As you may know, house flies are, generally, very annoying insects that cause problems for a lot of people from around the globe.
Although they may seem harmless, in some cases, they can be very dangerous.
“Dangerous?”, you say. Yes, dangerous.
Let’s say for example a house fly sits on your food for several seconds when you aren’t paying attention. If that fly was infested with disease (which they can be) and you ate that piece of food, you can have a variety of unpleasant health issues coming your way.
If you’re a germaphobe, flies can be an extra big deal. If you’re a person with only a vague feeling of being grossed out by flies, let this article serve as a wake-up call!
In this article I’m going to present everything you need to know about these insects and how to get rid of them forever, if that’s your plan.
Just to make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle here, I’ve created a short list of the main topics of this article, in the order they appear:
- What causes lots of flies in the house?
- What will get rid of house flies for good?
- Do pennies keep flies away?
- Do flies do anything good?
- Where do flies lay their eggs in the house?
- How do you kill fly eggs?
- Why do house flies land on you?
- Where do flies go at night?
- Do flies nest in your home?
- How long does a fly infestation last?
- How do I get rid of a fly infestation in my house?
Ok, now we’re ready to learn about flies, and how to eradicate them from your life forever!
But first, a basic primer on some of the most-asked questions about the creature the french call “les mouches”.
What causes lots of flies in the house?
This is a very frequently asked question, and a good one to kick things off here.
I should probably mention here at the beginning that you will encounter a lot of house flies, particularly in regions with heavy vegetation and thick shrubbery.
Unfortunately, many people believe that if a house has a lot of flies, it is, as a rule, very disgusting and dirty. That is not necessarily the case, and that’s the scary part.
You can expect a lot of flies in your house even if you did take out the trash and cleaned the counters. Flies, being small, are after the bits that maybe you didn’t see that are left behind, in the cracks, or some residue that you aren’t aware of.
If you keep a clean house, that’s the best way to ward off flies, but say your house looks roughly like this…
In this case, it’s like opening up a Loblaws and saying “Today only: house flies get 100% discount on everything”. They will be there in a hurry.
The sad thing about flies is that they are also just flying around looking for things, and that means that even if they can’t find anything, that doesn’t stop them from looking because maybe you’ve got something somewhere. Also remember – flies have a clear schedule from the day they’re born til they die, and it says one thing: look for food. In other words, flies always buzzing around to see what’s what.
There shouldn’t be any problem if your leftover food is covered with napkins, or a towel. However, if you left it uncovered, even slightly, flies can visit it and you probably don’t want to eat it after this.
Why? Because flies also love fecal matter, and that’s probably where they were before they flew in your house and landed on your food (eating poop). This is, indeed, the main reason why flies are so dangerous. In a word – bacteria.
As you probably know, fecal matter can carry many diseases. BTW, if you don’t know, fecal matter is poop, basically.
Anyway, let’s imagine a fly that just sat on an animal poop and then came through your window. It saw some delicious uncovered food remnants, and decided to sit on it. Even if it did that for only 1 second, throw that away, I say, AWAY!
Bacteria can live for many hours on the flies, and the bacteria can cause some diseases like: ocular infections, diarrhea, or skin infections.
They can also contaminate the food with salmonella, a type of poison you may have heard of.
Watch this video if you need even more reasons to dislike flies.
Ok, now that we have some idea what flies are all about, let’s talk about repelling them! Away, foul creatures! AWAY!
What will get rid of house flies for good?
Let’s make one thing clear: there are A LOT of ways to get rid of house flies. I am not going to present to you every single one of them, because that would take me way too much. However, I will list some of the most effective and fast ways.
Firstly, let’s talk about one of the most popular ways of doing that: fly paper. This is also very easy to use. You literally just need to hang those around your room and wait. It is some special paper that will attract house flies.
Once they will touch it, they will be stuck there. Don’t hang fly paper in places like in the kitchen, right above your cooking stove or your dining table. In some rare cases, they can escape and fall down, and you definitely don’t want a fly in your meal. Noooo thank you!
This method, as good as it is, will not eliminate 100% of the flies. Some of them will just avoid this paper. Despite having tiny brains, flies aren’t always that dumb. It is effective enough though to capture a whole bunch of them, usually.
