Monday, January 30, 2012

Last Chance to Stop Cluster Flies?

Stop clusters of flies forming
The cluster flies that have plagued many a rural home and farm in New Zealand over recent years are a very seasonal pest. When cool weather firsts strikes the flies seek shelter in dark and dry corners of buildings. The pheromone (smell) that each fly releases when a it finds a good place to hide for the winter attracts other cluster flies. As more flies join the cluster the pheromone strength builds until all the flies in the area are clustered together in the same roof void, or other place in homes and farm buildings. A home can be infested with thousands of these slow moving smelly flies.

Although cluster flies do not pose a human health hazard their huge numbers can be considerable nuisance, plus, in large numbers the rancid fat like smell they produce will have a 'gross out' effect on those whose homes are infested.


The life cycle of cluster flies has eggs laid in earthworm burrows in pasture and lawns through spring and summer. The larva that hatch from the eggs parasitise the earthworms before pupating and emerging as adult flies. Cluster flies pass through several life cycles through summer. The final life-cycle produces the adults that attempt to overwinter in clusters.

Although it is not cool enough yet to induce flies to begin clustering, that does not happen until  around March, it is when the last life cycle is beginning. Therefore now is the time to treat the cluster flies at source; in the lawns and pastures where the eggs, larvae and pupae are.

Treat your lawns, particularly those close to buildings, with a soil insecticide such as Kiwicare Lawngard Prills. Sprinkle the prills (granules) over the grass areas and water well in to take the insecticide deep into the soil where it will control the flies before they emerge as adults.

Although some preventative work can be done on homes to stop cluster flies choosing the house as a place to cluster, and clusters can be removed, it is preferable to be pro-active and stop their breeding cycle now.

For more information on cluster flies in New Zealand and how to get rid of clusters and prevent them.

A man is stopped by a traffic cop for speeding. As the officer leans towards the driver's window he tries to swat a fly that is circling his head.

"What sort of fly is that?" Exclaims the officer.

"It's a circle fly." says the driver helpfully. "They're usually found flying around a horse's ass."

"Are you calling me a horse's ass, sir?" Says the officer, annoyed.

"No." Replies the driver. "But you can't fool a circle fly."

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I am in the UK and we have a problem with cluster flies in our loft. It is now mid July and I have just spotted a lot of them crawling around amongst the grass in the garden and on the patio. I see above that you recommend Kiwicare Lawngard Prills be put on the grass but these are not available in the UK I don't think. Do you know of an alternative available in the UK? Also is it a good time to use this now? We have an EFK in the loft space and intend to spray the loft and window frames with residual spray. Anything else we should do? Many thanks.

    ReplyDelete

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