Cluster Fly

Category:

Actual Size: 8 mm long

Characteristics: Non-metallic; dark-gray.

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Gravitate toward ripe fruit and flowers. Often overwinter inside buildings.

Habits:

  • Will hibernate and overwinter inside homes.
  • Slightly larger than your typical house fly.
  • Unlike blow flies, cluster flies are not attracted to human foods.

Cluster Flies in Bristol

True to their name, cluster flies are known to gather together in groups. Cluster flies are a member of the blow fly family and are widely distributed throughout the United States, including here in Tennessee. These insects enter houses in the fall to hibernate and often gather in secluded and sometimes inaccessible places, such as wall cavities, attics, and false ceilings. In the spring, cluster flies become active and in attempting to leave their hibernation site, they commonly end up inside the living space of homes and buildings where they become a nuisance. In early spring, they are sluggish but do not fly about noisily in buildings like other house-invading flies.

Cluster Fly Habitat

These flies are most often seen outdoors, where they frequent flowers and ripe fruits. When the temperature cools down, they enter homes and buildings to overwinter. They often hide in clusters, in nooks and dark corners, underneath clothing in closets, beneath curtains, in wall voids, and behind pictures and furniture. The increasing warmth of spring days induces activity, and flies may emerge from hibernation, inside, rather than outside the home. Once inside, the flies crawl sluggishly over the walls and often fall into food on the table.

Cluster Fly Behaviors & Dangers

Unlike typical blow flies, cluster flies are not believed to be a health hazard because they are not attracted to human foods. However, their presence can be annoying, as they tend to travel in huge swarms of thousands of flies. In the fall, as adult flies seek shelter to spend the winter months, they gather near windows in buildings and homes, spinning around and buzzing noisily. When swatted, they tend to leave a greasy spot. While they hibernate over the winter, their accumulated excrement can give off a noticeable stench and they may also stain fabrics and walls.

If you have a cluster fly infestation in or outside your Tennessee home, contact your local exterminators for help.