Why are there flies in my house all of a sudden? It’s a question I’m sure you’ve asked yourself If you’ve noticed an infestation of swarming black bugs flying all over your kitchen and home. Where did they come from and how to get rid of them- are the next questions you’ll want answered. Today I’ll explain what’s up if you've got a sudden infestation of blow flies, fruit flies or cluster flies in your house and how you can finally get rid of them.
How to get rid of house flies
Every summer we get a batch of pesky house flies and the occasional outbreak of fruit flies invading our home. Its gross, creepy and most of all- annoying. We have tried many methods to get rid of these flies. Some have worked great, and others not so much. I'll explain what to do if you have a fly problem in your home.
Before we figure out how to get rid of the flies we need to know why they're there and what they want.
The most common reason for flies swarming all over your house is an infestation inside or nearby your home. If you suddenly see a swarm of flies that means dozens of eggs have already hatched and developed into flies. The source is likely inside your house, garage, attic or garden.
Use the following to get rid of those pesky bugs:
- Indoor electric bug zapper- This one is the ultimate zapper!
- Ultrasonic bug repeller- It repels mice and other pests too.
- Electric fly swatter racket- Like a tennis racket, but deadly to flies
- Trappify fly traps
Fly Food Sources and Breeding Grounds
Common house flies are attracted to decaying organic matter like:
• Rotting meat
• Discarded food in the garbage can
• Feces (omg!)
Fruit flies are attracted to sugary substances like:
• Overripe fruit
• Spilled soda or juice
• Alcohol (party!)
What is the cause of a cluster fly infestation?
Allow me to slip on my lab coat and drive deep into some science-y stuff:
Cluster or attic flies are the genus Pollenia in the blowfly family Calliphoridae. Unlike more familiar blow flies, such as the bluebottle genus Phormia, they do not present a health hazard because they do not lay eggs in human food.
Cluster fly larvae develop inside earthworms living in the ground outside of homes. The larvae develop into cocoons before hatching into adult flies. The adult flies are attracted to the sunny side of homes in the fall, looking for ways to get inside before winter. Don't worry, cluster flies do not breed indoors.
Basically cluster flies are just inside your house because they want to stay warm. We'll go over how to eliminate them in a minute.
Large black flies in the house
Flies come into our home every summer and drive us crazy. My husband more so than me, but they turn him into a crazy person and then I get all crazy because he drives me crazy and so here I am today teaching you more than you ever wanted to know about flies.
The warm weather months are fly breeding season. I live on a farm with lots of pig, horse and goat poop. It’s the perfect breeding ground for flies and other fun vermin.
Is there a dead rat in the wall?
Back in the day I lived in basement suite that was infested with rats. We eventually got the rats under control (that’s another equally fun and disgusting story for another day) but one died in the wall.
I was young and had never had to deal with a pest infestation before and wondered what the weird smell in the kitchen was. Then, all of a sudden, dozens of flies were all over my little apartment- in the middle of winter.
It wasn’t until after I complained to my mom about my stinky, fly-ridden apartment that she explained to me that:
- a) Something died in the walls
- b) That something was the source of the flies.
How to get rid of flies
The easiest and best way to get rid of flies in your home is to practice proper sanitation. In other words-don’t be a dirty little pig. If you eliminate the fly's source of food and breeding ground then they will literally fly away and go bother someone else.
If you can’t keep your place clean then all the other tricks I’m about to share with you are going to end up being less effective.
Sanitation starts with eliminating the food sources and breeding grounds of flies in the first place. Meat, garbage and rotting vegetables are where flies thrive and lay eggs. These are delicious food sources for both the flies and resulting larvae.
Start by emptying your garbage cans and clean the kitchen. Do all the dishes and make sure all the food in the pantry is sealed shut.
This also means pet food. If you feed your cat or dog wet food you need to clean the bowl daily otherwise flies will land on it, lay eggs, and the eggs will turn into maggots. The next time you feed your pet you will scream in horror at the gross maggots in their food (ask me how I know!)
Sanitation is also about eliminating all points of entry. That’s why window and door screens were invented. In addition, walls, floors and ceilings should also be properly sealed to prevent entry of flies (or wasps who may build a giant nest in the ceiling above your bedroom- ask me how I know about that too!)
Of course if you clean up your house, put screens up on the doors and windows and still have a sudden outbreak of flies you should probably start checking for dead animals in your walls or garden. Just use your nose and follow the scent.
Now onto the advanced methods of fly control. Here are a few ways to repel flies naturally.
How to repel flies naturally
We used an ultrasonic pest repeller last year when we had a mouse that decided to make a home in our kitchen (another fun story for another day). The ultrasonic pest repeller will protect your home, warehouse, office or any other property from all kinds of pests including not only insects but also rats, bats and even squirrels. The pest repeller emits ultrasonic and electromagnetic waves which pests don't like. If you have a pet hamster or other small rodent pets don't use it as it would be cruel to the animal.
Apple cider vinegar trap
Fill a glass jar with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap and place a paper funnel in the jar. This works best for fruit flies because they are attracted to the fermented apple smell. The flies will go down into the jar, drink the solution and become poisoned and trapped in the jar. Click here for 5 uses for Dawn dish detergent and vinegar.
Get a fly swatter
We purchased some fly swatters a couple of years ago. They work great, if you have good aim. There are also electronic bug zappers that look like tennis rackets. When you smack the fly, they will get zapped and die. These work well and I recommend them for wasps and hornets that won't leave you alone.
How to get rid of cluster flies naturally
Since cluster flies don't eat your garbage or lay eggs on them, they will simply die if they get trapped in your house long enough. Most people simply vacuum them up.
Have you ever had a sudden swarm of flies in your house? What did you do about it? Let me know in the comments!
The meaning of flies in the house
There are some old wives tales and myths about flies representing evil and having a spiritual or symbolic meaning. Flies can symbolize a quick and abrupt change coming into your life. Realistically, you probably just need to go clean your kitchen.
If you are really into that psychic stuff you might be worried that evil spirits are afoot. I promise you, no one has put a hex on you (okay maybe they have, but that’s not the source of your fly problem.)