All Creatures Great and Small


Let’s not forget flies. You can make a good fly trap with some plastic water bottles, apple cider vinegar and some sugar. Cut the tops off the bottles and invert the top into the lower section forming a funnel and tape them together. Put about 2 inches of apple cider vinegar in the bottle with quarter teaspoon of sugar. This will attract and catch many different kinds of flies, no matter what their normal food preference is. If you have a large building or yard, you can use gallon size milk jugs cut the same way with about three times the vinegar and sugar.

The most common fly is the house fly (Musca domestica). House flies have a gray thorax (part where head is connected and wings are attached) with four dark stripes, and a mottled abdomen (posterior portion). These flies are considered “filth flies” and will feed on excrement, garbage, carcasses, and even human secretions from wounds and mucous membranes. If you accidentally eat the larvae (maggots) in contaminated food, they can survive in your intestine. They can harbor over 100 different pathogenic organisms and are capable of transmitting more than 65 diseases and bacteria that can cause duodenal and stomach ulcers. House flies are the most common fly in the world that is found around homes and areas with livestock.

When you swat a fly remember that is has an unblurred range of vision of only abut 1½ feet. You should aim your flyswatter about 1½” behind the fly, because when houseflies take of from a horizontal surface, they jump upward and backward. Set out a saucer filled with bubble soap to attract and kill flies. Adult flies eat only sugar, so make some light Karo Syrup or honey or sugar water with 5% boric acid or borax baits.

Another common fly is the little house flies (Fannia canicularia). Little house flies are dull gray with yellow on the upper abdomen and 3 dark longitudinal stripes on the top of the thorax. These flies resemble house flies but they fly in circles in the middle of a room or on a porch and don’t appear to land. They can lay their eggs in any organic material including compost piles, pet feces, dead leaves, etc. They have been known to enter the urinary tract of naked sleeping persons and causing urinary myiasis. To prevent these flies from appearing, empty and clean all food handling equipment, dishes and garbage containers and daily remove and/or bury all animal droppings, fruit and organic debris inside and/or outside. They do like beer so you can put two packets of aspartame in 2”of beer in an open container to act as a bait for these flies. You can also use a fly swatter with a sticky side to swat them when they are circling.

Also very common are blow flies (Calliphoridae -Phormia, Phaenicia,Cynomya & Calliphora). Blow flies are larger than house flies and are normally shiny green, blue, bronze or black in color. Blow flies feed on decaying animal matter and if you have them in your house it is an indication of a dead animal in the wall or ceiling. Occasionally the only sign of these flies in an early infestation is when the larvae fall from the ceiling void onto the floor. If you can find and remove the carcass of the dead animal they are feeding on, it will speed up the process of them leaving. If you can’t, there isn’t much you can do except be patient and wait for the dead animal to dry up. They can also lay their eggs in dog feces or any animal matter with a high protein content, including dry cat food. Blow flies are also used by forensic entomologists to establish the time of death in human fatalities.

If you call an exterminator to control flies, make sure they have a Public Health Pest Control license (8). Flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes, fleas, bed bugs, ticks and mice are all consider vectors of diseases by the NM Dept. of Health and they require Commercial Applicators to have a category 8 license. If they don’t they are not legally qualified to apply pesticides for these pests.

Remember, pesticides are never necessary for fly control or almost any other household pest. You can control all pests in your home or business yourself if you want. If you have any pest questions, you can contact me at


About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


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