Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.
How To Get Rid Of Green Flies (Quickly & Easily!)
Insects, in general, are less than favorable to most people. But there are a few in general that are repulsive no matter who you ask. Flies generally fall into this class. Green flies tend to be the most reviled of them all.
Green flies can make for a nasty visitor, especially during the summertime when temperatures are at their highest. Getting rid of them may take time, but it can be relatively straightforward. Move trash away from your house and make sure it’s properly sealed. Have a plumber check your sewer pipes. You can also place fly traps around the house. There are a few different ways that you can get rid of them and prevent them from coming back.
Table of Contents
- How are Green Flies Different from Other Flies?
- Removing Green Flies
- Related Questions
How are Green Flies Different from Other Flies?
Also known as green bottle flies, these types of flies are known as the filth feeders. That’s exactly what it sounds like. They tend to feed on feces, trash, decomposing plants, and even dead animal carcasses. The worst of the worst is the best type of meal for them.
They are also known because of their distinct green coloring. When you see green flies hovering around your home on a regular basis, it makes for a highly unpleasant experience. Not only do they create an annoyance, but they also carry diseases that can be spread to both animals and humans alike. Getting rid of them is the best-case scenario.
Green Flies Lifespan
There is some good news when it comes to green flies. They are pests, but they only live for 2 to 3 weeks at a time. Flies in general have very short lifespans, meaning they are here today and then gone tomorrow.
The problem is their breeding. Adults typically lay their eggs about 2 weeks after they themselves emerge. Their lifespan can vary based on their environmental circumstances and also the season at the time. They tend to last longest in the summer when temperatures are at their warmest and breezes at their lightest.
Removing Green Flies
Step 1: Proper Garbage Disposal
One of the most common reasons that you may be seeing green flies is that the garbage is either too close to your house, is improperly stored, or both. Green flies love to eat trash and when they find a secure and reliable source, they will come in droves.
Try to take your trash out with each weekly pickup and keep the area where the can rests as clean as you can. Flies can lay eggs in vegetable and meat scraps in the garbage can if it isn’t secured, particularly in the summer when temperatures are warmest. From there, the pupae and maggots will develop, eventually turning to flies. If you notice maggots, get rid of them and then discard the bag accordingly.
Step 2: Check the Plumbing
Another likely reason that you are seeing an infestation of green flies is related to the plumbing. This typically happens when there is some kind of leak or break in the pipes, leading to a sewage leak. Like your trash, green flies feed on the sewage.
Not only that, but flies will make those leaking points their breeding site. Have a plumber come out to check your pipes. They will not only find the source of the infestation but can apply any necessary repairs to your plumbing and sewer pipes that can create other issues in the future.
Step 3: Check for Animal Remains
While most of us don’t tend to keep animal remains on the property, they can sometimes be there without us knowing. Even the smallest of animals – something like a squirrel – can be more than enough to attract green flies to the area.
If you notice an uptick in the amount of green flies on your property and the plumbing or trash isn’t the cause, do a sweep of the grounds. Look for small critters that may have died on the property and started rotting. Disposing of them securely will cut the flies off from their food source and force them to look elsewhere.
Step 4: Close off the Gaps
Green flies on your property are annoying. But when they get in your house, that annoyance and disgust get elevated to new levels. The most common reason is that they sense or smell food in your house and are using cracks or holes to get inside.
Do a sweep of the exterior of your home. Look for any broken screens, gaps, holes, and other entrances where the flies could be coming in. It is also a good idea to check for these breaches because small animals like mice can get in and cause damage in their wake. This is essentially killing two birds with one stone.
Step 5: Use Traps
There are plenty of ways to get rid of a few flies. Keep in mind that if you are staring down an infestation, traps are probably not the best method. Either remove trash, dead animals, or other attractants from your property or consider calling in the pros.
Should you notice a handful of green flies, though, you can break out the traps. These are typically sticky traps that are meant to catch the flies and stick them to the strips. The best part about these strips is that they don’t use any nasty or harmful chemicals that a pesticide would use. You can simply toss the strip out along with the flies that it catches.
Step 6: Pesticides
This is entirely up to you. There are some potentially harmful chemicals in pesticides that can be particularly harmful. If you have pets or children, use them with caution or look for a safer, more natural alternative.
Pesticides are specifically created to eliminate creepy crawlies. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and do not deviate. The chemicals used are quite potent and are meant to be delivered in a way that is safe to use around your house.
Step 7: Use a Natural Pest Repellent
For those that don’t want to introduce potentially harmful chemicals into their home or onto their property, there are alternatives. Some things naturally repel a multitude of pests, green flies included among them.
- Dishwashing liquid. Mix a little bit of dishwashing liquid with water to create an effective killer. The best part is that this solution can be sprayed liberally wherever you want with little to no impact on you or your home.
- Essential oils. There are plenty of essential oils out there that not only smell good but have natural repellent qualities. A few drops of rosemary, peppermint, clove, or time mixed with a little water will not only get rid of green flies but kill their eggs and larvae as well. A very effective method of removal.
- Cayenne pepper mixture. Another great home remedy involves just a pinch of cayenne pepper mixed in with the dishwashing solution. Spray it on the infested areas and it should kill both adults and larvae with impunity. Great for clearing out nests and infestations.
- Corn flour. Believe it or not, corn flour can make for a highly effective fly killer. Sprinkle it liberally near and on the flies; it works to clog up their internal organs, killing them from the inside out.
Step 8: Introduce Natural Predators
There is also the possibility to introduce things that will eat the green flies as well. That could mean attracting others, positively effective bugs to the area, or even birds. Predators should help clear the area within a short period of time and, in the case of birds, can add beauty to the area while you’re at it.
If you have aphids, in particular, attracting birds is a great idea. Over-zealous pests, like green flies, can play havoc on aphids. Having lots of birds in the area is a great natural form of pest control to keep them in line.
Why Were There so Many Green Flies in 2020?
If it seemed like there was a ton of green flies during 2020, you aren’t crazy. The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of factors that attract green flies to an area. Yes, they look for food sources like those outlined above but they like ideal climates, too.
This year featured warmer temperatures and lighter winds. Those make for ideal flying conditions, allowing them to mate without disturbance and find food sources. That is why prevention is so crucial when it comes to keeping control of green fly populations in your area.
Why do Flies Rub Their Legs Together?
When flies are stationary, you may notice them rubbing their legs together. Believe it or not, when they are rubbing their legs together, they are actually cleaning themselves. You may be asking why they would clean themselves when they literally feed on garbage and feces.
The answer is relatively simple: they need it to find food. They use sense organs to fly around with precision in order to find mates, food, and avoid any predators. Those sense organs have to stay clean for them to do those things effectively.
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