What can I do about flies?

vp_78August 8, 2012

We seem to have a pretty significant fly infestation in our grass in our backyard -- houseflies and bottle flies. Our yard isn't that big, so we don't have any obvious breeding areas, and I am unfortunately well versed in "dead stink", so I'm fairly confident nothing has died recently. They just seem to fly around in our grass, so my theory is that they are looking for the moisture. The big problem is that I have 2 small kids, and I've read that flies are a source of roundworms, pin worms and hook worms, among other problems. And it's pretty well impossible to keep shoes on the kiddos in the summer time!

Any suggestions as to how to get rid of these awful flies? It came to a head yesterday. I noticed a fly flying out of our garbage 2 nights ago, then forgot about it, and when my husband came down yesterday and opened the trash, well, you can guess the super pleasant surprise he had waiting for him... YUCK!!! And yes, we keep the house and the yard clean and free of organic waste....

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Flies come from maggots and maggots need a fairly moist place to hatch and grow with dead or decaying material to feed on. If you have a lot of flies around there is some dead or decaying something around, even if not in your yard.
Controlling the adult flies is only part of the total control effort. You need to find where the maggots are and eliminate them. Flies can travel fairly long distances, so the maggots may well be somewhere outside of your yard.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Flies

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:16PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Nika, I assume that the 'super pleasant surprise ' your husband found was a garbage can of maggots, right? Or did I read too much into that?

And kimmsr is totally right that flies can really do some traveling. I still remember all of the flies at our house when I was growing up....visiting from the dairy farm half a mile away.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:34PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

clean out the garbage can every week .... and i mean wash it out with water ...

and try to get over the fly/kid issue ...

what is possible.. is not always probable ... i think you are over-worrying about that ..


    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 12:49PM
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I'd smell it if there was some rotting "meat" anywhere nearby, right? I mean, there couldn't be some mysterious, smell-less carcass anywhere on my property or my immediate neighbors' properties? The prevalence of flies just came up in the last week or so, so it must be something recent. Although it's a little disheartening to know that there might not be any way for us to control the situation.

I'll ask my husband (I know, it's terrible to pass that buck onto the poor guy. I'm lucky he's such a good sport for doing maggot duty!!!) if he can pine-sol the heck out of the outside trash can after trash day this week. But it sounds like I might be S.O.L. if the source is several blocks away.

Rhizo, you are correct in your assumption. I have NEVER had that happen before in my kitchen!!!

And you're right Ken. Every once in awhile it's good to get a reality check! ;)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 1:53PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

great.. i was worried you would be offended..

i am a stay at home.. and i recall all the days of worrying..

so i just started letting the crumb munchers eat dirt.. so they would get over all those bad things that MIGHT be in the dirt.. lol ...

we have chuckled over the years.. with all the friends kids.. so sheltered on all this stuff.. and how they get sick 3 or 4 times per year.. and ours barely ever.. until some plague hits the school type of thing ...

your kids will live and be healthier for having played outside.. if you can just not worry about it all ...

unfortunately.. mine are now addicted to the laptops.. and i cant barely get them out of the house ...

and BTW ... mine can walk on a blacktop in 100 degrees.. for the callouses on their feet .. i dont know what your whole shoe thing is all about ... its funny to watch their friends trying to follow them up the driveway.. hopping from foot to foot.. while mine just plod on ...

i am going to bet.. a vast majority of the problem is the garbage can ... try placing it somewhere else ... and see if the problem doesnt decrease substantially ... i have 5 acres.. i could make the problem get real far way .. i suppose you are city bound.. and limited to what you can do with the garbage..

==>>>> one thing for sure.. a tight fitting cover.. will prevent flies from getting in.. to lay the eggs..

take care


    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 3:31PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Do your neighbors have pets? If someone isn't picking up the dog poo regularly... Flies are also attracted to whatever food is left in Fido's bowl if he/she doesn't finish it. Could be something as simple as one or two loose-fitting trash can lids in the neighborhood.

Unless your kids are licking their feet, I wouldn't worry about it, just give them a bath. Like Ken alluded to, it's the Purell folks who have immune systems that aren't prepared or capable when a germ gets inside them.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 10:25AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Lol...ken and his superkids. Love it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 11:54AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

did the garbage can washing work out???

it was 37 degrees here the other night .. i was thinking.. goodbye flies.. and as i walked by my GCan.. wondered if you ever solved this mystery.. man i really need a life.. lol ..


    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 5:31PM
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I solve the fly problem with a FLY JAR. It has a special lid where the flies get in and can't get out. I bait it with raw hamburger or any fish/meat. When rotten, after a day or 2, half-fill the jar with water. The flies go in but can't get out. I bury the contents when it's full and start over. (First shake the jar with a drop of detergent to kill the flies that are still alive.) Get the jar at a garden center. I love my fly jar.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 4:23PM
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