Housefly infestation--PLEASE HELP!

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Old 07-18-11, 09:22 AM
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Housefly infestation--PLEASE HELP!

Sorry this is so long, but I tried to be thorough so you know all the facts. A bit of background before I dive into my problem. I live in Southern Wisconsin and we are in the midst of an EXTREME heat and humidity wave...temps in the high 90's and heat indices over 100. This is unusual for WI and I'm not sure if it's relevant to my problem, but thought I'd mention it.

I live in a lower condo unit with a dog and two cats (no children). My home is CLEAN...spotless most of the time. There is never food lying around or anything nasty that might attract bugs or rodents. This is a new complex built within the last 5 years. It's clean, very nice and well-kept. It does, however, have some insulation issues at the windows...they aren't as air-tight as I'd like.

The last bit of FYI info is that my dog recently got over a very bad illness that caused a lot of vomiting. I cleaned it up, of course, but I haven't yet steam-cleaned (but I'm doing it tonight!). That's the only consistent "organic material" I can think of as being around the house. I keep my cat boxes cleaned out daily.

So here's the problem. Yesterday, I went to let my dog out and was horrified to find my patio doors SWARMING with houseflies. There were 50-100 of them. Literally, they just showed up out of nowhere. I had noticed one fly in the house the night before, but that was it.

However, about a week ago I was cleaning the cat boxes and decided to clean under them, as well. When I picked them up (3 in total) I was horrified to find the floor covered in brown "eggs" (what I now believe to be housefly pupa based on a little Googling). They were also underneath the garbage can (which never has food in it because I use the garbage disposal). So I vacummed up the nasty brown things, bleached the floor and figured I had gotten rid of the problem. Apparently not! Yesterday I started finding these brown pupa everywhere...under my dogs "toy box", under a throw pillow, next to the recycle bin (which had nothing in it) and more in the utility closet where the cat boxes are.

I got most of the flies out yesterday, but more continue to pop up. I am absolutely losing my mind over this. It's the most disgusting thing I've ever had to deal with. Doesn't there need to be maggots in order for flies to be around?? There is absolutely NO SMELL and nothing dead or rotting in my condo unit.

Could they be hatching outside and coming up a drain pipe?? There is a drain in the closet where I've seen most of the brown pupa. It's a drain for the central air but I don't know where it goes. I figure into the sewer system. Can flies come up a drain?? OR, could the flies be "feeding" off the remnants of dog vomit? Like I said, it's not like there are piles of it...I cleaned it up, all that's left are the stains. And I've never seen a maggot or bug on the stains.

I am absolutely disgusted and ready to move. I can't use heavy pesticides because of my pets (and myself...I really don't want to breath chemicals, either). There is nothing dead or rotting anywhere in the vicinity of my entryway, either (at least not that I'm aware of).

Any thoughts on where these nasty flies are coming from and how to get them out of my home??
 
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Old 07-18-11, 09:52 AM
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Welcome to the forums

Are the flies outside as well? We had an infestation in the small town where I lived in western WI several years ago from sewer grease being spread in a nearby field. Once we discovered that and got it stopped, the flies went away on their own. In the meantime, I had fly strips hanging all over the house.
 

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Old 07-18-11, 11:23 AM
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You are correct in that there is a food source somewhere. I'm not a pro, but when flies drop their eggs, they can look just like miniature maggots, so they are ready to go on contact. Cleaning up the mess a fly swatter creates is where I saw this. Eggs cannot move, where maggots can and if a fly cannot get under a litter box, then those were maggots or something else. Put some in a jar and see what they turn into. Again, not a pro, just trying to help.

The drain could be suspicious, a piece of wire screening taped over it might help. Poke the drain through and seal around or otherwise be sure the water still drains properly.

When you vacuum them up, where do you empty the vac contents?

If anyone in the building has put out Decon, then the critters can crawl off and die anywhere. Seal off rooms overnight to see if they accumulate in one room or another, that will help you locate the source.

Been there,
Good luck
Bud
 
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Old 07-18-11, 11:49 AM
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Thanks for the replies!! I thought all was good this morning...just a couple of flies. Then I left for a 1/2 hour, came home and there were probably 50 more flies in the house. They were on walls, in corners, and buzzing the patio doors.

