Garden Guides, How to Get Rid of House Plant Flies

How to Get Rid of House Plant Flies

By: Melissa Lewis

21 September, 2017

The most common type of flies that infest house plants are fungus gnats (Bradysia spp). These tiny dark flies breed in soil, especially if it is rich in organic matter and is frequently overwatered. Fungus gnat flies generally don’t harm the plants, but can become a nuisance. Fortunately, changing some of the ways in which you care for your plants, along with an insecticide, should eliminate your house plant flies within a month.

Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. This will make conditions less conducive for flies to breed.

Clean up your house plants. Remove any organic mulch, which is decomposing in your soil. Also prune or pick up dead leaves and flowers before or after they drop. This will help reduce the fungi in which flies breed.

Spray an insecticide that contains pyrethrin or resmethrin and usually comes in an aerosol can in the soil. Repeat every two to three days for three to four weeks. Always follow the application directions on the label.

Rid Of Fruit Flies On My Aloe Plant

Remove all potential fruit fly breeding areas and attractants in your kitchen, or wash them with warm, soapy water made with soap or a mild detergent. Fruit flies can be drawn to plants such as aloe, but a problem with them often starts near food-storage and disposal areas. Examine trashcans, pantry shelves and other areas that may harbor rotting food remnants. Check your recycling bin, too. Eliminate other sources of standing water in your home as well. Fill a white plate with water and a few drops of lemon-scented dish soap. Place the plate near the aloe plant. The plate’s color and the lemon scent lure fruit flies, which drown in the soapy water. This method is unnecessary if you are willing to allow the lemon-scented dish soap trap and time to kill those remaining fruit fly adults.

How to stop aircraft from flying over my house?

I complained about the aircraft flying over my house many times but they ignored me. Last time, I accidently got really angry and now they’re twice as frequent.

How much space above my house do I own? Do I own the aircraft once they are on my property? Is there any invisible netting available to catch some of these that won’t hurt birds. I like the birds. That’s part of the problem. The aircraft scare away the birds.

I’m not planning on resorting to anything drastic but how much rope will I need to attach to a harpoon and where can I get a harpoon and strong rope??

I’m nowhere near the airport

20 Answers


They done 20 4 seven so i guess shot them out of the sky so i can sleep

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  • 1) You do not own the space beyond about 50 feet above your housetop. That said, unless you live less than a mile or so from a runway, aircraft shouldn’t be any lower than 500 feet above your house. That’s the legal minimum unless they’re taking off or landing. If you live in a densely populated area then the minimum is 1000 feet, but again, if they are taking off or landing, they can be lower than that. You can pace off 500 or 1000 feet so you’ll have some idea how high the planes should be.

    2) If they are small private planes, contact the FAA (or CAA if you’re not in the US) or the local airport authority and file a complaint. Many airports and communities establish noise abatement procedures so everyone can get along. Few of these ordinances have any teeth as far as punishing those who don’t comply, but awareness of a problem will be honored by most pilots.

    3) If they’re military or commercial aircraft, there is not much you can do besides get together a neighborhood committee, get lots of signatures, and petetion to have the flight paths changed. Most military, airline and corporate jet traffic are following very specific flight paths and altitudes that they cannot deviate from.

    4) If you physically try to interfere with an aircraft in flight or on the ground by any means it is considered a serious federal offense with stiff fines and/ or jail sentences.

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    Noise and safety are big issues at both small and large airports, and not just in the U.S. Once the bureaucracy approves an airport, there is not a lot you can do, even if you were there first. The time to argue the issues is before the airport is zoned and approved. Nearby houses are not an issue once those things are written in stone. If the problem is causing a conflict, there is not a lot you can do about it. The best (easiest) solution is to move. The most likely clients to buy your house would be airport personnel and administrators and pilots. Before you put your house up for sale, perhaps you should consult with legal council, since the airport will have an effect on the value of your house, and the laws vary from state to state and province to province. Then, you should not try to sell the house yourself. The cost of engaging an agent would be well worth it, since selling might be very frustrating in a case like this. You may have other thoughts about how to deal with this. As a home owner, you do have my sympathy. However, that is my opinion, and my advice.

