You Can Have A Fly Problem In The Winter
When it’s summer, and we’re constantly going in and out of the house, or keeping the doors and/or windows open, we accept that getting a few insects in the home is just a part of life at this time of year. It’s nice outside, the temperature is great, and nature is everywhere, so, for example, some flies coming in while you open the back door to carry those steaks out to the grill is just part of summer life.
But usually, when winter arrives, insect pests tend to take a nosedive as they either die once the summer sea-son ends or go into hibernation or some other kind of stasis until the warm weather returns. Mostly, the worry of homeowners as pests are concerned during the winter is mice and other rodent life. But there’s actually one type of fly that you may notice in your home even during the winter months, and it’s called the cluster fly.
Taking A Vacation
Cluster flies, if left undisturbed, can live for quite a long time. In Maryland, when people find that cluster flies are in their home, this normally means that flies have actually been on the property for quite a few months. It’s normal for them to “sneak” into homes around August, and they remain with a relatively low profile and dormant over the ensuing months. They can actually hibernate in this fashion for a few months, only to come out and resume activity.
However, unlike normal houseflies, cluster flies are not attracted to food, rotting or otherwise, and so are not a source of maggots or other parasites that people might be afraid of. In truth, cluster flies normally feed on flower nectar, like bees.
The reason that cluster flies come into homes around August is usually because they are trying to find a place with some protection from the cold as an “overwinter” site. They plan to hibernate and remain dormant for a good chunk of the winter, and then return to the outdoors when the temperature returns to pleasant highs once more.
A Bit Of Exercise
When people see cluster flies, that’s usually when they realize why it has its name. Cluster flies are not solitary, and so usually you won’t see just one, but a few, all “clustering” in the same space. While they are normally dormant or inactive during the winter months, on sunny days, if you open the window to let the light in, they may notice the added heat and come out to cluster together around these heat sources.
In truth, however, these flies don’t pose as great a health threat to humans, since they’re not interested in laying their young in human food. They actually present more of a threat to earth worms, as their reproductive cycle is a bit like the Alien movies. They insert their young into earthworms, which then live off the earthworms until they are ready to leave.
For humans, however, if you see a lot of cluster flies in your home, whether to allow them to go about their nat-ural life cycle or to deal with them as pests is up to you. But they are the one fly that can actually be seen in abundance during the winter season.