Phorid flies are back!

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Old 04-17-20, 08:03 AM
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Phorid flies are back!

Last spring we had an infestation of phorid flies in our refrigerator & freezer. Unfortunately, we could not pull the fridge out to clean a drip pan because it is a built in, and twice had the mfr come out & both times we were told we needed the cabinet people to remove cabinets before they could pull out the fridge (the builder really goofed in the way he did this). after lots of vinegar, they cleared up. BUT THEY ARE BACK THIS YEAR. But not in the fridge, nor anywhere near drain. They are upstairs in one of the bedrooms, and downstairs in the office/bedroom area. No water in either room. Why would they be there, and how do I get rid of them when there is no way I can figure out where they are coming from. Have had apple cider vinegar out for 3 days - not flies in there, so pretty sure they are phorids, not fruit flies.
 
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Last edited by PJmax; 04-20-20 at 11:24 AM. Reason: removed spolier link
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Old 04-17-20, 08:12 AM
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Phorid flies are back

I'm confused. When I look at my post it is blank unless I click on the box next to the word spoiler. What did I do wrong? And now the post is gone completely.
The original post said that I had phorid flie last year, mainly in my fridge. We could not remove the fridge due to the way it was built into the cabinets, but they finally went away after lots of cleaning.

NOW THEY ARE BACK - BUT NOT ANYWHERE NEAR THE KITCHEN.
They are in 2 rooms in the house, a bedroom upstairs, and an office/spare room downstairs. Not seeing any in the fridge, and only saw one flying in the kitchen. How the heck would they be in bedrooms away from any drains? I've had vinegar out for a few days but none were captured, so I am sure they are not fruit flies. best photo I could get is this one - pretty sure phorid? How can I get rid of them without using insecticide?
 
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Old 04-18-20, 09:54 AM
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I too believe they are phorids. Sometimes small fly problems are straightforward and easy to find and other times they can be on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Do either/both of these rooms share a wall with a bathroom or is a bathroom drain pipe in a wall common to these rooms? If so, it's possible that a slow leak is happening, the kind that's difficult to find. A slow leak can be absorbed by the wall materials/insulation which can keep wet spots from showing up.

I don't know how to address the issues in your first paragraph. Maybe one of the higher moderators can help.
 
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Old 04-20-20, 07:15 AM
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THANKS. I've considered the common wall but there is no common wall between them. The office is in a separate wing of the house from the upstairs - it is a Half upstairs, with that upstairs room centered above the living room - then we have two downstairs wings without common walls. Between the wings is the DR, LR & Kitchen. This weekend, I noticed flies in 2 other location - in the master bath tub I found 5 dead ones. THat is in the other wing of the house,again with no common walls. And, I found 2 in my refrigerator.

This is sooooo annoying. I do not want to spray any insecticides in the house, but I am tired of them landing on me, my computer screen & keyboard, and my beer. I guess the good news is that they kill fire ants. The State of Florida has raised & released hundreds of thousands of them to kill the fire ants. They didn't do a very good job - hard to find any patch of grass here that doesn't have fire ant mounds!
 
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Old 04-20-20, 07:44 AM
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This is a puzzler. I can't help but think that somewhere there is a slow leak that is too slow to show up anywhere as it is getting absorbed by insulation, wall board, etc but doesn't dry up fast enough to keep from decomposing. Sometimes fast leaks are better than slow ones.

I did not know about phorids killing fire ants so I looked it up and sure enough. It appears that certain species of phorids are specific to killing certain specific species of fire ants so maybe they didn't get the combination correct in your area. Biological controls are fascinating.

Insecticides aren't going to help with your fly problem, in my opinion. At best, insecticides would stop the flying adults to give you temporary relief but not long term solution. Small specie fly problems almost always require habitat modification to stop the cycle. Sometimes finding the habitat is easier than other times. This is a tough one.

Keep us posted and I'm going to keep thinking on this one. Wish I had a better answer for you.
 

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Old 04-20-20, 11:25 AM
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In the future..... don't use the spoiler button as it has unwanted consequences.
 
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Old 06-13-20, 04:27 PM
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AAAARGH!!!!!!! It has gotten so much worse - I am swatting at them constantly now! It used to be there'd be one - no longer. In my office, where there is no food, no water, they just keep coming. I manage to kill one, and then another comes at me. Landing on me - loves my face. Went up my nose. But at least none in refrigerator. Have only seen one in kitchen area in the past week. it is my darn office where I can't stand it. IF they are outside, does spraying the outside work, or would they likely be too deep in the ground or in the walls? This is driving me nuts!!!

 
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Old 06-13-20, 07:34 PM
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Insecticides aren't going to help as small flies like this come from a "source" which needs to be modified/removed/changed, etc. They aren't coming from the outside when there are quantities such as you're experiencing. I'm convinced there is a dampness in a wall/floor/ceiling void that may not be enough to notice but enough to stay wet enough for their life cycle. Other possibilities are air conditioning units window/wall mounts with condensate not going to exterior but staying in wall void insulation or central air with the condensate going into soil underneath the house or next to it. I've seen it plumbed into and below the basement/crawl slab and cause problems. Other possibility, hopefully not, is a cracked sewage pipe that is cracked in such a way that it won't leak but is still open enough for flies. I've actually seen that in a horizontal run of sewer pipe.
 
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Old 06-13-20, 09:04 PM
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Unfortunately, I am afraid it could be that cracked sewage pipe. THis is a new house, and the builder is a disaster! The house next door to me is still being built, and they have cut our electric line once, and our cable 2X in the process. They've cut our irrigation lines several times. The people who put in the original sewer lines were incompetent enough that this awful builder fired them.

But if a Sewer line, where are they coming into the house from? They do not seem to be coming out of a sink or shower or toilet. I've got pieces of tape around the house now at various points where wall meets floor, or under appliances to see if any attach to the tape - that might give me an idea. And they are on the 2nd floor too!

THANKS
 
 

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