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    There is nothing a person can do to stop aircrafts from flying over your house. I have tried (contacting Orlando in Fl, Southeast Region in Atlanta Ga., Washington DC, and the person in Winter Garden, Fl.) without any results. They are all stupid. I live about 3 miles from the airport and FAA rules are 500 ft above the house. My neighborhood is a congested area and 1000 ft should be enforced. The FAA gives the airport money and Winter Haven FL builds the airport. August 19 2915 an airplane flew over my house and at 5:20 am and 7:15 am. The FAA do not enforce the law. I have about 500 pictures or more. FAA said they sent a person over and contacted me (that was a lie). FAA in Orlando Fl sent me a letter saying there is nothing can be done. Are they stupid? I have sent them over 200 pictures. Is there anything and be done? This has been going on for since I moved into the neighborhood. (2 years ago).

    Thats Winter Haven FL not Winter Garden Fl. correction

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  • How far do you live from the airport that these aircraft are landing/taking off from? If you live close to the airport (within 2-3 miles), there’s not much that you can do other than move to another location.

    If you live much farther from the airport, chances are that these aircraft are using the airspace above your house as the local practice area. If that is the case, it would be worth a formal complaint to your local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) or call the management office at the airport and ask for the airport manager.

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    It is a bit obvious that when a piper cub does little more than fly around circles—doing touch and goes—and buzzing the same roofs 10 times in 20 minutes, that the pilot must be a CFI named Ebenezer Scrooge. They are obviously training students and are too DAMN cheap to go any where. They pay for the gas and so the constant noise pollution is there way of making a living. When I learned to fly in 1987 they told me about the «good neighbor policy», this simply stated is «Don’t keep flying over the same houses. get away from the airport». Maybe this courtesy has gone away with the times.

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    The bad thing about prop planes is the disproportionate amount of noise just one person makes that thousands have to hear. Living in the country is no longer fun because of all the little «piss planes» flying overhead. Heck, they even infest the skies above national parks.

    Essentially, private planes «pilots» are just sociopathic jerks with no concern for people on the ground. They’re the same jerks that create wakes in the harbor and roar around on their financed Harleys.

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    There is nothing you can do, unless enough people complain to the FAC then they might change their flight pattern. This happened in Tempe Az. and the whole town protested and the airport had them change the takeoff procedure.!

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    I have one of those voodoo figurines like the power hitter had in the old movie Major League. I light incense and pray to «Jo-boo» to bring heavy winds and thunder clouds whenever a private plane approaches my property.

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    Maybe u have not complained properly, u must complain about noise pollution to the environment department. Maybe they may consider taking action. But they may not be sympathetic to a bird lover.

    Cluster Flies

    Facts, Identification & Control

    Latin Name


    Cluster flies, also known as attic flies, are household pests.

      • Length: Adults measure 8 to 10 millimeters.
      • Body: Light and dark gray-checkered abdomens. The thorax of an adult cluster fly is covered in short, golden hairs and the wings overlap when at rest.
      • Characteristics: Cluster flies are slightly larger and darker than the common housefly and move more sluggishly.

    How Did I Get Cluster Flies?

    Cluster flies are capable of crawling through small openings in the walls of a structure. These flies enter homes looking for overwintering sites during the cold months. Cluster flies prefer warm areas, so homeowners often find them flying around houses on sunny days in the winter and late fall months.


    Entering living spaces by way of electrical outlets or baseboards, the pests take shelter in attics and walls to hibernate, awaiting the arrival of warmer spring weather. On sunny winter days, the wall voids may become warm and the cluster flies will try to move toward light. Although cluster flies are observed buzzing and congregating at windows, screens may prove ineffective in preventing their entrance.

    How Serious Are Cluster Flies?

    Cluster flies do not carry diseases and will not cause extensive damage to homes. However, the pests may darken walls or windows with their droppings and may attract other insects if they die inside the wall voids. Large numbers of the flies often congregate on windows and inside ceiling light fixtures, making them a nuisance to residents.

    How do I get rid of cluster flies?

    Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage cluster flies and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

    Orkin can provide the right solution to keep cluster flies in their place. out of your home, or business.

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    Life Cycle

    The cluster fly life cycle begins when a female lays her eggs in the soil in late summer or early fall. These eggs hatch within a few days, after which larvae seek to enter the body cavities of earthworms.

    What Do They Eat?

    Cluster fly larvae feed on earthworm hosts for several days, at which time they molt and pupate in the soil.


    Cluster flies’ development time from egg to adult is about 27 to 39 days.

    How to get rid of fruit flies in a few easy steps

    Follow these simple steps to rid your home of fruit flies, once and for all.

    How do you get rid of fruit flies?

    Using homemade traps — like apple cider in a bottle — or store bought aerosols, you can rid your home of existing fruit flies. Then, keep them away with simple preventative measures. Follow these 5 simple steps to rid your home of fruit flies, once and for all.

