Fly Control and Identification

Blow Fly BUtton ImageBlow Fly

Cluster Flies Button ImageCluster Flies

Drain Flies Button ImageDrain Flies

Fruit Flies Button ImageFruit Flies

Fungus Gnat Button ImageFungus Gnat

House Flies Button ImageHouse Flies


Flies and gnats are small, annoying pests that can easily invade your Illinois or Wisconsin home at any time of the year. Because flies are often associated with filth, their presence can be very off-putting to family members and houseguests alike. Certain flies are also natural carriers of bacteria and disease, and can potentially contaminate food and food-handling surfaces in your home. At Anderson Pest Solutions, we understand there are several different types of flies that affect home and business owners in the upper Midwest, and each one requires special pest control methods to eradicate. Below are some examples of common fly pests in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Blow Flies

These are the flies we typically associate with decay and filth. At 1/2″ in size with a metallic bluish-green body and red eyes, blow flies like to hang out around dumpsters and dead animal carcasses. They feed and breed in decaying flesh and garbage, and can just as easily transmit all sorts of harmful bacteria to humans.

If blow flies are spotted in your home, your first order of business should be to find out what they’re feeding on. Promptly remove garbage and keep it tightly sealed. Illinois and Wisconsin homeowners should also check attics and basements for any decomposing wild animals that may have entered undetected.

House Flies

Like blow flies, house flies are similar in size and will also feed on anything from table scraps to decaying animals and even fecal matter. They are also major carriers of bacteria and disease. You can tell house flies apart by their non-shiny bodies with four distinct lines running the length of their abdomens. Average lifespan for house flies is typically less than a month, but females can lay multiple batches of up to 100 eggs at a time, so it’s possible to be overrun by multiple generations at a time if you’re not careful.

First steps for removal involve locating and cleaning up the breeding site. This could be anything from an uncovered trash can to a deceased wild animal in an attic or basement. You can then attempt to eradicate adult house flies with bait, traps, or insecticide sprays. Often, Illinois and Wisconsin homeowners find it’s easier to have Anderson handle their fly control needs for them.

Cluster Flies

While related to the blow fly, these pests are fortunately not known as a significant health hazard. However, cluster flies are a nuisance that plagues Illinois and Wisconsin households throughout the year, especially during the winter months. These large (about 3/8”), slow-moving flies don’t feed on human food; they lay eggs in the soil to parasitize earthworms, and adults eat only pollen. However, cluster flies are exceptionally good at finding ways inside houses and other structures to hibernate for the winter.

As the weather turns colder, they will sun themselves on the southside of buildings, clustering together for warmth – hence their name. Once spring arrives, they will leave on their own. But if you can’t wait that long, they are slow enough to fall victim to a vacuum cleaner or good, old-fashioned fly swatter.

Drain Flies

At first glance, you may think these pests are moths, given their large antennae and furry appearance. But drain flies (sometimes called “moth flies”) are much smaller, and spend most of their time near plumbing drains and sewage systems. Those found in the Illinois and Wisconsin area are not known for biting or otherwise transmitting disease, but they are persistent and difficult to get rid of, making them a nuisance.

Drain fly larvae like to feed on the scum deposits inside drains. Both larvae and adults are resistant to drowning and certain chemicals like bleach due to the repellant properties of the fine hairs on their bodies. The most effective method of control is to eliminate their food source by keeping sinks, tubs, and drains clean and clear.

Fruit Flies

One of the most common pests to infest Illinois and Wisconsin homes, hundreds of fruit flies can appear in your kitchen in an instant. At only 3-4 millimeters in length, with folded wings and bright red eyes, they appear more like gnats than flies. Fruit flies breed in areas where organic material and standing water is present, and females can lay up to 500 eggs at a time. You’ll most often find them in your kitchen, buzzing around the sink disposal or garbage can.

Homeowners always ask us how to eliminate fruit flies, and the answer is simple: Don’t give them a food source. Remove rotting food and garbage promptly, and keep any fermenting fruits or vegetables tightly covered. Empty liquor, beer, or wine bottles should be rinsed and recycled. Make sure to clean your sink disposal and kitchen garbage often to eliminate any remaining material or odors.

Fungus Gnat

If you like to keep a lot of indoor plants, you’ve probably seen these tiny black gnats buzzing and crawling around them. At anywhere from 1/16” to 1/8” in length, fungus gnats aren’t much of a threat to humans, but an infestation of larvae can devastate the roots of potted plants. They like to breed in the overwatered soil and feed on the fungi that results from too much standing water.

Nothing makes your beautiful indoor plants less beautiful than a bunch of tiny gnats buzzing around, so do your part by watering a bit less and applying a top layer of sand or fine mulch to dry up the soil and reduce fungus gnat numbers.

Fly Control Solutions in Illinois and Wisconsin

Flies in your home or office are not only a nuisance, they can be a health hazard for your family or employees by spreading filth and disease. When you call the pest control experts at Anderson, our technicians will take the necessary steps to treat your specific issue:

  • Identify the type of fly
  • Remove organic matter that may be contributing to the infestation
  • Seal small holes and crevices
  • Install traps to monitor activity
  • Create a full report describing the treatment and how you can prevent further infestations

Don’t wait until your fly problem becomes an infestation. When you’re ready to get rid of bothersome flies for good, contact Anderson Pest Solutions and schedule service as soon as possible.