Harrier Pest Control


House Fly

House Fly

There are many species of fly in Britain but normally only a few of them trouble us as pest species. With the exception of one species, the Cluster Fly (Pollenia rudis), there is little that a pest controller can do that cannot be done by the householder.

The cure to most fly infestation problems is to find the breeding site and remove whatever material they are breeding in. In many circumstances the problem may lie external to the property, farmers muck-spreading etc and sadly there is little that Harrier Pest Control or anybody else can do about this.

Occasional outbreaks of blow flies occur in properties as a result of a dead rat or bird on the



property but again by the time that the adult flies emerge they are at the end of their life cycle and the carcass has been consumed and there is little more that Harrier Pest Control can do which you could not do for yourself with a can of fly-spray.

Infestations of small drain or filter flies indicate standing water, problems with the drains etc and whilst we can achieve a temporary knockdown, the problem will only be cured by finding the source and remedying it.

There is however one species of fly which needs to be dealt with by a pest controller.

The Cluster Fly (Pollenia rudis)

Cluster Fly

Cluster Fly

The cluster flies are the genus Pollenia in the blowfly family Calliphoridae. Unlike more familiar blow flies, such as the bluebottle genus Phormia, they do not present a health hazard because they do not lay eggs in human food. They are strictly parasitic on earthworms; the females lay their eggs near earthworm burrows, and the larvae then infest the worms. However, the flies are a nuisance; when the adults emerge in the late summer or autumn, they enter houses to hibernate, often in large numbers; they are difficult to eradicate because they favour inaccessible spaces such as roof and wall cavities. They are often seen on windows of little-used rooms. They are also sometimes known as attic flies.

The typical cluster fly Pollenia rudis is about 7 mm long and can be recognised by distinct lines or stripes behind the head, short golden-coloured hairs on the thorax, and irregular light and dark gray areas on the abdomen. Cluster flies are typically slow-moving.

They taint any surfaces they come into contact with using a pheremone which helps them locate the site in future years, consequently once a property gets a cluster fly infestation is is likely to be repeated year upon year.

The cluster flies start to emerge from the soil and move into voids in late autumn and move out again as soon as the weather warms in spring and these are the times when they are likely to be noticed.

Harrier Pest Control can carry out a fogging or smoking treatment of the void or attic providing it is accessible and some relief may gained by spraying the walls under the eaves with insecticide providing there is a degree of protection from the rain.

It is often difficult to convince affected people that there isn’t something dead in the attic but this species of fly feeds on pollen and breeds solely by parasitic action on earthworms.


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