    Wipe down surfaces that are potential breeding grounds

    • Wipe down all cabinet surfaces thoroughly.
    • Clean the interior of all household trash cans. Make sure that your trash cans do not have any food residue stuck to the interior walls; it should look like it did when you first bought it. Always use trash bags and throw the trash bag away at the end of the day. If the bag isn’t full and you don’t want to toss it, at least make sure it’s always covered.
    • Wipe down any fruit or vegetables ripening on your countertops. To wipe the fruit, use a clean towel that you have dipped in slightly soapy water. After wiping, rinse and dry the fruit. You can also use a combination of water and apple cider vinegar in place of soap to wipe the fruit (1 cup water to 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar).
    • Put the fruit and veggies in an empty paper bag. This allows them to continue to ripen. (Keep the bag closed on the counter or somewhere in your kitchen.)

    Clean the drains in your kitchen

    You can do this whether or not you have evidence that the fruit flies are living there. This part is purely a preventative measure. Do not use bleach. Since bleach does not coat the pipes, it will not kill the flies. Also, undiluted bleach is not good for your pipes and is not eco-friendly. Instead, try picking up an everyday drain cleaner from your local supermarket that will remove all sludge, grime and bio-buildup. It’s the bio-buildup that attracts fruit flies to your drains. It also gives them another place to lay their 500 plus eggs, other than on your fruit and in your plants.

    Set traps

    Typical fruit fly traps include:

    • A small mason jar filled with 3 oz of unfiltered apple cider vinegar and covered with a thick layer of plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should have a small hole poked in the center of it, and the hole should be no larger than the tip of a ball point pen.
    • A small glass ramekin or saucer filled with sugary, soapy water, and set on your kitchen counter.
    • An empty mason jar with a piece of rotting fruit at the bottom of it. A paper funnel is inserted into the jar, through the opening. The circumference of the middle of the funnel should be wide enough to fill and close the opening of the jar. The funnel should taper from a large opening at the top to a pin-size hole at the bottom. This allows the flies in to the jar but does not let them escape.
    • Fruit fly traps that you can purchase from your local supermarket, like hanging sticky traps.

    Monitor traps and drains

    Now that you have flushed your drains, cleaned your cabinet counter tops and trash cans, and wiped your fruit, watch to see if the fruit fly problem begins to subside.

    • Are you catching less fruit flies in your traps daily?
    • Do you see less fruit flies hovering above or flying in and out of your drains?

    If the answer to those questions is yes, then great job! You can move on to regular maintenance.

    If the answer is no, repeat steps 1 through 4. Or, move on to natural or chemical-based insecticides, or fruit fly-decimating aerosols. If you choose the latter option — aerosols or insecticides — take care to use products that are safe for your home environment (e.g., safe for kids, pets, pregnant women, allergies, asthma, etc.). Also, remember not to use those products around food or on food prep and eating areas, unless otherwise advised in the product directions.

    Keep the drains clean and set traps

    As you work toward your goal of being fruit fly free, and then reach it, remember regular maintenance is key. To keep fruit flies away, always wash and dry fruit and produce. We know these things are likely carriers of fruit fly eggs. Also, take a minute to utilize these additional measures to prevent those potential eggs from hatching in your home:

    • If your fruit is pushing over-ripe, compost it, bake with it or toss it.
    • Clean your drains once a month to prevent fruit fly-friendly buildup.
    • Never leave dirty dishes overnight.
    • Use trash bags and trash cans with lids (if able).
    • When you pour the last drop of liquid from your beer bottles, beer cans, wine bottles, juice jugs or bottles, or vinegar bottles, rinse them out before tossing them in to your trash can.

    The information in this material was obtained from various sources. We believe it to be reliable and accurate; however, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information contained herein.

    House Flies

    What is a House Fly?

    The house fly is the most common fly found in and around homes. It has a worldwide distribution and is prominent in the United States. House flies are not only nuisance pests while buzzing around homes, but they are potential disease carriers. House flies have short lifespans, but they can quickly reproduce in large numbers, leading to large house fly populations if not identified and effectively controlled.

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    House Fly Identification

    Pest Stats


    They have 6 legs


    Adults are about 1/8-1/4” (4-7.5 mm) long



    Found throughout U.S.

    What Do House Flies Look Like?

    House flies are usually gray in appearance and display four black stripes on their thorax. Adult house flies are about 1/8-1/4” (4 to 7.5 mm) long. They have slightly hairy bodies, a single pair of wings and compound red eyes, which contain thousands of individual lenses that allow them to have wider vision. Female house flies are usually larger than males. House flies do not have teeth or a stinger.

