Does your home buzz with the sound of flies in summer, but suddenly, you can’t hear or even see them in winter?
Flies are annoying creatures that bother your pets and test your nerves during spring and hot months, but you breathe a sigh of relief when they don’t show up in the colder months. Ever wondered where they go only to come back again?
In winter, flies tend to hide in warmer places to save themselves from low temperatures. They also slow down their life cycle, and that is why you don’t even see baby flies invading your home.
Isn’t that interesting to know? If you want to know more details on this topic, keep reading.
Why Do You See No Or Very Few Flies In Winter?
Do you miss the buzzing sounds of flies in winter? We are sure you don’t, but you might wonder where they go after all, right?
Below we have listed some reasons that explain this scenario in detail.
Slow Life Cycle of a Fly
You may consider flies immortal, but believe it or not, they have a very short life. In fact, adult flies only live between 15 to 30 days. So, why do you see them around more than any other insect or pest?
The answer is that flies have a high production rate, and they live to perform only three things; eat, breed and die. However, that’s not the case in cold months.
During winter, flies do continue to hatch, but the growth of larvae slows down. In fact, the growth slows down by two-plus months in winter.
Interestingly, the survival tendency of larvae is much better than flies in winter, and that is why a slow life cycle ensures that the conversion from larvae to a fly takes longer in colder months. Therefore, you don’t see many flies invading your space in winter.
Flies Hide in Warm Places
Flies prefer to die from their old age rather than the cold. And so, to survive, they look for places that can keep them warm. Flies follow specific survival tactics that make them easy to escape the cold breeze and dropped temperatures.
- These flying insects often crawl into cracks and crevices that may exist in the walls of your home to escape the cold weather. When hidden, you may not spot them even in daylight.
- Flies also like to settle down in gaps between door frames and windows. Again since these spots are warm, they help keep flies safe from the temperature outside.
- Furthermore, you may also find flies in the most unusual places in winter. For instance, they make their home in barns and sheds and use animal deposits to lay their eggs.
- If your home has a controlled temperature and a perfect environment for the flies to survive, you may not get rid of flies even in the colder months.
Some Flies Also Migrate
Like humans and most animals, some flies also tend to migrate. Similar to Monarch butterflies, many insects and pests travel long distances to escape cold temperatures. For insects, flies such as crop pests often travel from colder to warmer states during winter.
They Go Into Hibernation
One of the most common behaviors of flies is that they tend to get very lazy in winter, which is quite similar to what humans feel. They prefer to stop moving and go into hibernation.
Diapause is the term that defines fly hibernation and is a situation when the metabolic activity in these pests reduces by a significant amount. The activity only allows the flies to stay alive for some time.
A few common signs indicate that a fly is finally starting to go into hibernation. For instance, when a fly chooses to crawl instead of fly, it indicates that the weather is getting cold for the pest and it wants a home that can keep it safe.
During diapause, flies prefer to stop moving altogether. This behavior allows them to save their body heat and energy. As a result, all the activities, development and growth of flies standstill during hibernation and don’t resume until the cold season is over.
Diapause reflects the semi-dormant behavior of flies and confirms their absence in winter.
Death Due to Cold
Not every fly gets a chance to hibernate and find a safe shelter. In areas where the temperature drops below 0°C, most flies die off immediately. Unfortunately, like most animals and other insects, flies don’t contain furs or nests to save them from winter, and hence, the cold takes over their lives.
How to Get Rid of Flies Before Spring
Most flies lay eggs in winter, but due to a slow life cycle, the larvae don’t convert into flies until the weather is warmer. This implies that although you won’t see the flies around your home in winter, as soon as the temperature rises, many of these annoying pests will be invading your home.
So, how should you ensure that it doesn’t happen? Here are a few methods to apply.
- Expose the larvae and the eggs of the flies: Without larvae, there won’t be any flies. Before it starts getting cold, clear out any manure and soil on the flower bed and expose the larvae to cold weather so they die before entering the next life cycle stage.
- Block entry: If you don’t want flies to make your home their breeding ground in winter, stop their entry. Use magnetic screen windows or doors to make that possible.
- Eliminate breeding areas: Flies breed on stagnant water, dead animals, food and even animal droppings. By removing any of these from your home, you might be eliminating flies from your home for good. Besides, close all gaps and cracks to disallow flies from hiding in these hidden spots.
Flies are an unexpected and unwelcomed nuisance in summer, and not finding them in winter is a great feeling. However, that doesn’t mean that these pesky creatures have left your home for good. They might be breeding in various spots in your house, and you may never find out until it’s spring again.
So, to avoid an infestation after winter, eliminate all breeding areas from your home. You can use chemicals to get rid of larvae or go for sticky fly traps and remove big flies. Whichever method you go for, make sure it is safe for the people and pets living in your house.