastic sheeting to form a pyramid shape as shown in the below image.

Umbrella-trap-1

The size of the pyramid should be about 4 feet high and 3 feet wide along each of the four bases. Next, a ring should be attached to each lower corner to attach guy lines that hold the trap up.

After this, connect the 6 feet pole at the centre of the pyramid. Connect the ball to this pole with a 5 feet long string. Make sure when the trap is fully erect the ball should hang just below the plastic sheets.

Umbrella-trap-2

At the apex of the pyramid, cut a small hole and staple or stitch a 5 inch cardboard plate. Fasten the jar lid upside down and draw a 2 inch hole into the lid and the cardboard plate. Next, glue a plastic cone inside the lid and connect the jar. This jar will be used to capture the flies.

Umbrella-trap-3

To install the trap, insert some part of the centre pole into the ground to make it erect, so that it can hold the canopy off the ground. After this tie the guy lines with some supporting sticks so that they can hold the canopy like tent ropes. And the trap is ready to catch horseflies.

6. Manning Trap for Horse Flies:

Manning trap works on the same principal i.e. attracting the flies by a dark moving object and then trapping them in a container. A typical manning trap looks like the one shown below.

manning-horsefly-trap

Note: Please note that there are many different ways to construct a manning trap and I have shown the simplest one here. Even horse pal traps and H –Traps are also modified forms of a manning trap.

To make a manning trap you would need:

  • A tripod stand or some wood to make your own stand.
  • A plastic sheet or cloth.
  • A black coloured ball.
  • Small Funnel.
  • A string.
  • A bottle.

First of all, make a 5 feet tripod stand if you don’t have one. Next, draw a 3 – 5 cm hole into the top of the tripod and attach the funnel over it. After this connect the bottle to this as shown in the above image. If needed you can use cellophane tape to attach the bottle over the funnel, but make sure it is well attached with the funnel.

Connect the dark coloured ball to the string and tie the open end of this string to the bottom of the tripod, so that it hangs at least 2 feet above the tripod legs. Cover the top 3 feet of the stand with the plastic sheet or cloth.

After this keep the trap near the infested area and you will soon see the bottle filled with dead horseflies.

Check out this H – Trap on Amazon.

7. Homemade Repellents for Horse Flies:

It is seen that horseflies hate the fragrance of certain natural oils, so you could use them to create a repellent for you or your pets.

Repellent 1:

To make this repellent mix the following contents and store them in a bottle.

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Avon Skin So Soft (Bath oil)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon eucalyptus oil

You could use the repellent directly on the skin of your pets.

Note: Before using this please consult your Vet.

Repellent 2:

To make this repellent mix the following contents and store them in a bottle.

  • 1 cup light mineral oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. citronella oil
  • 1 tsp. eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon dish soap

You could use the repellent directly on the skin of your pets.

Note: Before using this please consult your Vet.

Repellent 3:

To make this repellent mix the following contents and store them in a bottle.

  • 1 part of lavender oil
  • 2 parts of water
  • 2 parts of alcohol

You could use the repellent directly on the skin of your pets.

Note: Before using this please consult your Vet.

Recommended ReadingNatural oils to repel flies

8. Using Insecticides:

Theoretically, it is possible to kill the horse fly larvae with insecticides, but as they live near streams or rivers so doing this would make the water poisonous or polluted. So, treating them in larval stage is almost impossible.

But, field trials have confirmed that daily treatment of cattle with a naturally occurring insecticide called ‘synergized pyrethrins‘ reduces the biting rates by horse flies without adversely affecting cattle.

This insecticide is produced by the plants of the genus ‘Chrysanthemum‘ and is considered one of the most safest insecticides till date.

You can get the concentrated pyrethrins insecticide from any farm supply or agricultural chemical firms. The concentration of the insecticide in the spray varies according to the animal to be treated. For example: if you wish to treat horses then you should buy the formulation labelled specifically for them.

