What is up with the flies?
July 18, 2005 12:09 PM   Subscribe

Where are all these flies in my house coming from, and why all of a sudden?

Beginning about four days ago, we started seeing huge flies in our house. At least one or two a day, always enormous ones. They're sticking to the garage/utility room and the living/dining/kitchen areas.

How can I figure out where they're coming from?
How can I make it stop?
Why are they so damn big?

We keep a clean house and garage, don't have any children or pets, and sometimes keep the windows closed all day -- and still, the flies.
posted by suchatreat to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
How big? I lived in an apartment building that had some sort of big carrion flies due to a dead squirrel in the dumpster.

They looked like very very large black houseflies (about an inch long.) Once they got into the building, they hung around and terrorized the apartment-dwellers despite a lack of dead things inside. They were slower moving and less skittish than regular flies. They were also very sneaky in managing to get into my apartment despite my careful efforts to keep them out. I swatted them and eventually they stopped coming, after the bait in the dumpster had been gone for awhile. Gross.
posted by desuetude at 12:36 PM on July 18, 2005

I lived in an apartment (the first floor of a 2 family house) where we had this problem once a year. And it wasn't just a few flies, it was more like hundreds. They were large black flies, slow moving, lethargic almost. We figured they were all dying, but we couldn't figure out where they had come from or why. We were clean, had no pets or children (same for upstairs neighbors), found no rotting carcasses. We'd hang a bunch of fly strips and vacate the place for a few days. Then they'd be gone. It was like they were never there in the first place. It was like some scary Omen shit.

Never got an explanation. Still baffles me to this day.
posted by MsVader at 1:16 PM on July 18, 2005

They sound like cluster flies, but around here (New England - I see you're in NH) I've only seen them be a problem in winter; they sneak indoors in the fall to hibernate then a warm spell can wake them up from their winter slumber and they'll stumble around the house and congregate and die on windowsills by the hundreds.
posted by tiny purple fishes at 1:35 PM on July 18, 2005

I would also like to learn of people's fly deterrents. I've heard basil, mint, and lavender plants/smells can help. Some people recommend hanging a ziplock baggie full of water (some say with a penny in it), as to the fly it looks like a spider or something. I've tried this but my area of interest gets too much sun and the water evaporates too fast.
posted by striker at 2:10 PM on July 18, 2005

I have the very same problem right now, however the flies aren't that fat and slow. Only other time this happened to me, the bastards came with a new bag of cat food. Ended up throwing the whole bag out and the flies disappeared. This time I've no idea where they're coming from. They're driving me to drink (more) though.
posted by sublivious at 2:12 PM on July 18, 2005

You have cluster flies, or a dead gopher under your house. I usually see them at my place in Vermont when the weather gets chillier outside and is still warm by the windows. These are my remedies:

+ get those sticky window things and put them on every window. they're gross but they're cheap and they catch a lot of the flies
+ glasses of water with a little detergent on the window sills. clean these out regularly.
+ if you can leave your house for any length of time, I take super deadly bug killer and spray it around my big south-facing windows which is where they seem to come in. Then I leave the house for half a day. When I come back, there is usually massive fly carnage which I vacuum up with a shop vac.
posted by jessamyn at 2:23 PM on July 18, 2005

If it's only one or two flies a day, doesn't that rule out cluster flies?
posted by desuetude at 6:25 AM on July 19, 2005

This doesn't apply in this situation, but if you end up with flies or small moths from pet food or treats (especially from bulk food stores), microwave the food for a minute as soon as you get it in the house. It will kill the larvae.
posted by blackkar at 6:30 AM on July 19, 2005

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