Flying Insect Control

House Flies

A house fly against a white background.

The common house fly, shown here on the right, is one of the most significant public health disease vectors in nature. The diseases spread by house flies include typhoid, cholera, dysentery, salmonella, and many, many others.

House flies pick up disease-causing pathogens on their bodies when they land on filth like feces, garbage, or rotting carcasses of animals, and then land on humans, our food, food preparation surfaces, or other things we come in contact with. They really have no place in our homes or other places where people congregate.

House flies are just one member of the taxonomic order Diptera, which means "two wings." Order Diptera includes all flies, as well as mosquitoes. There are more than 100,000 species in the order.

A significant percentage of insects known to transmit diseases to and between humans and other animals belong to this order, and many of them are pests of human homes. This page discusses only a few species. For more information about other flying insects, please feel free to contact us.


Cluster Flies

Cluster Fly.

Unlike house flies, cluster flies are not considered disease vectors because they're a lot more fastidious than house flies. They don't eat or land on filth. Cluster fly larvae are internal parasites of earthworms, and adult cluster feed on flower nectar.

What that means is that cluster flies are more of an annoyance than anything else, but oh what an annoyance they are -- especially in the late fall or early winter. What happens is a lot like what happens with box elder bugs. In the late fall, cluster flies crawl up behind the siding of homes to spend the winter. They have no interest in getting inside the house. They're just looking for a place to spend the winter.

The problem is that no sooner do they snuggle up and make themselves comfortable behind the siding, the homeowner turns on the heat, and the cluster flies think it's spring. Not only that, but because the warmth is coming from inside the house, that's where they go. They think the inside is the outside because it's warmer.

Once they get inside, they start looking for flowers. Finding few or none of them, they head for the windows and fly into them repeatedly, trying to get outside to where they think the flowers are; and eventually they die. That's when the homeowner can sweep or vacuum them up: And that's pretty much the way to deal with cluster flies once they're already in a home. There's no point in using insecticides. They will die on their own.

The only way to prevent cluster flies is to treat the exterior of the home to prevent them from overwintering under the siding in the first place. You should call us during the summer to arrange to receive this service because the demand tends to be high, and the timing is very important.


Fungus Gnats

Close-up of a fungus gnat.

Fungus gnats are are tiny insects that lay their eggs in the soil, including in potted plants. They can be major annoyances in greenhouses, plant nurseries, and homes and businesses that have a lot of interior potted plants and flowers.

Larval fungus gnats feed on soil fungi and, to a lesser extent, the plants themselves. Because of this, they're more likely to be a problem in over-watered or poorly-drained soil that isn't allowed to dry adequately between waterings. This means that one obvious, non-chemical way to help prevent or control fungus gnats is to make sure your plantings are well-drained and to not over-water them. Get rid of the fungi, and you get rid of or dramatically reduce the fungus gnat problem.

Once in a while, fungus gnats will breed in other media besides soil, for example, moist air-conditioning filters that haven't been changed for a while, or evaporator drip trays in HVAC systems that haven't been cleaned. The solutions to these problems are to change the filter and clean the condensate tray, as well as correct any moisture issues that are contributing to the problem.

Once the breeding media issues have been addresses, the best way to control adult fungus gnats is with traps. They seem to be attracted to the color yellow, so yellow sticky traps placed near plants are often effective.


Fruit Flies

Close-up of a fruit fly.

Fruit flies are small flies with prominent red eyes who average about 1/8 inch in length. They're attracted to rotting fruit, vinegar, salad dressing, pickled vegetables, and fermented beverages. They're most often found in the kitchen, often around the sink, garbage disposal, dishwasher, or garbage pail.

Because they're attracted to slightly acidic substances, fruit flies are sometimes called "vinegar flies" or "vinegar gnats."

The first and most important step in solving a fruit fly problem is finding whatever it is they're attracted to and cleaning it up. Usually the problem is spilled fruit, vegetables, or beverages in some out-of-the way area (such as under an appliance). The problem can also be a garbage disposal, dishwasher, or trash pail that needs cleaning.

Once whatever it is that's rotting and fermenting has been removed, very often no further treatment is needed. Fruit flies have very short generations, so in the absence of a place to breed, a fruit fly problem will clear up in a week or so. If you want to hurry things along a bit, use fruit fly traps. No pesticides are needed.

General Information about Flying Insect Control

More so than most other types of pest control, flying insect control depends heavily on sanitation and non-chemical control. This includes things like removing standing water outside the home, removing and disposing of animal droppings, keeping garbage in pails with tight-fitting lids, and making sure that window screens are in good repair. Trying to control flies without addressing the sanitation and exclusion issues is an exercise in futility.

Another important thing that you should know is that electrocution-type fly traps should never be used inside a home, anywhere in a restaurant or food processing facility, or in close proximity to an outdoor dining area. Electrocution traps cause little pieces of fried insect to fly through the air, but don't necessarily kill the germs on the flies. As a result, the germs become airborne. They contaminate and circulate through the air inside a home, and can contaminate food eaten outdoors if they happen to drift on to it.

There are, however, traps that can be used indoors or close to food. They use lights and/or pheromones to attract the flies, and sticky pads to trap the insects, rather than electrical coils or grids to zap them. Some are cleverly designed to look like wall sconces. Please let us know if you're interested in these kind of traps for your home or business.

For more information about flying insect control for your home or business, please contact the experts at Dayton Pest Control. We look forward to hearing from you.


Jarrod's Corner

Concerns about termites?  Call today at 937-478-5776 for a free inspection. Here we are performing a chemical treatment. We also offer termite bait systems. 


--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Apr 28, 2019 05:53:39 pm.

Mosquito season is quickly approaching.  We offer ongoing service for season long protection, as well as one time service for special events like weddings, graduation parties, etc.  Call us today at 937-478-5776 to find out more!

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--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Mar 20, 2019 04:17:09 pm.

Are ants invading your home?  Let us help!  Call 937-478-5776 for a free no obligation quote over the phone!


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--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Mar 15, 2019 11:06:40 am.

Termites are veracious feeders that cause over $5 billion dollars in annual damage to your most important investment (your home!).

Termite season is upon us.  If you suspect a problem or are considering preventative termite treatment, call us today at 937-478-5776 for a free termite insoection!

--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Mar 13, 2019 04:21:03 pm.

Bed bug heat treatment.

--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Feb 27, 2019 01:31:23 pm.

Rodent season is upon us. If you suspect mice have invaded your home, give us a call today!  We work hard to keep your home pest free!

--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Jan 10, 2019 12:21:45 pm.

The Dayton area just ranked #34 in the nation for bed bugs. If you need help, call today for a free estimate. Here is a picture from a heat treatment today in Huber Heights.

--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Nov 02, 2018 11:12:28 am.

Here are some impressive mud tubes found at a home in Englewood. We treated this home with a combo chemical/bait treatment.

--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Oct 03, 2018 09:12:44 pm.

Check out today’s latest post from a termite treatment in Springfield!

--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Sep 20, 2018 08:58:53 pm.

We service the entire Miami Valley for all your pest control needs. Today, we were in Springfield helping a customer with bed bugs.

--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Sep 05, 2018 10:07:21 am.

Check out this video from a bed bug heat treatment done near downtown Dayton today.

--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Aug 29, 2018 11:08:23 am.

I’m often asked by my customers if our vehicles will have a big bug on the side of it when we arrive for a service call. This question always comes up when we are called for a bed bug problem. Take a look at the following link ...

--Posted by Jarrod Kelley on
Aug 24, 2018 03:24:44 pm.

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