Dead Squirrel and Fly Control

Old 05-19-04, 12:03 PM
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Dead Squirrel and Fly Control

I have a fireplace that is never used (fireplace damper is shut). Swarms of flies have recently emerged from the fireplace. I am pretty sure a squirrel got in the chimney and died, leading to the flies. I have wrapped the entire fireplace area in plastic for now, trying to keep the flies out of the room (with some, but not complete success).

My questions:
* Will this go on forever, or will the flies cease once they've decomposed the squirrel?
* How long might this take? Will the flies continue going through several life cycles off this same squirrel?

Getting the dead squirrel out would require a professional & if we opened the fireplace up right now, God knows what might come swarming in!

Thanks for any help you can give!
Old 05-19-04, 07:23 PM
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Your best solution would be to get that dead animal out of there as soon as possible. I know, I know, What a nasty job!!

Flies may continue for several weeks or more if left like this. If this is a job you would rather not do yourself, you should call some pest control companies and get a few quotes. Dead animals, even after decomosition, may lead to other insect pests.

For future reference, there are screened chimney caps available to keep pests such as squirrels and raccoons out. However, you should check the laws in your area regarding screens on chimneys before you do this.

Good luck,

Old 05-19-04, 10:20 PM
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Dead squirrel

What kind of flies are you seeing? Blow or bottle flies have bodies with shiny metallic colors such as bronze, blue, or green. The adults are about 1/4 inch long and prefer animal flesh. They are also attracted to fresh cooked meat and will infest wounds of living animals. Sometimes when animals die in chimneys or crawlspaces, blow flies breed in the carcass and adults enter the home. Flies will disappear once all the flesh is eaten. Blow flies will certainly expedite the decomposition of a dead animal.

Flesh flies are grey and black with three black stripes on the back. They are about inch long and look like large house flies. They, too, prefer animal flesh and will infest either cooked or uncooked meat.

Flies contaminate food and food surfaces. They carry bacterial that cause intestinal diseases.

Call a chimney sweep to clean out your chimney, make an inspection, and place a chimney cap on it to keep out the critters and to provide protection for your chimney.

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