is the fly that really gets up your nose in the middle of winter...there
you are sat in your conservatory on a beautiful sunny day in early January..the
sun is really quite warm under the glass...when to your horror you notice
that there are numerous flies walking around the panes which make up
the roof of the conservatory..."can't be" you say to your
self, it's winter...! Well sorry folks but it can be and it's Cluster
insects, sometimes called "attic flies", often become pests in homes.
They usually appear in late fall or early winter and again on warm,
sunny days in early spring. They buzz around the home and gather in
large numbers at windows, often in rooms that are not regularly used.
The cluster fly is a little larger than the common housefly and moves
It can be recognised by the short, golden coloured hairs on its thorax,
the part of the body to which the legs and wings are attached. The larvae,
or maggots, of cluster flies develop as parasites in the bodies of earthworms.
The adult flies emerge in late summer and early autumn and seek protected
places to spend the winter. In many cases, this is within the walls,
attics and basements of homes.
pair of Cluster Flies
Insect screens on windows offer no protection from the flies because
they crawl in the home through small openings in the walls of the building.
These same overwintering flies get into rooms during the winter and
spring months entering through window pulley holes, around the baseboards
and through other small openings in walls.
these type of flies tend to overwinter in roof-spaces, a good treatment
is to release insecticidal smoke generators into the roof space. As
the smoke settles a very thin film of insecticidal dust covers all the
surfaces and when the fly cleans itself it ingests the insecticide and
dies. Depending on the size of the roof-space depends on the number
of generators used.
Safety aspects should be observed;
Ring the Fire Brigade...there
will always be some passer-by who will see smoke coming out of
your roof slates and will report the fact without asking you first...if
a fire engine turns up for no reason you will be charged for the
2. Always sit
the smoke generators on a slate or a tin lid or something which
is fire proof. We don't want to tell the fire brigade not to come
and then end up having to call them anyway.
If you are using more than one generator, make sure that you ignite
the ones furthest from the roof access first you don't want to
breathe the smoke which is emitted...and you want to be able to
see your way back to the roof access...REMEBER
SAFETY AT ALL TIMES.
well as the smoke treatment, there other treatments which will help.
Again these must be carried out with a total regard for safety...people
tend to forget that when they use fly spray they should work their way
out of the room, leaving that room for a least an hour to allow the
fine droplets to sink to the floor. Experiments have shown that droplets
will hang in the air for at least 45 minutes, leaving 15 minutes as
an added safety factor. The same applies if you use dusting powders,
which are very fine, like talcum powder, and will also hang in the air.
You must remember that if spray kills flies, then it isn't going to
be particularly healthy if you breathe it...!IF
YOU HAVE LUNG COMPLAINTS OR PROBLEMS LIKE ASTHMA THEN DON'T HANDLE OR
USE INSECTICIDES IN WHATEVER FORMS..!!
You can treat the glass windows in your conservatory or whatever,
but no matter what anyone tells you there will be a slight smear
effect, even with the cleanest of insecticides. What you can do
is to spray the frames only which will sometimes be enough.
2. If you have sash windows...you know those windows which slide
up and down and have pulley wheels at the top...well this is a
favourite access point for the flies as they come out of the cavity
wall. Treat these types of places with dusting powder...DON'T
FORGET TO WEAR A MASK...and leave the treated room for at least
3. If your house has South facing external walls which are painted
white, or are very light coloured, you will probably find that
a lot of flies will bask on these walls as the light colour will
reflect the heat nicely and insects need heat to be really active.
You can treat these walls with an insecticide as well but realistically
would need a gallon sprayer to do the job. This would also cut
down on the problems experienced in the house. BUT REMEMBER...if
you spray insecticides externally not only will you kill the flies,
but none target species as well.
4. If the problem is bad then you should really employ a pest
control company. Here again you need to be careful, don't let
them talk you into a contract for 94 visits a year...a little
exaggeration...usually a problem site can be kept under control
with 4 visits per annum and at the most 6.
5. If you are unsure then go back to the main fly page and email
me...please ensure that you provide as much information as you
to main fly page