Friday, October 28, 2016


Flies and more Flies Flies and more flies. It seems like this time of year there are billions of flies and the all want in my house, or to visit relatives already there. Right now flies, which are a cold blooded animal, are realizing that fall is here and winter is coming. The reason they want in your house is to avoid being killed by the cold, it’s that simple. The best way to prevent fly problems in a home is to exclude them by screening. The use of sticky traps indoors or outdoors or stinky trap outside can help as well. Several species of flies enter homes in Eddy County. Most are mere nuisance problems. Blowflies or houseflies can be found in and around the home during summer and into the fall. These flies develop in garbage, manure or on other organic materials. Large numbers of stable flies can emerge from mismanaged compost piles. Control involves sanitation of breeding sites. Because of recent rains there are lots of moist, organic matters for flies to lay their eggs. There is no insecticide that can control flies in an unsanitary situation. Dry these areas out if possible, this reduces another diptera family and mosquito. Fruit flies, drain flies (a.k.a. sewer flies) and fungal gnats are small nuisance flies that can breed inside the home. Control involves removal of breeding sites. Check around house plants and other moist places. Large number of these flies could indicate a pipe leak under a sink or under a house with peer and beam floors. Cluster flies and flies are found during fall and winter, often in upper stories or attics. These larger flies use homes for shelter from the cold but do not reproduce inside the home. Best control includes caulking entry points and using fly swatters. If nothing is done, these fly populations will die off due to attrition over a period of a few weeks if left on their own. Insecticide "bombs" can be used in attics and other rooms that can be isolated from the rest of the house. Read and follow the label. Insecticides can supplement other controls for some flies. These should be applied to areas away from food, where flies rest. Insecticides should never be poured down the drain. Any person using an insecticide for fly control should read the label carefully before using the product. Fly Biology The most common observed stage of a fly is the winged adult. The adult fly mates, lays eggs in a breeding medium that will provide sufficient food for the immature stage--a pale, legless maggot. The breeding site is nearly always moist and surrounds the soft-bodied maggots. When maggots are full grown, they stop feeding and usually wander from the breeding site in search of a place to pupate. After pupation, they emerge as an adult fly. In warm weather, flies complete their development (egg--larva--pupa--adult) in an incredibly short period, 7-14 days, and produce numerous generations during a typical season. In the cold part of the year their life cycle will stretch out to as long as 45 days. It seems if you look even in the coldest period you can find a few adult flies. Because animal excrement and garbage are excellent breeding media, certain flies, especially house flies, can transmit disease pathogens. For example, it has been shown that each house fly can easily carry over one million bacteria on its body. Some of the disease-causing agents shown to be transmitted by house flies to humans are: shigella spp. (dysentery and diarrhea = shigellosis), salmonella spp. (typhoid fever, Escherichia coli, (traveller's diarrhea), and Vibrio comma (cholera). The housefly (Musca domestica) can go through complete metamorphosis, passing from egg to larva, pupa and adult, in as few as eight days. Other fly species have similar life cycles. Blow Flies, House Flies and Stable Flies Blow flies are fairly large, metallic green, gray, blue, bronze or black flies found throughout Eddy County. The adult flies may spend the winter in homes or other protected sites but will not reproduce during this time. During warm weather, blow flies breed most commonly on decayed carcasses and droppings of dogs or other pets. They can be found in homes that are near a carcass of a dead squirrel, rodent or bird. Occasionally, small animals may die inside walls or under the crawlspace of a house. A week or two later, blow flies and/or maggots may appear. The adult blow fly is also attracted to gas leaks. Stable flies are flies that closely resemble house flies in appearance, but the adults feed by biting mammals including humans because they are blood feeders. Typically, these flies remain outdoors, but bite ankles of humans or backs of dogs or other pets. These flies are mainly a problem with livestock, but in urban settings, pet feces, compost piles, and garbage any wet moist nutrient rich media can breed considerable numbers of these Now you know more about flies then you wanted, and you are think ok how do I kill them. As I said at the start, keep them out, remove breeding sites and trap them, and of course there is the trusty fly swatter. Subscribe to Eddy County Ag news at: Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating

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