Pest Control News

Friday, 14 August 2015

The nuisance that is the Housefly

The nuisance that is the Housefly

Flies are everywhere. They are annoying and invasive. They can cluster in places and can be difficult to get rid of. In most cases, the reason why the housefly has become a nuisance in an area or home can be easy enough to spot but, there are times when the fly cannot be extinguished form an area. In this case, depending on why it constantly in the area, it could become a statutory nuisance – and someone has to then act.

The housefly

Houseflies are common the world over because they thrive off human activity. More accurately – and less pleasantly – they are linked with the waste that we produce, as well as animals too. Flies are attracted to moist organic matter – the manure pile, the rotting compost, decaying food, rotting carcasses and so on.
Leaping at the rotting protein, the fly devours it, laying eggs as it goes along. They can as they hop from one bin to another, and then into our homes, spread enteritis (inflammation of the intestine, along with diarrhoea), parasitic worms, and have been known to spread typhoid and cholera.

The common housefly – the facts

  • They are 6 to 8mm in length
  • Their Latin name is Musca domestica
  • The eggs are white and around 1mm in length
  • The larvae is yellow in colour and can grow up to 12mm
  • They female looks for moist or fermenting organic matter to lay her eggs (the manure heap is the best place!)
  • Animal faeces is their favourite breeding ground!
  • The common housefly can fly up 5 miles
  • They live between 1 to 3 months
  • In this lifetime, the female fly will lay 4 to 5 batches of eggs, with anything from 100 to 150 eggs per time

So common that nothing can be done…?

Along with other kinds of flies, many people assume that nothing can be done about them. They are, after all, everywhere with numbers in their billions. There are some things that can be done but the most effective is prevention.
The understanding that flies devour and enjoy rotting food and animal faeces etc., is enough for us to take the necessary evasive action, for example, not leaving food uncovered, getting rid of food in sealed bags or containers, as well as tight fitting lids on bins and compost bins and so on all help to keep houseflies to a minimum.

A ‘statutory nuisance’

However, there are times when the fly can be more than just a one-off nuisance and, despite all your best efforts, they can still be lingering in larger and ever increasing numbers. This may be because you live close to a farm, chicken farm or other kind of food processing works etc.
If this is the case, they may become what is known as a statutory nuisance. Some factories, farms, industrial units for example, create waste that attract flies in large numbers. If this is the case, they are legally bound to take precautions against pests – including the fly – from becoming a nuisance, which infringe on the enjoyment of open spaces, homes and so on in the local vicinity.
If this is not happening, and your property is   infested with flies, they could be served an abatement notice by the local authority that compels them to deal with the issue.

In summary


Flies are a common issue and there are times when infestations do happen. With flies, it is important to deal with the source of the problem and this can, in some cases, be difficult to find or awkward to access. A professional pest controller, of course, has the means, ability and knowledge to understand how and where flies are coming from. You do not need to accept flies in or around your home.