Potentially the most annoying of all the household pests in New Zealand, it’s not easy to catch something that is not only quick but can also fly. As with many of the other pests the easiest steps to take are:
With so many different species we have touched on the more common ones that you’ll often find in and around your home.
We’re all familiar with your standard housefly, the one that comes in through an open door or window and then can’t figure out how to exit the same way. They might not have entered your home by accident but instead be entering to look for a place to lay their eggs.
The standard lifecycle of a housefly is, they begin as an egg and then after one day develop into larva, then pupa and finally full-grown adults. This full cycle can take between 7 to 10 days to complete. The overall lifespan of a housefly is 3 months and the most worrying number of all is that adult females can lay up to 900 eggs in her lifetime. So with that in mind it’s best to stop the flies coming in, otherwise you could have a full infestation in a matter of weeks.
In most cases of an infestation they cause more of nuisance rather than health risks, although houseflies can carry bacteria and even viruses that can spread when they bite or even land on food and preparation surfaces. Some of these diseases include:
In some more extreme cases they can even cause eye infections, tuberculosis, and typhoid fever.
Did you know: There is a reason that every time you think you’ve successfully snuck up on a fly to swat it and it quickly gets away, this is because they have 360 vision so they quite literally have eyes in the back of their heads.
They are mainly attracted to preferred materials where they choose to lay their eggs, these include:
To get ahead of an infestation, the best preventive measures to take are:
If you find yourself with an infestation, here are some useful tips to help alleviate the nuisance:
Some natural repellents can deter houseflies, why not try some of the following methods -
If you’re experiencing a full infestation, you may require something with a little more kick -
Insecticides - these are very effective however they’re also a short term fix, this is because houseflies have a short lifecycle and so they can develop a resistance. If you choose to use this method we would recommend a Pyrethrin-based insecticide, be sure to buy one for indoor use only, use in a ventilated setting and follow the how to use directions.
Sticky traps - these are strips of sticky paper that are usually hung but can also be laid down throughout your home, they are scented to attract the flies however they’re not the most effective.
Light Traps - these light boxes can be used both outside and inside, they attract the flies in with the bright glow and then kill the fly with an electric zap or just trap them so that they can't escape. Be sure to mount this away from doors and windows so as to not attract more flies inside the home and always follow the products directional guidelines.
Are you in the kitchen preparing your meal but suddenly realise you’re cooking for more guests than you had first thought? You might have now noticed a small cloud buzzing around your fresh fruit and vegetables, your garbage bin or even empty beer bottles. It sounds like you might have a fruit fly infestation.
Firstly you will need to find the source of the infestation, for example if they are hanging around any open sources, throw the food out and scrub the area with disinfectant cleaner. Finding and removing their home might be enough on its own to sort your problem. Read on to find out more.
If left to go untreated, fruit flies in your home could cause potential health risks. Like many other flies, they have the potential to pick up and carry bacteria. Don’t let their name fool you, these little pests are particularly drawn to manure and other faecal matter that contain bacteria such as E.coli. So when they visit your home and land on your fresh produce, they leave behind traces of this.
That’s not all, after mating, female fruit flies inject batches of eggs into fresh fruit which then contaminates it.
As in most cases with pests, the best way to prevent the fruit fly is to make sure that your home's common areas are kept clean.
Why not try out some of these useful household methods for preventing an infestation, firstly we have some easy to construct homemade traps -
Rotten food trap: Rather than tossing out rotten or left over food, place in a disposable container and cover with plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the wrap and place in a high density area. The flies should swarm inside and become trapped, once dead dispose of the container and repeat until all flies are gone.
Red wine trap: If you don’t plan on finishing your glass or bottle, do not pour it away, instead place it in a disposable container and mix with dish detergent, again cover with plastic wrap and poke holes big enough for the flies to crawl inside. The wine will attract the flies and the detergent will make it difficult for them to escape which will drown the flies. Again dispose of and repeat until all flies are gone from your home.
Vinegar solution trap: Using a disposable container, fill with water and add a few tablespoons of vinegar, sugar and a few drops of dish soap then stir. Place near a swarm and wait for the flies to be attracted to the solution where they will drown once they touch the water. Again continue until all flies are gone.
Store bought sticky traps work here as well.
These pesky insects are a proper menace throughout the Summer months and you’ve probably dealt with your fair share of them every time you have been on holiday at a lake, river, beach or pool, anywhere with water really as it's where they tend to do their breeding. These little fellas are common all over New Zealand with a total of 19 species across the North and South island.
To stop them from ruining your summer, the use of strong odours, bug repellents, and some good old house cleaning are the best options and, where possible, removing or covering sources of water around your property will help to control where they can breed. Read on to find out more.
These pests do and will bite humans as well as domestic animals, however it’s only the adult females that are capable of doing this. After mating, they require a blood meal to produce eggs. The bites can be painful and will most often cause red bumps and blisters, these can become infected causing skin inflammation, or dermatitis.
The following methods will help with stopping sand flies before they enter your home -
Lavender, Citronella and Eucalyptus candles - burn these around the house as they deter sand flies, they also come in spray form and can be used for the same purpose.
Orange Peel Extracts - More of a home remedy, place these around your various entry points to keep the flies out.
Lemon, Lime or any Citrus juice - Another home remedy that can be diluted with water and sprayed around your home.
If you suspect that you have an indoors infestation, you can use the following methods to help try and control the situation.
Vacuuming - Go hard with this, paying attention to the carpets and every nook and cranny in the walls, floors and ceilings.
Steam Cleaning - Sand flies at any stage of their lifecycle cannot survive in very high temperatures so this is a good way to kill eggs through to adults.
Sealing cracks and gaps - They will breed in these places so try seal off any possible areas.
Insecticides - Spray these around your home at entry points and hard to reach places, however be sure to follow the instructions and only use in well ventilated rooms.
Insect Repellent - Again spray at points of entry and hard to reach places.
If you enjoy a nice morning coffee on your porch or evening drinks on your deck, you may want to consider the following methods to help reduce the sand flies near your home -
Lavender, Citronella and Eucalyptus Spray - use this on infested plants or known areas around the outside of your house.
Boric Acid - if you have found an infestation around your garbage bins use boric acid on the floor near this area.
Insecticides - there are many options to choose from that can be found at most supermarket and hardware stores, however read the instructions carefully as some can be harmful to pets and children.
If your home is under attack from any fly infestation and you need further assistance in their removal, please get in touch with our team to discuss the next steps on taking back your home. You can also check our pest control guides to prevent other types of infestations.