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Flies can regularly be found in homes and businesses across the UK. Some species are more common than others and are attracted to different environments suited to their natural habits and lifecycle. Knowing about the size, habits, seasonality and lifecycle of different fly species, can help to identify the most effective prevention and fly control methods.
FACT: On average, the adult housefly will live for around 30 days. They go through a complete four-stage cycle that consists of egg, larva, pupa and adult stages.
House flies are major carriers of disease and can infest all types of premises. They are attracted to all types of food, including human food, pet food, animal feed, food waste and even faeces. Seeing adult flies is usually the most common sign of activity and a potential problem. Larvae may also be seen as they crawl out of breeding material to pupate.
House flies are able to quickly mature from an egg to an adult. They breed in moist decaying vegetable matter eg. in uncovered dustbin or pet food.
Once indoors, house flies can be found resting on walls, floors or ceilings. Outdoors they can be seen on plants, the ground, fences, compost heaps and rubbish bins.
At night them they prefer to rest near food sources approx. 5 to 15 feet off the ground.
Cluster flies are commonly found in quiet, undisturbed parts of your home, such as attics and wall voids. They require warm places to hibernate over winter.
You may see a large group of cluster flies around a window, as they are attracted to the light on sunny winter days.
Horse flies are a particular pest to livestock. Relentless biting attacks by females can result in reduced weight gain in some animals.
Male horse flies are mainly pollen and nectar feeders and are most active during daylight hours.
Horse fly bites can be very painful for humans too.They have mouth parts that work like miniature knives, which they use to slash open the skin with a scissor–like motion.
Bluebottle flies (also known as Blow fly) can often be seen hovering around dustbins. These scavengers are attracted to pet faeces and dead animals and as such are known carriers of disease.
Their name originates from their iridescent colours that are similar to coloured bottles.
Fruit flies are commonly found infesting fruit or hovering around fermenting residues found in pubs, fruit orchards & vegetables plots and breweries
Filter flies are often associated with sewage beds, where larvae feed on sludge–like organic matter. They are also known by a variety of names; drain fly, sewage fly and moth fly are a few examples.
Autumn flies affect both horses and cattle, and are usually seen on the face and often around the eyes.
On host animals, they obtain protein from nasal mucus, saliva, and tears. The flies have microscopic “teeth” on their mouthparts, which are used to stimulate the flow of tears and aid this feeding process.
At night they rest on vegetation or man-made structures. Most daylight hours are spent feeding on plant sugars, the surface of manure deposits, or on animals.
(Daddy long legs)
Crane flies pose no immediate harm to humans. Adults do not feed, bite or sting.
They can be found in damp, mossy woodland.
Lacewings are considered an important predator of mealybugs in both greenhouses and interior plantscapes.
They also feed on (among others) several species of aphids, spider mites (especially red mites), thrips, whiteflies, small caterpillars and beetle larvae.
Adults are active fliers, particularly during the evening and at night. They have a characteristic fluttering flight.
They feed on pollen and also need nectar or honeydew as food before laying eggs.
Lacewings are often used as a biological integrated insect control program.
White flies cause damage to plants by sucking out the sap from the plant. They can be found on the younger leaves and deposit eggs in this level. Pupae and emerging adults are located at the lowest leaf level.
Yellow swarming flies can often be found in large numbers in homes, especially roof voids, in the autumn, where they prefer to overwinter.