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Marqed97 09-28-2013 11:48 AM

Flies! Flies everywhere!
As the name implies, over the last week our house has been invaded by flies. They look like common houseflies. We've killed about 30-40 a day all this week and every morning there are more. Mostly first floor, kitchen and living room areas. The house is clean, closed up tight, screens on windows (which are closed mostly as temps in NW WI are dropping now). Any ideas where these little buggers could be coming from?

They're pretty slow and stupid-acting, so maybe it's a part of their life cycle, but we haven't had this happen the previous 2 fall seasons that we were in this house. We usually find a pile of dead ones on a windowsill in the attic in late fall but that's about it.

I'm pretty easy-going about this type of thing but my wife is not happy and I have one daughter who is going thru a 'petrified of any bug' stage.

And advice or ideas would be appreciated. I did put up a couple fly strips but they avoid them pretty well.

Thanks in advance,


oh'mike 09-28-2013 05:09 PM

That's wild---last time that happened to me , I found a dead opossum under the deck---

dengle 09-28-2013 05:49 PM

There has to be some area where they are either attracted or are breeding that is close to an entry way which causes your on-rush.

I had a similar issue with fruit flies by the kitchen sink. Turns out the backsplash of the counter-top separated after that doozie of an earthquake several years back and left just enough room for fruit flies to hide and make mischief. Sanitized the area, sealed it up and poof, no more fruit flies.

If you have a dog, where does it do it's "business"? Flies love that stuff and will fly to it like... well... flies on it :)

You mentioned a little one. Does she have the same habit as my little ones of opening the door and then not closing it? That could let droves of flies in.

PoleCat 09-28-2013 06:42 PM

They're called cluster flies. We had them one year. Biblical plague style.

Marqed97 09-28-2013 07:44 PM

I did decide to do a little search today for anything dead. Our house has a basement but the back 2 story jut-out (pantry on first floor and closets on second) has a crawl space (about 6'x10'). Nothing there. I cleaned the basement this afternoon and found about 100 dead flies on the floor in all the corners near windows. Some were huge, others smaller.

After this morning's massacre in the kitchen, they were back by 5pm. Ugh. Wife was working and kids were at grandma's today so no in and out (I had previously suspected this as well).

We do have a dog that does her business out back, I wonder if they're hitching a ride on her to get in? I guess it's possible. It's funny - I've never noticed any flies in the little back entryway room.

Like I said, they are slow. We've recently been having nighttime temps in the low 40's, perhaps they're really just seeking out the warmth of the house and finding a way in. Yuck.

I will continue my search (I don't want a repeat of this in the spring or fall next year) and let you all know if I find anything. Thank you all for the comments!


cruies 09-30-2013 04:57 AM

How to Control Flies

1 Keep your surroundings clean by disposing the organic waste and decayed Material in tightly covered dust bins.
2 Make sure there is no decayed waste such as vegetable waste or dead Animals or other contaminated waste in your surroundings. If any such Waste found it should be immediately removed or treated to avoid flies from Breeding in or laying eggs on such waste.
3To prevent flies from entering your house use mesh screens for doors and Windows or try to keep the doors and windows closed.
4 another method to get rid of fleas is the use of oscillating fan which Will generate variable air flows that are not liked by some flies.
5 once the flies have entered you can get rid of them by the use of Insecticide sprays that will kill the flies. However, in this process Make sure all the pets including your fish tank should be taken out of that Room for their safety.
6 Use of automatic dispensers can also prove to be useful as they puff Insecticide after regular intervals.

dengle 09-30-2013 01:27 PM

To see which room( s ) they are coming in from, if your house layout permits it, use painters plastic to create some temporary partitioning. If you overlap two pieces in each doorway, it should provide enough of a barrier for the flies to stay in the same room they enter while allowing easy enough traffic for the people/pets in the room

If they come back after being cleaned out as quick as you say, that should give you an idea of the source room within a day.

BigJim 09-30-2013 02:10 PM

Two or three years ago we had the same problem, there were so many we couldn't swat them all. I got the shop vac out and got rid of them that way, they just came by the hundreds. They seem to come at a certain time of year, then once gotten rid of they don't come again until next year. The last couple years haven't been as many as that one year, they were unbelievable.

PoleCat 09-30-2013 04:20 PM

Cluster flies are parasitic to earth worms. The lay their eggs in them. In late Aug./Sept. they hatch and look for a place to over winter. In the spring they leave and go worm hunting again. In our case we killed every damn one we saw. Then when the few remaining ones woke up in the spring we nuked them too. Must have had an impact on the local population because we haven't had them since.

Marqed97 09-30-2013 05:36 PM


I've talked to a few guys at work that live in town here and they too are seeing mass quantities of these flies. I think they're getting in through a basement window near the garden in back, then it's a short trip up to the kitchen (right above that window).

BigJim: yep, the shop vac is proving to be the best tool, though the 'non-afraid' daughter is enjoying the chase with a fly swatter. We dipped into the upper 30's the other night and there were definitely fewer flies today.

I'm going to seal up that window frame and any other cracks I can find on the SW wall of the foundation and see what happens.

The worm thing kind of makes sense as I've seen more worms above ground in the last 2 weeks than I have in recent memory. Could be a coincidence but I'm not discounting anything. Hell, I thought they might be coming up through the old manhole in the basement that the footing drains tie into. I had it cracked for the dehumidifier to drain in to. I closed it 3 days ago and it didn't change anything.

Stupid flies.

Thanks for all the responses!


tcook555 10-12-2013 09:57 PM

Have you had this problem before? Here in New England the flies love to get in behind wood clapboard siding. They burrow their way into any spaces they can find behind the walls and will spend the winter there, huddled together in massive clusters. That first warm sunny day of Spring is their wake up call and a refreshing reminder of how much I hate flies.

gobug 10-17-2013 08:55 AM

I agree with cluster flies. I had customers (one was a medical office, another a dental office) where I had to treat for them every year. They are seasonal and not carriers of disease like a house fly. They detect heat coming from your abode. This is a bit early for them to emerge indoors, but weird weather may alter their behavior. You cannot exterminate them without injecting a pesticide into the walls. There could be many in there. They may continue to emerge through the whole winter.

It is easier to deal with them before the fall by closing the holes to the inside walls from the outside. If this is not feasible, you may have to spray a repellant pesticide on the exterior. This needs to be done before they start looking for a hibernation spot in the fall.

There are too many entry points from their hibernation spots to the indoors. They can get through a very small crack, like 1/32inch. I suggest a vacuum every day now, but close their doors next summer.

gma2rjc 11-17-2013 09:32 PM

I agree with them being cluster flies too. My mom gets them in her house every year. Mostly in the windows and they're slow and easy to kill.

Last year, when I was insulating her attic, I pulled a bunch of old, useless pink insulation out of some of the wall bays from the rooms below. With each batt of insulation that I pulled out, dozens of those flies would come flying out with it - BZZZZZZ - they're louder than regular house flies.

One night, about 10 years ago, when my sister-in-law was asleep in one of the upstairs bedrooms, one of the cluster flies got down into one of her ears. It gives me the creeps just thinking about it.

Here's a website with some information about them...

SPS-1 11-18-2013 10:19 AM

Good link to the info.
I had these once......kept finding flies around the one window. I could see them inside and outside even in the winter. Never heard of flies in the winter before, but that's exactly what the link says.

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