How to deal with cluster flies

How to holiday let


Pest control: How to deal with cluster flies


Though they mean no harm, the cluster fly (or attic fly) can be an unwelcome problem during the autumn months.

Larger and slower than the common housefly, cluster flies usually grow been 7-9mm in length, and can be recognised by their dark grey patchwork-patterned abdomen and thorax covered in little golden hairs.

Cluster flies don’t lay their eggs in human food, so happily don’t pose a health threat to us, but their large numbers and penchant for nesting in awkward spaces mean they can be a nuisance for holiday home owners.

With their life cycle beginning in late summer as the females lay their eggs, by the cooler months the cluster flies start looking for somewhere to hibernate over winter. They congregate in large numbers and prefer hiding in warm, enclosed areas, such as lofts, barns, inside walls and windows and many more hard-to-reach places!

Whilst you can do your best to prevent entry by sealing around windows and obvious cracks, cluster flies can squeeze through very small openings so it’s not always possible to stop them. If you find yourself with an infestation the best method is to use a fogger, which can be bought online or from your local hardware store. Foggers are fumigation devices that create a fog containing insecticide, and are less dangerous than smoke bombs as they do not require a flame to start them.

Foggers, like smoke bombs and some aerosols, are effective in killing cluster flies, although the amount you will need to use depends on the scale of infestation. If you use a fogger, make sure you follow specified guidelines and that the intended area is well ventilated. Please also be aware of other wildlife in the area, as the fumes emitted by foggers are toxic.

It’s important to plan treatment well before the planned arrival of any guests, and you may also want to cover furnishings with a dust sheet to catch any flies. If crushed, cluster flies can leave stains which can cause unnecessary damage to your property.

Usually, damage caused by pests is not covered by insurance companies, so it’s best to solve any problems as quickly as possible. Pest controllers can offer longer lasting insecticides and dairy sprays. Here at Classic Cottages we can help by recommending pest controllers and many other local businesses we have worked with over the years.

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