Attic flies

If your attic fills with cluster flies at certain times of the year, be assured that you’re not alone. Flies get in our homes pretty much anywhere we live. The occasional buzzing is only a minor annoyance, but when you have dozens or even hundreds of flies living in your attic, it can be a disturbing feeling. You’ve been attacked by the “common attic fly”! The root cause of this phenomenon is just mother nature at work; and it just so happens that your home’s attic has somehow become involved in this cycle. It’s now your charter to eliminate flies or at least get in a position to control these cluster attic flies.


Cluster flies are simply a type of fly, not too much unlike the typical fly you find up against your window in your house. These cluster flies are born out of earthworms, if you can believe that, and like to overwinter in protected areas. Most commonly, these cluster flies move from the ground to your attic for the winter; thus, the common name they have of attic flies. By instinct, they seek shelter away from the elements, such as in the fall when it gets cold. This is one time when you might see flies swarming your attic. They also tend to appear in early spring when things start to warm up. When you notice this, it’s time to think about extermination. But do you call the exterminator or can you get rid of attic flies yourself? Let’s consider your options.

Attic flies already present?
Of course, if your attic is filled with cluster flies already, you aren’t immediately concerned with how to keep them out–a problem you should deal with later. Right now, you have to control the fly infestation in your attic directly.  At this point, there is nothing really “humane” when it comes to controlling these little guys. They are pests, and unfortunately you’ll have to kill attic flies that have taken over. Here are a couple solutions:

  • Release a fogger in your attic to kill cluster flies: There are plenty of products on the market that help in getting rid of attic flies. A fogger chemical is an inexpensive and easy way to help you eliminate most of the flies. You may have to reapply a few times until the flies are no longer active.
  • Install an electronic fly trap: Zap! We’ve all seen outdoor insect zappers. Hang one of these in your attic for the flies.
  • Window fly trap: Made specifically for cluster flies and very useful for attics, a cluster fly trap like this one works by catching flies as they “wake up” and start moving toward the warming outdoors–windows or screen openings you might have in your attic. They are very effective, and are made to capture hundreds or even thousand of flies. Much better than a typical fly trap!
  • Close all openings to your attic: Read below for more info on this. If you can shore up any attic fly openings in your house, then the flies will never be able to escape. They are unable to breed indoors, so you don’t have to worry about them reproducing if you lock them in.

Prevent flies from getting in your attic
Truly the best way to solve your problem with attic flies is to stop them from ever coming in in the first place. Your attic should not be a fly motel, so there should be no welcoming doors or windows for them to get in. It’s not always easy though to secure such openings, so perhaps you would benefit from a two-prong approach with the suggestions below:

  • Apply insecticide to the outside of your attic to prevent cluster flies from coming in. Do this in the summer or early fall at the latest. Remember, attic flies want to “cluster” indoors when it starts to get a lot cooler. Spray as best you can around your roof, chimney, eves, ventilation holes, etc. The attic flies will be repelled by the chemicals and retreat from going in your attic.
  • Close up openings where attic flies get in. Use caulking to seal up gaps, cracks and other wide seams that lead into your attic. Patch up torn screens and seal gaps around electrical or plumbing penetrations. Attic flies are very good at finding any available gap or hole in your attic, so be sure to seal up the thinnest of joint gaps such as between trim and siding and particularly at the eaves.

To get rid of attic flies once they’re dead, simply vacuum them up. You may even find that some are still alive but moving slowly. Get rid of them too! If you don’t want to deal with this stuff yourself, by all means, hire a professional to come exterminate your attic flies. Whatever you do, if you can find a more permanent solution to eliminate your attic fly problem for good then that’s the best remedy. In other words, do you want to have to kill cluster flies repeatedly, season after season, or do you want to get rid of these pests for good?

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