For best results, the insecticide must be sprayed daily on the cattle. But partial control can also be achieved by spraying it on every other day. You could spray the insecticide directly on the cattle or can use a sponge to do this.

9. Using Dish Soap and Vinegar Spray to kill Horse Flies:

Dish soap is very effective against most breeds of flies, including horse flies. Dish soap contains borax which is an insecticide; the best part about such a spray is that it does not have any ill-effect on you or your animals.

To make a dish soap spray, take an empty spray bottle and add 4 tablespoons of dish soap, 2 cups of white vinegar to it, then add 1 cup of warm water, shake the mixture and your dish soap spray is ready. Spray it on horse flies and watch them dying instantly.

10. Commercially available Horse Fly Repellents:

I have seen many products that are manufactured to work against horse flies but most of them fail. But there are also few products that work superbly against them.

These products are:

  • Equisect Botanical Fly Repellent Rtu Spray – This is a natural fly spray that works against 5 different species of flies including horse flies. Check it out on Amazon.
  • Pyranha Wipe N Spray – This repellent contains ‘pyrethrin’ (which is considered to be the safest insecticide) and works well against horse flies. Check it out on Amazon.

Note: Make sure to consult your Vet before using any such products.

Recommended Reading: Natural oils to repel flies

Prevention Tips against Horse Flies:

  • Keep your animals clean.
  • Clean up the barn at least twice a week, clear-out the manure, and spilled feed. You could also spray the manure heaps with insecticides; this will keep the larvae from developing.
  • Remove any standing water in the shed, make sure you have a proper drainage system so that there is no stagnant water for the horse flies to lay eggs.
  • Trim the grass and weeds as this will make conditions unfavourable for horse flies.
  • Using powerful fan in animal sheds can significantly control the entry of horse flies.
  • Use ear nets, face masks, and repellent tags on your animals. Check out these face mask with ear nets on Amazon.

Recommended ReadingEliminating House Flies

Horse Fly Bite Symptoms:

Horse fly bites are very painful. Following is a list of symptoms that can tell you if a wound is a horsefly bite or not:

  • A horsefly bite causes thick red coloured skin.
  • Pain with skin itch.
  • Signs of bacterial infections.
  • Sometimes skin continues to stay red and swollen for several days.
  • Some people may experience a body rash, may break out in hives, or develop wheezing.
  • Some people may also experience swelling around the eyes and lips.

How to Treat a Horse Fly Bite:

Treating a horsefly bite is quite important. To treat a bite follow the below steps:

wash-byte-with-soap-and-waterDisinfect the area: First of all disinfect the area by washing it thoroughly with soap and water. You could also use a alcohol or vinegar based disinfectant.

If you are outside and cannot disinfect the area at that time then cover the wound with saliva. Saliva contains Histatin protein that has healing abilities which will allow you to heal the bite till you can get indoors and treat it properly.

Cool the Area: Cooling the area with icepack or a wet cold washcloth, helps in reducing the pain.

Anti-Allergens: If the itch is getting unbearable then you could apply a hydrocortisone cream over the wound. But consult your doctor first.

Keep an eye on the Wound: Keep an eye on the wound as there is a chance that it may develop bacterial infection. And if that happens immediately visit a doctor.

So, that was it. Feel free to post any queries related to the topic in the comments section. Also I would love to know if you have any other secret methods to eliminate horse flies.

Using Fly Paper to Kill Flies

Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Using Fly paper is one of the most ancient techniques for eliminating flies. Fly papers are also known as fly ribbons.

Fundamentally a fly paper is a simple sheet of paper coated with a substance that has a sweet fragrance along with strong adhesive properties. Fly papers provide an inexpensive and environment friendly way to get rid of flies.

How does a Fly Paper works?

Fly Paper

A fly paper works on the fact that flies have a strong scene of smell. As I have foretold, a fly paper is coated with an attractant that has adhesive properties. The attractants used in the fly papers can emit food based or pheromone fragrances.

