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Cluster Fly

Cluster Flies

Cluster flies are a seasonal pest in Ontario. They become a pest in the spring and fall when they are found, often in great numbers in homes. Adult flies of the last generation of the year become numerous during the latter days of September to mid October. As cold weather progresses, adults seek protected places to spend the winter. In many cases this is in the walls, attics, basements and storage rooms of houses. Screens offer no protection since these flies prefer to crawl in through small openings elsewhere around the building. For this reason they are extremely difficult to exclude from your home. Tall, isolated homes in the country are especially prone to invasion since they offer the only protection for miles around.

On sunny days during the fall and early spring, the flies become active and attempt to leave. This the time that they often get into our living areas.

Cluster flies are a rural pest because the larvae are a parasite of earthworms. The more earthworms there are, the more cluster flies there will be. Earthworms are particularly populous near manure or compost piles, and in areas with lots of grasses and moist soil.

Cluster flies are not attracted to food or waste. Adults live on flowers, and the larvae live on earthworms. However, they can be quite a nuisance, buzzing loudly and bumping into windows, and when in large groups (clusters), they can give off an unpleasant smell. This odour attracts even more cluster flies to the home.

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