Home remedies for cluster flies in NZ

Cluster flies in NZ can be extremely annoying because of how hard they are to get rid of. If you have a large cluster that keeps returning, you will likely need help from professional pest controllers. However, if you catch them early, there are some home remedies for cluster flies in NZ that can reduce the chance of them taking shelter in your property.

While they don’t cause any particular health hazards, cluster flies are quite smelly compared to other flies. If you notice an unusual smell in your property, it might mean that you have cluster flies somewhere that you can’t see or don’t visit often.

Why are there more cluster flies in Autumn and Winter?

Cluster flies are more active in the warmer months when they lay eggs. You see more of them in the colder times of the year because they are actively searching for warmer areas. Unfortunately, a lot of times this means they end up in homes and businesses.

Autumn is when you’ll typically see them the most while they search for a place to hold out for the winter. During winter, they enter a state called diapause, which is similar to hibernation. In this state, they minimise bodily functions to survive until the weather heats up again.

When cluster flies in NZ do this, it tends to be in large groups–which is where the name comes from.

Why are cluster flies in NZ so hard to get rid of?

Like other types of flies, there are several options to remove cluster flies from your property. If they are in their diapause state, you can often simply vacuum them up. You can also use a bug bomb to kill groups of them. They aren’t impervious to insecticides, nor do they have other special survival traits.

So if standard techniques are effective, why are they so hard to get rid of?

The answer is from their biology. When cluster flies find a warm place that feels safe, they release a pheromone that essentially tells others that they have a safe place to live. This pheromone is extremely potent. And it’s also exceptionally hard to remove completely. Even some of the strongest cleaners aren’t enough to remove all traces, meaning that more flies will return to the spot.

What can I do to stop cluster flies in NZ?

To combat the resilience of cluster flies, companies around the world have made special products to reduce the chance of infestations. However, even the best products are no guarantee since the flies are so tough to get rid of.

If you want to prevent cluster flies

The best way to stop cluster flies is to ensure they never gain access to your property in the first place. Notice one or two cluster flies around the house or just want to make sure they don’t stick around? Try these techniques:

  • Plug any holes in the roof or cladding. Reducing the number of ways cluster flies can get into your property will make them less likely to build clusters.
  • Add post control devices. Flypaper, fly screens, and bug zappers can all help with preventing cluster flies. Citronella, a lemony scent, is also a fly deterrent. This comes in fragrant sprays as well as special fly repellents.
  • Do preemptive professional pest control. Professional pest control can help create a barrier to your home to stop flies and other pests from getting in. For prevention, you’d ideally want to do this at the end of summer or early autumn for cluster flies. Some claim that electronic pest control can help but evidence of this is dubious.

If you have clusters already

Once cluster flies decide on a spot, they can be extremely difficult to get rid of as evidenced by this article on Stuff about recent cluster fly infestations. If you already have clusters of flies in your property, there are a couple of things you can try to get rid of them.

  1. Remove flies you can find. Before stopping more flies from getting in, you need to remove the existing ones from the property. Bug bombs in the affected areas are a good way to quickly kill the flies. Then, you can vacuum them up. Be careful though; it’s no exaggeration that there can sometimes be thousands of flies in clusters, enough to even clog vacuums at times.
  2. Declutter and deep clean your home. Cluster flies can end up in all sorts of places, so the less clutter there is the less likely that they’ll stick around. While deep cleaning the home, make sure to keep food covered and sealed as well.
  3. Pay extra attention to affected areas. Clean these areas with powerful disinfectants to make the pheromone weaker. However, even many extremely potent cleaners aren’t enough to get rid of it completely, which is why so many people get flustered with cluster flies in NZ.
  4. Repeat steps as needed. It might take a bit to see if these techniques work. Continue to remove flies and keep your property clean, with extra attention to areas where they cluster.

What if these cluster fly removal techniques don’t work?

If you try removing cluster flies and they keep coming back, your best option is to have a professional pest controller come by to help. They can help you find how cluster flies are getting in and have access to more potent treatment options that are more likely to be effective. If you’re in the Southland region, you can get in touch with our team for cluster fly removal by giving us a call or filling out a quote request below.