Pest Control Serving areas of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont

Do You Have Cluster Flies?

Everyone has certainly seen or heard these large, lazy, big bumbling “house fly” looking bugs that often invade homes in the fall to become annoying wintertime pests. To most people, cluster flies have no obvious characteristics that distinguish them from ordinary house flies. A cluster fly is slightly larger than a house fly, an adult can attain a length of about 3/8 of an inch. The abdomen is shiny dark and vaguely checkered with black and silver. This fly is dark gray with golden-colored hairs on its thorax. On warm days as they become active, they are particularly noticeable bouncing off windows trying to get out. Just when you think you have them under control more appear the next day. Thankfully these flies do not bite people or pets. However, they do leave dark, unsightly fecal droplets on surfaces on which they land. 

The cluster fly gets its name from the way they “cluster” together when they enter a structural void to pass the winter. During the summer cluster flies are active outdoors, where they are parasitic on certain earthworms. Adult females will deposit up to four egg clutches per year in the summer. Eggs are deposited individually in cracks in the soil approximately half an inch down. Hatching typically takes place in about three days. The young larvae move into the earthworms’ bodies. After feeding on the worms, the fly larvae pupate in the soil. The adults emerge to repeat the cycle, with up to four generations being produced each summer. In the fall the adults from the last generation will seek protected areas in which to spend the winter. They invade attics, get under siding and around windows and into crevices on the outside of buildings. They are sluggish and make little attempt to escape. On warm days in early spring they move outdoors and are often seen covering the sunny side of a house. 

Our cluster fly program includes a preventative treatment which would take place in the fall, with an outside treatment of the vertical surfaces of your structure to get the flies BEFORE they enter. Now about those flies that may have already made it in; a good attic treatment and in bad cases, usually a follow-up around the interior window casings should leave you reasonably fly free for the winter and the spring.

So this fall give us a call at 1-800-966-5568

Do You Have an Ant Problem?

Ants are never a welcome sight in your home; especially if you don’t know where they’re coming from. If you see more than the occasional ant or two, you might have an ant infestation. If it turns out you do have a problem, give us a call and let us take care of the insects for you. Here are a few signs to look for.

  • The food you left out is covered

If you have gotten used to leaving food out because you haven’t had to deal with insects for a while, odds are it’s covered in ants. Ants tend to flock towards any food that is left out, so make sure that it’s covered or put away.

  • You see strays

Because ants are continuously looking for food, they split up and wander around your home like spies looking for a crumb or two. If you see more and more stray ants, odds are there are many more.

  • Your dog’s food is also swarmed

Ants don’t discriminate between different types of food. They want it all. You will notice the inside, rim, and outside of the bowl, as well as the floor around, will be crawling with little black specks.

In addition to regular ants, carpenter ants can also be a problem. They tend to do more damage than regular ants, and you won’t always be able to tell that you have an infestation.

 

Carpenter ants like to make their nests in moist, rotting wood outside your home with satellite nest inside your house that contains only worker ants because it is too dry for eggs. If you hear running noises through your walls, shed wings near vents, baseboards or sills, odds are it’s time to get rid of them.

The two common species of carpenter ants are either entirely black or black with a rust red midsection. You can most often find them in your porch columns, steps, and corners, under eves, between walls or in door and window frames, beams and joints.

It is important to remember that carpenter ants will destroy your wood. They do not eat the wood, but they excavate places to raise their babies. If you see piles of sawdust, which is what the ants do with the excess from their digging excursions.

If you can hear the carpenter ants crawling in your wall at night after your home gets quiet, please call us ASAP.

An ant infestation can be difficult or impossible to take care of on your own. Contact us and let us take care of getting rid of those pests the first time. Schedule your appointment at 800-966-5568. Don’t wait until they destroy your home; have it taken care of as soon as possible.

A Carpenter ant insect on white surface