The scent of a fly paper is very faint and often undetectable for humans. But, as flies have a strong scene of smell they get lured to it and when they land on the paper they get stuck to it. The more they struggle, the more strongly they get stuck to the adhesive.

Recommended Reading: Disposable Fly Traps

Toxic Fly Papers:

While most of the fly papers available in market these days are non-toxic, however in olden days fly papers also had a coating of poison to kill the flies more quickly. The poison used in those fly papers was Metallic Arsenic, which is a well-known toxin for humans as well.

But the good thing is that, such toxic fly papers are no more manufactured now.

Where to use a Fly Paper?

Fly papers can be used both indoors and outdoors. Generally, flypaper works the best when you hang it in an area where flies come / hang-out frequently. You can use them near window panes, trash cans, near entrances etc.

Also, if you are using a fly paper outdoors then make sure to change it after a few days, as it may lose its efficiency when it becomes dusty.

Recommended Reading: Using Cloves to Repel Flies

Bonus Tip: How to make your own Homemade Fly Paper:

As a bonus tip, here I’ll be sharing the method to make your own home made fly paper. Making a fly paper at home is very easy.

List of items that you need:

  • A brown paper bag
  • Scissors
  • Heating Pan
  • A large sized spoon for stirring
  • Corn Syrup
  • Water
  • String for hanging the fly papers

Step by Step instructions:

1. Take the brown paper bag and cut it into 2 inch strips. At one end of these strips make a hole and put a string though that hole.

2. Next, combine equal parts of corn syrup and water into a pan and heat the mixture while stirring with a spoon till it starts boiling.

3. After this, remove the pan from heat and soak the strips into the mixture for at least 4-5 hours. While soaking the strips, make sure that the strings attached to them are not submerged in the pan.

5. Take out the strips and allow them to dry for 2-3 hours.

6. When the strips get dry, hang them in the fly infested area and your homemade Fly Paper is ready to catch flies.

7 Herbs to Get Rid Of Flies Naturally

Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Flies are one of the most irritating insects on the earth. Though they look harmless, but in reality they are one of the most deadly insects present in your homes. Flies are the carriers of dangerous diseases including salmonella (food poisoning bacteria), typhoid and cholera.

These pesky little creatures are often hard to deter. But fortunately, there are some plants that flies hate. Actually, these plants generate some kind of insect repellent oils, they gradually bring small quantities of this oil to their leaves and release it in air. And this is something that flies don’t like.

In this post, I am going to highlight few such herbs that can help you to get rid of flies naturally.

1. Basil:

Basil Leaves

Basil is one of the most popular herb, it is a multipurpose plant used generally in cooking but it also has a medicinal value. The word ‘basil’ comes from a Greek word “basileus”, meaning “king”. Basil leaves release out a subtle fragrance that flies hate.

In sunny fly infested areas, you could use potted plants of basil to deter flies. You can use them near external doorways or near your picnic tables. One important thing about basil plant is that, it should always be watered at the root and not on the leaves; as this will produce a stronger fragrance.

If for some reason you are unable to use fresh basil, then you could also use dried basil. You can keep dry basil leaves in a muslin teabag, near the infested area.

2. Bay Leaf:

Bay Leaf

Bay is another herb that is used in cooking and also has a medicinal value. Bay Leaves generally have a bitter taste, but their fragrance is something for which they are used in cooking. Bay also produces a subtle scent that flies hate. Other insects like moths, roaches, earwigs, and mice also hate the fragrance of bay leaves.

You can grow Bay Plants in the infested areas, to keep the flies away. Dried bay leaves are equally good in repelling flies away.

3. Lavender:

Lavender-Plant

When it comes to fly control, Lavender has its own special place. Lavender has a heavenly fragrance and lavender buds are used for cooking purpose. The sweet smell of Lavender repels flies, moths and fleas.

You can grow lavender in your garden to repel outdoor flies. For inside, you can hang some dried lavender near the infested area to discourage flies.

Lavender Oil can also be used in making homemade fly repellents.

