Shoo Fly! Don’t Bother Me!
No summer picnic would be complete without hamburgers, hot dogs and … blow flies. They are regular (unwanted) guests at warm weather cookouts, especially when meat is on the menu. Blow flies are a diverse group of flies, ranging in size from ¼ to ½ inch in length and generally have a metallic sheen to their bodies. They may be black, blue, coppery green, olive green or bronze in color. All adult blow flies have blunt mouthparts and do not bite.
Blow fly larva, called maggots, feed on dead and decaying organic matter and help to break it down. In addition to mean and flesh, they often infest wounds of sheep, deer, cattle and other animals. But they can also be attracted to nectar, carrion, garbage and other refuse. Blow flies deposit eggs in wounds or on dead carcasses. The fly larvae, which soon hatch, feed on decaying flesh or matted hair. As a rule, blow fly larvae never attack healthy tissues.
As disgusting as all of this may sound, blow flies actually serve several useful purposes. In nature, they help to facilitate decomposition, and are often the first to arrive at a crime scene. If you’ve watched a prime time police drama in the last 10 years, you probably already know that blow flies have been successfully used by law enforcement to solve crimes. By using the fly’s development along with climatologic data, police can determine the timeline of a crime. Blow fly maggots have also been successfully used in medicine to clean out necrotic tissues of patients.
However useful, most people do not want to see blow flies in their homes! If you see blow flies, it usually means that there is an animal carcass nearby. Most likely, a mouse, rat, squirrel, bird or some other type of urban wildlife has died within your structure; perhaps underneath in your crawl space or in your attic and the flies are traveling to the carcass to break it down.
We are experts at eliminating blow flies and the urban wildlife and rodent pests which can attract them. Be sure to call for the first signs of blow flies in your home.
Keeping Flies At Bay
It’s a summer weekend and the neighborhood is abuzz with the latest at your backyard barbecue. But you don’t want that party ruined because of the buzz of flies present in the summer months. To help reduce flies around your patio:
- Keep all meat products, plates and utensils covered tightly until food is ready for grilling.
- Keep grill lids down except to flip meat and veggies.
- Remove all sources of standing/stagnant water near your home.
- Tip bird baths of water weekly, fill standing mud puddles, clean drains and gutters, tip potted plant saucers.
- Don’t over-water your yard; set automatic sprinklers and irrigators back to less frequent watering before the party.
- Remove dog and cat droppings from your yard prior to the party.
- Keep trash cans and recycle bins covered with tight-fitting lids and at a distance from your patio.
- A fan blowing a gentle breeze over cooking, prep and eating surfaces will keep flies at bay.
- Where safety is less of a concern, change light bulbs from white to yellow. (Most flying insects do not perceive wavelengths of yellow and will not be attracted. This will also reduce the number of spiders present.)
- Angle all exterior lights away from the grill and picnic areas.
- Keep screens in good repair.
If you have any lingering fly issues, don’t hesitate to contact us.