A technical journal containing well researched articles concerning urban arthropod pests, Pest Management Professional, recently conducted a nationwide survey on the most commonly encountered pests within homes. Pest control professionals in all US states were asked about the commonality of several different types of urban pests, including arachnids, insects, rodents and birds. According to the survey’s results, when it comes to flies, pest control professionals encounter house flies within homes more frequently than any other fly species. Of course, most people would not find this result surprising, as house flies are named for their tendency to invade homes throughout the US.

Flies are the most widely distributed group of insect pests in the world, but many fly pests are more common in some parts of the US than others. For example, cluster fly and face fly infestations within homes are most common in the northern states, especially in New England, as these two fly pests invade homes in order to escape the cold winter temperatures. Therefore, these two fly species are not serious indoor pests in the southernmost states where the winter season is relatively mild. Cluster flies were the sixth most commonly encountered indoor fly pests throughout the country.

The second most common indoor fly pest, fruit flies, can be found throughout the US, and they tend to invade homes where overripe or decaying fruit and food scraps can be found. Fruit flies typically gravitate toward decaying food in garbage bins and food scraps that have fallen behind kitchen appliances. However, much like cluster and face flies, fruit flies frequently invade within northeastern homes in large numbers during the fall in order to overwinter within wall voids, attics and other well-concealed areas. The fifth most common indoor fly pest in the US, fungus gnats, are also frequently found in northeastern homes due to their habit of invading homes during the colder months, but these flies do not overwinter in homes, as they cannot survive or reproduce within concealed indoor areas. That being said, fungus flies are able to reproduce within potted house plants, and they are often spotted congregating around windows and hopping on soil within potted plants.

Have you ever suffered through a fungus gnat infestation?