4. Mint:

Mint Leaves

Mint is a useful and inexpensive herb that also can repel flies. You can use mint in both forms i.e. in fresh or dried form to deter flies. Apart from flies, mint is also helpful against mosquitoes, ants, and mice.

You can keep crushed mint leaves in shallow bowl, to keep flies away. If you want, you can also fill few muslin teabags with dried crushed mint leaves and keep them in the infested areas.

5. Tansy:

Tansy Herb

Tansy is another flowering herb that does a good job in keeping flies and gnats away. It is more suited to grow outdoors, apart from flies it is also effective against moths, ants, mice, mosquitoes, roaches, mites and bedbugs.

Tansy looks like Marigolds, it is also known to have cleansing properties. It should be noted that Tansy contains a volatile oil which can cause dermatitis in certain people.

6. WoodWorm:

WoorWorm Herb

Woodworm is an herb, bitter in taste and has insecticidal abilities. Woodworm plant has grayish green leaves with yellow flowers.

Woodworm is known to repel ticks, flies and moths. You can plant this herb near your entrance to repel flies and other insects.

7. Rue:

Rue Herb

Rue is a woody plant, which has disinfectant and insecticidal properties. It can repel flies (particularly fruit flies), mosquitoes and a number of other insects naturally. Rue can grow up to 2 feet tall and has bluish leaves.

Rue leaves in crushed form can also be quite effective against flies. But be careful while dealing with this plant as it causes skin irritation in some individuals.

So, this was a list of few plants that can deter flies. By using them, you can choose an environment friendly way to repel flies and save your children from the harmful effects of chemicals sprays.

Have a Nice Day.

Using Cloves to Repel House Flies

Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Imagine it’s a nice Sunday afternoon, you are on your picnic table, just starting your lunch and suddenly out of nowhere a dozen of flies come and attack the place.

Obviously, you would want to get rid of those flies as quickly as possible. And in such situations, cloves can come quite handy in deterring these unwanted guests.

Cloves are good at repelling flies, flies hate the subtle scent of cloves. Please note that cloves are most effective against house flies, although they can also deter other fly species but they are not so much effective against them.

If you are dealing with any other species of flies, other than House Fly, then you should also have a look at these methods: Method 1, Method 2.

Don’t forget to go through our comprehensive guide on how to get rid of flies.

What are Cloves?

Cloves are basically aromatic dried flower buds of a plant named Syzygium aromaticum. Cloves are dark brown, pungent and nail shaped spice.

Cloves

Cloves are only grown in a few countries but they are used in almost all the parts of world. They have a calming effect on mouth tissues and also have other medicinal properties.

Cloves are also known to have insect repelling properties, particularly against flies and mosquitoes.

Now let’s see how to use cloves to deter flies.

Using Whole Cloves to Repel Flies:

In this method we are going to use cloves and fresh lemons to deter flies. Flies hate cloves and they hate lemon too. So, we will combine both of them to make a powerful fly repellent.

So, here we go:

  • Take 2 lemons, cut them into halves.

Cut a lemon into halves

  • Next, poke 6 – 12 cloves into each half of the lemon as shown.
Lemon with cloves

Clove Decorated Lemons

  • Now, place the clove decorated lemons on a plate in the middle of your picnic table. You will be amazed to see that no fly will come near your table to share your food.
  • Set back relaxed and enjoy your food.

Alternatively particularly for indoors, you could also wrap few cloves in a cheesecloth or in a muslin bag and hang them in the most fly prone area. Whenever you feel the need to release more scent from the packets, try squeezing them.

Using Clove Oil to Repel Flies:

In this method we are going to create a fly repellent skin lotion using clove oil. Similar to whole cloves, flies also hate the fragrance of clove oil.

Please note that clove oil should never be applied directly on the skin as it can cause burning sensations, skin irritations and nerve damage. So, before applying it to skin we have to dilute it to safe levels.

