The Cluster Fly

 
  

Appearance

 

The adult cluster fly is typically 8 mm long and can be recognised by distinct golden-coloured hairs forming lines on the thorax.  A shorter broader fly, they move noticeably more slowly than other flies.
 
 

Life Cycle

 

Cluster flies go through what we consider a far more interesting life cycle than other flies. 
 
Eggs are laid in the soil near earthworm burrows.  Once hatched, the larvae finds an earthworm as a host and proceeds to eat through it prior to pupation.  Adults then mate 'on the wing' and ultimately seek hibernation in nearby buildings around autumn.  They can congregate, or cluster, in massive numbers in rood voids and wall cavities. 
 
As the sun hits walls and roofs, a change in temperature can cause the flies to attempt to escape to the nearest light source.  This is what causes many to die on and around window sills.
 
 
Treatment
The treatment of roof voids usually involves using insecticidal smoke or fog.  Alighting surfaces such as sills and window frames can be wiped with an oil based insecticide ensuring instant knock down as the flies land although this is not advised for any food prep areas.
Specialist ultraviolet fly killer units can be installed that have collector bags or trays to deal with the vast numbers in problem areas.
Proofing measures such as the fly screens and doors are less effective due to the more obscure entry points that the flies use to enter the building initially.

 
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