When winter arrives, most people think their run-ins with bugs are done. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. Some pests, including flies, can be a problem during winter months. Knowing why these pests infest homes can help you prevent and control an infestation. Check out which flies you are likely to encounter in winter and why they’re in your house.
Common Winter Flies
When it comes to pest problems, it’s always important to correctly identify the bug that’s bothering you. There are two fly species that are known to bug people in winter: cluster flies and fruit flies.
Cluster flies are overwintering pests. When temperatures begin to drop in fall, these pests gather on the sunny side of homes and buildings. They slip indoors and find a spot to hide during winter months. Cluster flies are dark gray or black. Their thorax is covered in short, golden hairs, and they have a checkered pattern on their abdomen. These flies are known for moving slowly.
While fruit flies are usually most active in summer, they can infest homes year-round. These pests feed and breed on produce. They can slip inside through openings or be carried into homes on groceries from the store. Fruit flies have two large red eyes. They are about 1/8" in length and have a tan body with a dark abdomen.
What Attracts Flies to Homes in Winter?
Understanding why pests are attracted to your space is key to preventing an infestation. Check out why flies are likely to invade your home in winter.
When it’s cold outside, pests need to find a warm and cozy place to hide. Your house provides flies with warmth and shelter from harsh winter conditions. Cluster flies seek warm, secluded areas to overwinter. They often head to attics and wall voids where they enter a state of diapause. On warmer days, these pests may emerge thinking that spring has arrived.
Fruit flies hang out in homes looking for something to eat. They are attracted to overripe produce and fermented food and drinks. Not only do fruit flies eat produce, they can lay eggs on it too. Leaving your fruit and vegetables on the counter can attract these pests. They may also be brought into your home on produce from the grocery store.
Most bugs are attracted to moisture, and this is true for flies as well. Fruit flies are drawn to dark and damp areas. If there’s standing water or leaky pipes in your home, it could be attracting flies. Drains and garbage disposals can become the perfect breeding spot for fruit flies. Moisture outside can attract flies to your yard, which brings them one step closer to your house.
How to Prevent Flies in Winter
No one wants to deal with flies, which is why you’ll want to implement a few preventative measures. Check out a few tips to help you avoid a winter fly infestation.
- Seal Cracks & Gaps: Cluster flies enter homes through cracks and gaps. You’ll want to examine your house for openings and seal any you find. It’s important to do this before fall, since this is when cluster flies start gathering on homes.
- Remove Clutter: Cluster flies like to stay in undisturbed areas. If your home, especially attics, are disorganized, these pests will have no problem finding a spot to hide.
- Store Food in Containers: Storing your food in sealed containers can help to prevent fruit flies. Instead of leaving your produce on the counters, place it in your refrigerator.
- Keep Your Kitchen Clean: Wipe down counters to remove crumbs, spills, and sticky residues. Regularly remove trash from your home and ensure bags are sealed tightly.
- Create a Protective Barrier: Plant-based insecticide sprays can help to prevent pest problems. Our Home Bug Spray can be applied to common entry points including near doors and windows. It kills pests on contact and provides you with residual repellency, helping to deter flies from entering your home.