Pest Control News

Friday, 4 December 2015

The Cluster Fly – friend or foe?

The Cluster Fly – friend or foe?

In effect, the cluster fly is neither. They do not spread bacteria or ill health, but they are an irritation.
Some pests, as we know, are a nuisance, whilst others are dangerous. The cluster fly falls into the aforementioned category. Common across Europe and in the UK, this species of fly is harmless, and does not spread disease that affect humans. 
Many people also wrongly assume that many insects, including flies die out over the cold winter months. They do disappear from sight but this does not mean that they have died out. They are, in fact, like lots of other animals, hibernating. Sleeping out the cold winter months is one way of preparing for the busy months of spring and summer, when they will need to procreate, lay eggs and generally act in a way that guarantees the future of their species. 
And this is why cluster flies, dark or olive in colour and about 6 to 8 millimetres in length can be a problem in winter, and all other seasons.

As the name suggests…
This species of fly – and there are many different type of cluster fly – like to all clump together in large numbers. These swarms of flies can look frightening but they are harmless. It is the plump adult cluster fly that makes it through the winter, starting to cluster together in September. 
When they have identified the place that makes a good clustering site, they send out a pheromone, a smell that can only be detected by other cluster flies. However, get millions of cluster flies in one place doing the same thing and it is possible to smell a sickly, sweet smell – the culmination of large amounts of pheromone being given off. 
In the spring, they all zoom off to make laying their parasitic eggs in compost heaps and so on. On hatching, the larve will hitch a ride on an unsuspecting earthworm, feeding until they break out as a fly. 

Surviving winter
Winter is an unwelcome time of year for many insects. The cold can quickly kill off insects as they have little reserves to be able to fight off the chill. Thus cluster flies, like many other flies, wasps and winged insects, will need to find somewhere warm to last through the winter. 
They will, therefore, congregate in large numbers in places where they are warm-ish, free from draughts and so on. Unfortunately, this may mean in loft spaces, cellars and so on. 

Treatment
You will need more than a can of fly spray to deal with a cluster fly issue. The first and most important thing to do is not panic, and then to call our professional pest control experts on 07879 473298.
We will assess the size of the infestation, and the size of chemical treatment needed and where the infestation is too. Some areas are easier to treat than others but in some situations, there are health and safety grounds to consider when it comes to treatment too. 
Some treatments, for example, will need 48 hours to work before the clear up can begin. 
Do you need help with a cluster fly swarm or any other pest this winter? Call us today on 07879 473298 or our local landline numbers.