Getting rid of flies and other household pests

As summer winds down, you might be looking for a break from summertime pests like flies and mosquitos. Unfortunately, that might not be on the agenda, thanks in part to global warming. As the Earth’s temperature increases, scientists expect the global fly population to double. Global warming may or may not explain the flies in or around your home or office, but here are a few things you might not know about flies, and here’s how to eliminate flies in the fall.

When is a house fly not a house fly?

Flies are everywhere in the summer, but only occasionally will one get into the house. More often than not, a house fly comes in through an open door or window. In late summer, however, several particularly annoying species of flies look for other ways to get into your Tri-Cities home. Here’s what could be driving your fall fly problem.

Cluster Flies

Cluster flies (also known as attic flies) hibernate. The good news is that cluster flies aren’t interested in eating your dinner, your garbage or anything else in your house. They actually dine exclusively on earthworms. Cluster flies may enter your home in the late summer or fall, looking for a place to get out of the cold. They may emerge into your living space through cracks and crevices in cold months. They’re typically slower than regular houseflies, and they have a different wing shape and coloration. As uninvited house guests go, cluster flies not the worst, but they will defecate on walls, window sills, drapes and just about anyplace else.

Face Flies

Face flies look very similar to house flies, but that’s about where the similarities end. Face flies also overwinter in Kennewick in attics, barns and other spaces in a home. They don’t eat or mate during the winter. They wait for spring, but they’ll hang out in your Richland house until the weather warms up.

Once inside the home, flies are difficult to get rid of because they cluster in mostly inaccessible spaces like attics and between walls. The best way to get rid of cluster flies is to make sure they don’t get into your house in the first place! Sealing cracks and crevices near roofs and windows, and securing attic vents and flashing will help prevent cluster flies from setting up a cozy winter residence in your home. Sealing your home offers the added benefit of energy efficiency.

Blow Flies

Blow flies usually have a metallic green or metallic blue appearance. Like house flies, blow flies lay their eggs in the carcass of a dead animal. If a bird, mouse or other pest happens to die in your attic or crawlspace, you may notice an explosion of blow flies. Removing the dead animal is the first step in ridding your home of blow flies. You may also need to call an exterminator to eliminate the rest of the pests.

Cluster flies aren’t the only overwintering pest in West Richland. A number of overwintering pests think your house looks like a pretty good place to bed down for the season. House bugs are distinctly different in appearance from flies, but they’re also looking for a wintertime home. While these bugs are plant eaters, they hibernate in the winter. They don’t mate or lay eggs during the cold winter months, but they do produce a strong, unpleasant odor and they will crawl into bed with you. They’re harmless, but they’re active in homes in early spring and late summer.

Brown marmorated stink bug

The brown marmorated stink bug is a relative newcomer to Washington State. If you haven’t seen them in Pasco yet, you will soon! This shield-shaped insect is native to Asia and was accidentally introduced to the United States in shipping containers. First reported in Pennsylvania, the bug has made a steady march across the United States. Once established, the brown marmorated stink bug feeds on fruit crops, causing significant visible damage to affected produce. The bug emits a foul odor when threatened. Unlike other agricultural pests, the brown marmorated stink bug is not vulnerable to typical food-crop pesticides. Like some flies, the stink bug hibernates indoors and emerges in the spring to mate.

Home Inspections Plus offers structural pest inspections and can help you identify areas of your home that are vulnerable to pest invasions. By eliminating entry points for insect pests, you can eliminate them from your home without significant insecticide use. If you would like more information about sealing your home against pest invasions, please give us a call at (509) 792-3138, or visit Home Inspections Plus on the web.