This is what I don't understand...there are no white maggots. No organic ANYTHING inside of my unit that isn't frozen or refrigerated (other than cat litter, which I am scooping practically as soon as they do their thing).

I have been dumping the vacuum cleaner in a dumpster in the basement garage.

There is not an excessive number of flies outdoors, at least not that I've noticed. I walk my dogs multiple times a day and haven't noticed anything unusual. The condo association has a pest control company spray outdoors once a month.

Here is a picture of what I am finding all over my house: Flies in the Home

It is the BROWN, tubular things with a hard shell that I am finding. NO MAGGOTS at all. Just these pupae. I am certain that these brown things I'm finding everywhere are part of the housefly's life stage. I just can't locate where they are coming from!!

The majority of the flies and pupae are in the utility closet, which as I've mentioned has a drain to somewhere, as well as my furnace and hot water heater. I saw two flies come from under the furnace, but I don't know that that's where they originated. There is NO SMELL at all and nothing organic near the furnace at all.

I thought about this originating from another unit. But these units all have self-contained ventilation systems. There is no "shared air." The flies and pupae are definitely more prevalent in the dining and living rooms, but it's an open floorplan so it's all sort of one big room. I only have one bedroom and there have been no flies in the bathroom and only a couple in the bedroom. They are DEFINITELY most prevalent in the utility room.

I made sure the A/C tube was emptying properly into the drain and sealed it off with duct tape. I don't have screen and I wanted to block that drain NOW. I don't know if it's the source, but it can't hurt to block it anyway.

I called the management company and they are sending out the pest control company. I was practically in tears and begging them to send someone. This is the most horrible insect thing I've ever had to deal with. It's like something from a horror movie...swarms of flies showing up out of nowhere for no good reason.
 
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Old 07-18-11, 12:19 PM
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Your situation sounds different than mine was, it does sound like yours are coming from somewhere inside the building.

I agree, this is one of the more disgusting things I have been through in my life.
 
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Old 07-18-11, 12:40 PM
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You mentioned a couple coming from under the furnace. A furnace has air ducts and more than once something gets inside and dies. I won't go into details, but some nylon mesh taped over all ducts and around the bottom of that furnace might give you another lead. I wouldn't leave the mesh there forever as it will slow the air flow. Close the door to that utility room and stuff a towel under the door.

Keep eliminating rooms and the one that is left is your source. The good news if there can be any is ultimately they will consume what they are working on and be gone.

There are companies the clean and inspect air ducts, so if that turns out to be the location, you can bring them in so you can sleep at night.

Bud
 
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Old 07-18-11, 02:06 PM
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Would I smell a funky odor if it was something dead in the duct work? The thought of that makes me kind of want to be sick...uggh.

I'm going to block off the utility room and see what that does.

It's just so bizarre. One minute, there are no flies, the next minute, the patio door is swarming with 20 of them. It's like they appear out of thin air.
 
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Old 07-18-11, 02:27 PM
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Just a thought from a slightly different angle; you need to stop the breeding cycle. Couple of ways to do this, but the one I had success with when we had an invasion a while back was to eliminate the adults. I did this by breaking out the vacuum cleaner and putting the crevice tool on the hose. Then I simply vacuumed up every adult in sight starting with the couple of hundred who liked to socialize on the bay windows in the breakfast nook. Also the living room windows. Much faster and easier than swatting or spraying. Did this every hour or so over a period of several days and each time there were less and less flies. It really dropped off dramatically after the first round of course. After a while the infestation was gone; no adults, no eggs. I never did figure out the source and have not had it happen again although we had a mini-outbreak a few months back that I headed off at the pass via same method.

You wouldn't be anywhere near Waukesha County, would you?
 
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Old 07-18-11, 05:01 PM
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That's EXACTLY what I've been doing! Sucking those nasty little things up the vacuum. And it's a Dyson, so they're done for once they hit that turbo suction. I dump the canister in the basement dumpster so the carcasses aren't even in the house.

You never figured out where they came from?? Uggh...I'm finding it absolutely maddening! Flies are just so...dirty. And I am a relatively clean person. It creeps me out to no end that these nasty little ******* are buzzing around my house and I don't know where they are coming from. All I can think of is maggots. There must be a whole ton of maggots somewhere close by!

