How did you get rid of cluster flies?
February 17, 2021 5:28 AM   Subscribe

I’ve discovered that the flies in our attic aren’t just random flies but probably “cluster flies”. There seem to be several ways to get rid of them and keep them away. Have you had them? What worked for you?

A year ago we moved into a house in the (English) countryside. There are a lot of flies in the attic, which is only used for storage, and always have been - the previous owner installed a fly electrocuter - and we just assumed it was one of those things, not being used to houses or the countryside.

But I’ve just discovered that cluster flies are a thing and it sounds like that’s what we have. They are noticeably slow and lethargic, which seems to be one difference between them and other similar-looking flies. And we’re surrounded by fields, which are cluster flies’ breeding ground.

I see there are various measures to get rid of them and hopefully keep them away. Smoke bombs and fly spray. Ultrasonic devices and citronella-emitting devices. Have you successfully dealt with cluster flies? If so, what worked for you?

(I know that sealing the space, so they can’t get in from outside in future, is one solution, but that’s not realistic here.)
posted by fabius to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh nooooo. We had this problem too because our place was newly renovated and the workmen had left the doors open a lot while doing the job, thus letting in the flies to nest in the walls. We put up a gazillion sticky tapes all over our basement (like, one per square foot), and let them fly in and die. I think the trick is waiting for the infestation to run dry. It worked for us, we just had a bunch of hard nasty tapes covered in flies with spiky legs sticking out which we tossed.
posted by erattacorrige at 5:31 AM on February 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

I had cluster flies once in a house that backed up to a field. At the recommendation of someone online, we sucked them up with the hose of a vacuum cleaner. It was gross and satisfying at the same time. It took a day or two to get the bulk of them, and then a week or so to suck up stragglers, but they didn’t come back. (This was in the US, though; I’m not sure if English cluster flies are different.)
posted by okayokayigive at 5:41 AM on February 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

U.S. here. The cluster flies show up on my screened porch every fall, except this year for some reason. I just use a fly swatter, although the vacuum cleaner sounds good. A few swatting sessions takes care of them.
posted by H21 at 7:07 AM on February 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

We had cluster flies at our previous home. After Googling what the heck these slow-moving flies were, I saw some recommendations for the Cluster Buster. We bought one and within a few days no more flying critters! The bonus for me was that I didn't have to see any dead bug bodies (that really grosses me out).
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:22 AM on February 17, 2021

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