Flies in the Home

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IPM for Flies

Three IPM approaches — sanitation, inspection, and exclusion — are most effective when battling flies. Mechanical measures are also helpful; however, if you do a good job with the first steps, you may not need to do much more.

As mentioned, chemical control is the last resort for flies. It works, but it simply isn't as effective as other measures.


In the Nick of Time

Having a hard time figuring out where fruit flies are coming from? Check your drains. Put some tape over the opening, leaving a little space for airflow. If you find flies on the tape, they're coming from the drain.

As previously detailed, almost all flies are attracted to filth, which they both eat and lay eggs in.

Most sanitation efforts are pretty obvious. It's always a good idea to manage garbage, yard, and garden wastes appropriately and to remove animal carcasses from your yard as soon as you see them.

Some sanitation approaches aren't as obvious. Cleaning household drains on a regular basis, for example, is the best way to battle drain and phorid flies. Other sanitation approaches include…

  • Using garbage cans with tight-fitting lids. Line them with garbage can liners to keep waste from accumulating in the bottom or clinging to the sides. Clean the cans when they get dirty.

  • Covering compost piles with black plastic sheeting. House flies, stable flies, fruit flies, blowflies, and gnats all breed in them. Covering piles not only keeps flies out, it helps organic matter decompose faster.

  • Picking up animal waste regularly. It's best to pick up after your pets right after potty time. If you can't, don't let waste sit for too long, especially when it's warm out.

  • Don't let fruit and/or vegetables rot in your garden. Harvest everything promptly and remove all decaying plant material regularly.


If fly problems continue, you'll need to look for fly-breeding sites that sanitation didn't eliminate. Knowing the species you're battling can be a big help here, as you'll only have to look for the substances that attract those flies.

Inspect your home and your grounds thoroughly. Be sure to check attics and crawl spaces for dead animals. Also, check eaves and rafters for bird activity.

Next: Page 3 >>

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Common Household Disasters © 2005 by Paul Hayman and Sonia Weiss. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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