The next method is also very effective. If you are ever bored and annoyed by those little creatures, go at your local groceries store and buy a fly vacuum. There are even more humane “no-kill” models if you’re feeling extra merciful.
You may be wondering right now: can’t I just use a normal vacuum? No, silly, that will allow flies to escape immediately after you turn it off.
Even though, this guy thinks he “got” the fly with his normal vacuum. BUT DID HE?
A fly vacuum is a special tool that traps them and doesn’t let them out. It is incredibly cheap as well, so fear not.
You don’t need to save any huge amount money to get one of these devices. They usually go for like 10 dollars, but the amount of fun and effectiveness that they will provide is priceless.
Every time house flies give you a headache, pull it out and get to work. Depending on the number of them and your skills, this action should take you about 15 minutes.
The following way of eliminating house flies uses something that we all have in our house: a dish detergent cocktail of death.
There is a mix of liquid solutions that once it hits the flies, it will kill them. Because you most likely don’t want to throw this stuff around with your hands, you will need a spray bottle of course.
Open that up and add 2 cups of warm water, about 8 drops of dish detergent and half a teaspoon of borax. After that, just mix those. You can tell it is ready once the borax dissolves.
Once you’ve prepared your weapon, use it from a little distance on flies and observe how they instantly die. There is some bad news, however. You will have to clean the dead flies from the ground, unlike the vacuum method, which is tidier.
Ok, now to address a strangely popular rumour…
Do pennies keep flies away?
There is a very weird way that a lot of people say it keeps the flies away. You need a ziplock bag, water and some pennies. Just fill out half the bag with water and throw 5 pennies in it.
After that, just place it somewhere in the room, preferably at the window. You will notice a reduced amount of flies in that certain place.
But how does it work? Many people are confused by this seemingly insane method. I will try to explain it without getting into too much of the science, just to make sure you understand the main idea, ie. how it kills them dead.
The sunlight and the moving water, along with the color of the pennies will reflect into their compound eyes, making them see a lot of different and trippy colors that will scare them away. Crazy, huh?
Do flies do anything good?
Sigh. Yes, while they are annoying and potentially dangerous, the real question is: do houseflies really need to disappear? Or, can we keep them as pets and use them as allies in some way?
After talking about their flaws so much, it is time to find out if they can have a good purpose in this world, despite their uber-annoyingness, and the short answer is yes.
Just like most of the insects, they are a food source for other animals, like birds and spiders. Yes, I do know what you are thinking right now – How do birds and spiders contribute to the human life, aren’t they just as useless?
Hang on you crazy hater of all living things! Just like the house flies, birds and spiders maintain the food chain that exists on this planet. Did you not know about this?
Also, once a house fly sees a dead animal, they are placing some of their little eggs on it that basically eats the corpse, leading to a richer soil. Yayy!
Ok, so now you have the chance to not kill house flies that are buzzing around your face. Try instead to caress their gross little wings and make them your pals.
Where do flies lay their eggs in the house?
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes this…
Once two dirty flies have done the deed (possibly on your egg salad sandwich), the eggs can be placed in almost any warm and moist place by the female that will assure the larvae food.
Just like humans, they can’t live without some tasty vittles and the baby flies are hungry, hungry, hungry.
The females place a lot of eggs in her designated spot – usually 5 or 6 batches of about 90 eggs. I know, that is a huge number. <shudder>
This is basically why they are considered high-volume breeders. After the egg has been laid down, it will hatch in about 12 to 24 hours.
Here is a video of a fly laying eggs. Oh, the beauty of creation! So wonderful (runs away screaming)…
Larvae will come out from the egg, becoming pupae and eventually adults after that. An adult house fly can live about 20 days on an average, and to them, your house is just perfect. Just. Perfect.
How do you kill fly eggs?
Fortunately, you can identify house fly eggs quite easily. They can look like really small grains of rice, as in the video above. (I used to like rice, until that video…)
That’s why, you need to get rid of the material on which you’ve seen those as soon as possible. We’ve already covered the fly’s targeted materials: the garbage, the left out food, and even human or animals excrement.
Here’s a video showing a supreme house fly delicacy – slimy dog poop.