To create your clove based fly repellent lotion follow the below steps:

  • Take some clove oil. Here, Clove oil will work as an insect repellent.
  • Take any of Olive Oil, rubbing alcohol or witch hazel as a diluent. You could also use water as a diluent but as water doesn’t mix well with oil’s so I don’t prefer using it.
  • Now, mix the clove oil and the diluent. You should use 1 part of clove oil and 10 parts of diluent. Mix well and apply only on the uncovered parts of your body. Please note that do not let this lotion to enter your eyes or mouth.
  • After applying the lotion, you will notice that flies won’t come to annoy you.

So, this was how you can use cloves to repel flies. Try these methods and let us know how these methods worked for you.

Peace.

Disposable Fly Traps

Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Disposable fly traps are one of the best and environment friendly ways to trap or kill flies. These kind of traps are more suited for getting rid of flies outdoors.

Disposable fly traps are effective against most species of flies (there are 100,000 known fly species) including house flies, filth flies, stable flies, blow flies, blue and green bottle flies, flesh flies, face flies etc.

The best part about such traps is that, they are specifically designed for killing flies and hence they don’t trap other beneficial flying insects like bees, butterflies, etc.

How Disposable Fly Traps Work:

Disposable Fly Traps

How a Disposable Fly Trap Works

The above image shows how a  fly trap works.

A disposable fly trap basically consists of a plastic bag which contains some attractant, the attractant acts a bait that flies find irresistible. The attractants generally comprise of food and feed ingredients, and some food flavoring agents which are recognized safe.

By default the attractants are in dormant mode, to activate the attractants you need to add some water to the bag and keep it in direct sunlight. When these traps get warm in the sun, the food flavoring agents release a scent to which flies get attracted.

Tempted by the scent, flies enter the trap, are trapped inside and are drowned in the water.

Where can these traps be used?

Generally, these traps are intended for outdoor use. It is recommended to use them at-least 20-30 feet away from any outdoor living spaces.

These traps can be hung near following locations:

  • Near a dog kennel, but far from dogs reach.
  • Near poultry, sheep, dairy and beef cattle areas.
  • Around campsites.
  • Near trash and garbage cans.
  • Or near any other outdoor fly infested areas.

Pros and Cons of using disposable fly traps:

Below is a list of Pros and Cons of  these Fly Traps:

Pros:

  • They are environment friendly, ozone friendly and user friendly.
  • They are non-toxic, and hence are safe for you, your children and your pets.
  • Easy to assemble and use.
  • A single unit can catch up to 20,000 flies.
  • They are economical and a single unit lasts a month.
  • Highly effective against pesticide resistant flies.
  • No maintenance required and the unit is completely disposable.
  • It only catches flies and has no effect on bees, butterflies or other beneficial insects. This is because the attractant is specifically made to attract flies only.

Cons:

  • After few days of use, when the dead bodies of flies inside the trap start decomposing, the trap emits a very bad smell resembling animal waste. And this is why it should be hung outdoors.
  • In summer days, the trap needs to be watered periodically to make up for the water loss caused by evaporation.
  • Some of the Disposable fly trap brands need sunlight and heat to get activated, and hence in winters they may take up to 3-4 days to start working.

Check them out at Amazon:

Brand Name
Dimensions
Rating
Price
Check at Amazon
Rescue FTD-BB248 x 3 x 3 inches☆☆☆☆$6.20Buy Now From Amazon
Flies Be Gone Fly Trap Kills6.8 X 1.3 X 8 inches☆☆☆☆$15.10Buy Now From Amazon
Victor M502 Disposable Fly Trap4.2 x 4.2 x 8 inches☆☆☆$9.45Buy Now From Amazon
Black Flag Disposable Outdoor Fly Trap8 x 3.5 x 8 inches☆☆☆$9.71Buy Now From Amazon
[Note: Ratings are based on the Amazon Customer Reviews.]

So, this was all about Disposable Fly Traps. For those of you, who want an effective, nature friendly and efficient way to get rid of flies outdoors, these traps are definitely the best option.