If I had a couple hundred on the window I'd be moving into a freakin hotel and calling an exterminator. There are two words for that: Amityville Horror.

Yea, I'm only about two counties over in Madison.
 

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Old 07-19-11, 05:16 AM
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Grew up in Waukesha County (Pewaukee).

Cue the Twilight Zone music; also using a Dyson here. We're a bit more tropical here, so bugs are an issue year round; still, the fly invasion was pretty unusual.
 
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Old 08-09-11, 09:58 AM
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I'm having a similar problem...I'm glad I'm not alone (though I do feel for you). "My" flies are "bottle flies" or "bloat flies", which according to my research breed in dead animals. I came home from a weekend trip and as I was walking to my front door, I noticed one of the garage windows was black with swarms of these flies. I have to keep my garbage cans in the garage (bears and other critters outside), but they're sealed and there's no evidence of maggots or flies in there.

They seem to be originating in the garage, and are getting in the house by the hundreds. Every window and light fixture has them buzzing around. I finally got some "pest control strips" that say they emit an odorless vapor that kills flies. So now I'm finding dozens of dead flies. The volume does seem to be decreasing.

Now, I did have an issue with a bag of garbage that had barbeque leftovers in it (chicken, beef, etc.). It was in the garage for a week before it was garbage day. It was full of maggots. Fighting back my gag reflex, I dragged the bag outside and swept out the maggots that had fallen out. That was 2 weeks ago.

My question is, could my fly infestation be related to this now-gone bag of trash? How long can/will flies linger once the food source is gone?
 
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Old 08-09-11, 11:14 AM
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Yes; it is very possible and likely that the now-gone bag of trash is/was the source. Time will bail you out of this problem. You are experiencing their gestation period now. The strips are a good idea, best you could do once the source was removed. The strips effectiveness can be diminished if the air changes a lot in garage. You did a good job of identifying the flies-that is the first step in fly problem solution as it leads us to their biological habits which tell us their breeding, eating, habits.
 
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Old 08-09-11, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by PAbugman View Post
Yes; it is very possible and likely that the now-gone bag of trash is/was the source.
Thanks for the reply.

I keep the garage closed up, and as a result that appears to be where the strips are most effective. I haven't seen a single fly in there. I have 2 other strips in the house, one upstairs and one down. Despite having them cover a much larger area than the package specified, they are pretty effective as well. The only flies I'm seeing now are dead or dying. And there's lots of them....

Hopefully killing off all of the adults will interrupt their breeding cycle. Plus, I've removed the food source.

Hopefully they'll completely disappear soon.
 
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Old 07-25-12, 12:58 PM
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Interesting that so many of the comments are from Wisconsin. I live in Western Wisconsin. Last week, there was a fly, annoying me in my office. On Monday, when I went to work, I opened the door to our building and the lobby was filled with flies. When I unlocked the door to my office, a swarm of flies exited the office like a cloud. . .there were literally hundreds of them. We have no idea where they came from. Like others here, we had no open food sources, no garbage sitting around. . .no smell that suggested an animal had died in the ceiling or walls. In the spaces on the first floor of our building, though, there were THOUSANDS of flies. I have never seen anything like it. Some were common houseflies, and others were bigger and greenish. We're still swatting.
 
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Old 07-25-12, 01:27 PM
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Depending on how an animal died...and what the conditions were as it decomposed you can get flies w/o the smell.

I once had a ton of flies in my garage at my last house, went on for a week or so with no cause found...just lots of spraying and swatting.

When I moved a few years later and moved a heavy rack, I found a dessicated baby bunny corpse near where they seemed to originate.

I'm sure my cat caught it and brought it in through the cat door to outside and it escaped long enough to crawl under there. I don't have the greatest smeller...but I never noticed any odor.
 
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Old 07-25-12, 05:31 PM
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Get the flies identified as specifically as possible. Then you can research that species and find what they like to eat, where they live/breed, what conditons are conducive to them, etc. First identify, then repair/modify conditons, then treat (if necessary). Thatís how fly problems are solved.
 
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Old 10-12-12, 04:28 PM
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You do need to identify what kind of flies you have so that you proceed to getting rid of them. At least they are not on your pets.
 
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