Again, larvae can’t survive without nourishment such as a carpet with dog feces, so house flies don’t tend to deposit their eggs in the corner of the room where there’s nothing to eat. Unless you decided to leave some food for them right there, of course. A bagel with cream cheese, perhaps?
Point being, watch out for the eggs, and get rid of them ASAP. Use bleach, boiling water, hydrogen peroxide, and treat the spot where you found the eggs like you’re trying to kill the plague. Might seem extreme, but that’s just my advice.
Why do house flies land on you?
When it comes to house fly habits, this is one of the most popular questions out there. As they seek a place for their eggs to be laid and then hatch, they always prefer garbage and left out food
So the question then is, why in the world are they annoying people? They aren’t mosquitos, they don’t want your delicious blood. What do they really want? Do they just want to see if there’s anything to eat ON you, or what?
Well, there is a pretty obvious answer to this question. Just like I told you a little while ago, their eggs have to be laid in a warm place.
So, that is basically it. You’re warm, and you’re also a place. (Dear God) They are just trying to serve their purpose, once again.
Sometimes, you may allow them to stay on you, just to make sure they will stop annoying you or because you think it’s a neat little trick. My advice? Don’t let them.
Once they find a warm place that feels safe, they may even try to poop. That’s why you need to take them off you immediately. Also, wash the place that they sat on after. Actually, screw it, wash every piece of clothing you have and take 17 showers (if you’re a germophobe like me). This might save you from the nasty diseases which I’ve covered earlier.
Also, watch this video, if you ever wondered why it was so hard to swat a house fly.
Whew, flies are sneaky!
Where do flies go at night?
Go figure, house flies need sleep as well. But when? Generally, you will not see too many sleepy flies, because this isn’t their main purpose in their life. It is a very short life that they have, that’s why they will do anything to find the perfect place for their eggs, and then of course bother you. They have to make time for that too.
Compared to us, even 5 minutes can be enough for them. The question is, do they have their own bed that they go to and snooze really fast?
No, they don’t. They can sleep pretty much anywhere, but they do prefer near a food source. Also, the location has to be safe, just to make sure they don’t get killed while they are sleeping.
And by the way…
Yeah, that was unpleasant.
Do flies nest in your home?
Unlike spiders and many other animals, house flies don’t build nests. They don’t care about that. Again, their main purpose is reproduction. Just like I told you a little earlier, they can sleep anywhere, so they don’t need a home.
However, there are a lot of angry and annoyed humans watching their moves, so a nest wouldn’t probably be such a bad idea. Who knows, maybe they will evolve and figure that out some day. You never know.
How long does a fly infestation last?
This really depends on the owner of the house. If he or she isn’t going to do anything about house flies, the duration of the infestation will be very loooong. In fact, it might end up that the flies own the house after a while, and the people won’t make it, sorry to say.
These insects are going to reproduce constantly if they have all the condition met that they need. Even though they live only about 20 days, the newborn babies will reproduce themselves and so on. House flies should no longer be treated like a joke once you see a lot of them taking over your home.
Personally, I don’t think someone can ignore house flies, and potential infestations. They are just exasperating and you shouldn’t get used to them.
Say no to infestations, get rid of them ASAP!
How do I get rid of a fly infestation in my house?
My recommendation is to use one of the methods which I’ve mentioned earlier in this article. Just make sure you kill most of them, if not every single last damned one of them, so they can’t reproduce anymore.
Personally, I think the key here is just to hunt them all down and kill them. Leave a few behind, and they’ll be back. Oh yes, they will.
Test each one of them and try to find out which is the most effective and fast for you. If you have an animal lover in your midst who doesn’t want to see flies die, grab them by the scruff of the neck and say, “Listen up! It’s either US.. or THEM!!!!”
When it comes to an infestation, you shouldn’t go for the most hilarious way of killing them, or fuss over methods that aren’t going to do the job ASAP. You don’t have time for that. Whether you’re a home maker, or a college student, if you see this face, you need to take action because it’s coming for YOU.
Overall, house flies are both annoying and useful at the same time. Even though they have their strong points, you shouldn’t ignore them. You will be surprised how fast it will go from 2 simple insects to an infested house. Which is your most effective way of eliminating them?