    House fly eggs resemble small grains of rice. The eggs hatch into larvae, also known as maggots, which range in size from about ¼-3/8” (7-10 mm) long. Maggots are cream colored with a greasy appearance. When entering the pupal stage, maggots develop dark, hard outer shells, legs and wings, ultimately emerging as full-grown adult flies.

    Signs of a House Fly Infestation

    The most common sign of a house fly infestation is the presence of the flies, themselves. Larvae may also be seen crawling out of their breeding material as they pupate. Along with seeing house flies, people may hear them around the home. House flies produce a buzzing sounds which is a result of their two wings beating together.

    House Fly Photos

    Close-up photo of house fly eyes

    Photo of a house fly (or close relative) on a leaf

    House Fly Prevention

    How Do House Flies Get in the House?

    House flies take advantage of structural issues, such as damaged weather stripping or torn screens, in order to enter a household. These pests are attracted to buildings by air currents and odors. Due to the fact that their preferred temperature is 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius), house flies are attracted to warm air currents coming from buildings on cooler days and vice versa on warmer days.

    Is it true flies taste with their feet? Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist with the National Pest Management Association, has the answer.

    Find a Pest Control Professional

    How to Get Rid of House Flies

    If you suspect a house fly infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest control professional to conduct an inspection, specifically looking for any places where house fly eggs may have been deposited. Since house flies enter from outside, internal breeding sites are not common. However, interior garbage rooms and compactors provide a suitable environment for house fly breeding sites and should be checked. If the breeding site is not thoroughly cleaned or removed, these pests will continue to be a problem.

    Once the breeding site has been disposed of, eliminating the existing adult flies is the next step. A pest control professional will develop a house fly treatment plan based on the circumstances of the infestation, which may include the use of fly bait, applications or traps.

    In order to prevent a house fly infestation from happening in the first place, vigilant sanitation is a must. Regularly removing trash and using well-sealed garbage receptacles can help to deter any house flies from residing around waste bins. Additionally, pet waste must be cleaned up immediately in order to prevent the development of any house fly breeding sites. Finally, fine mesh screens should be applied to doors and windows in order to prevent house fly entry into the home. If window screens are already present, make sure there are no visible rips or tears.

    House Fly Education

    Threats Posed By House Flies

    House flies do not bite, but they are capable of transferring more than 100 different pathogens, including salmonellosis, typhoid and tuberculosis. House flies contaminate food surfaces by spreading disease organisms picked up on their legs and mouths when feeding on trash, feces and other decaying substances. Plus, they defecate constantly.

    House Fly Habits and Habitat

    Like many other pests, the house fly experiences a four-phase life cycle. Depending on conditions, the developmental time of a house fly from egg to adult may require as little as six days. The life cycle begins when a fertilized female house fly finds a suitable location to lay her eggs, oftentimes on feces, carrion or garbage. She will reproduce about 5-6 times, laying batches of about 100 eggs during each round. Female house flies usually only mate once, but are capable of producing between 350-900 eggs in their lifetime. The eggs, which are white and about 1.2 mm in length, can hatch in 12-24 hours in warm weather. Pale-whitish larvae often referred to as maggots emerge from the eggs. About 3-9 mm long, these legless larvae feed at the egg-laying site for three to five days. At the conclusion of this period, larvae seek out a dark, dry and cool environment to pupate. Over the course of three to six days, the pupae develop legs and wings, and grow into fully-grown adult house flies. After two to three days, the adult female house flies are fully ready and able to reproduce, restarting the life cycle. Adult house flies typically live 15-25 days.

    House flies are usually only active during the daytime when they will congregate indoors on floors, walls and ceilings. Outside, house flies opt for hanging around plants, fence wires, garbage cans and the ground. At night, house flies can usually be found resting 5 to 15 feet off the ground and close to sources of food. Positioning themselves in indoor corners and edges, they can survive cold winters by hibernating.

    House flies tend to stay within 1-2 miles of where they were born, but they have been documented for migrating up to 20 miles in order to find food. Since house flies don’t have teeth, they can only feed on liquids. However, they use their sponging mouthparts to liquefy many solid foods through spitting or regurgitation. Their tongues are shaped like straws to suck up the food. House flies feed on a wide variety of substances such as human food, animal carcasses and garbage. They are particularly attracted to pet waste because of its potent odor.

    Copyright ©2020 National Pest Management Association

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