If you’ve never encountered a yellow fly, count yourself lucky. These pesky, vicious creatures might be tiny, but they pack a big bite. Found mainly in the southern regions of the US, they love warm, humid spots and are usually at their most active during the late summer and early fall. Their bite is exceptionally painful and can cause excessive itching, swelling, and even allergic reactions. Fortunately, there are numerous strategies you can use to keep yourself and your family free of their attention. Here’s everything you need to know about how to get rid of yellow flies in your home.
How to Identify Yellow Flies
If you’re not sure whether you’re dealing with yellow flies or some other pesky critter, there are a few ways to identify exactly which kind of insect you’re dealing with. Adult yellow flies will typically measure around 3/8 inches long. They have yellow bodies, black front legs, and two other sets of yellow legs. Their eyes are bright green with purple bands. Their transparent wings are laced with black and yellow veins and brown patches. Male yellow flies don’t bite and tend to feed primarily on pollen and nectar. Female yellow flies are bloodsuckers and are one of the few members of the Tabanidae family of flies that are as happy to enjoy a blood meal indoors as al fresco. They prefer to live close to bodies of water like pools and ponds with the result that homeowners with standing water in their yards are more at risk of an infestation. They don’t like direct sunlight, so tend to gather more during late afternoon and on overcast days. They’re particularly active during later summer and early fall.
Are Yellow Flies Dangerous?
Yellow flies might not be deadly (in most cases, anyway), but they’re still a massive nuisance. Their bites are itchy, painful, and can become infected if they aren’t kept clean. Unfortunately, yellow flies are fast and indiscriminate, making any area of exposed skin an easy target. As yellow flies inject anticoagulant-containing saliva into their host during a meal, people who have allergies to anticoagulants are particularly at risk.
How to Get Rid of Yellow Flies in Your Home
Yellow flies might be mad, bad, and dangerous to know, but fortunately, you don’t have to invite them to stick around if you don’t want to. If don’t much like the idea of being a drive-thru for flies, here are some of the most effective strategies for keeping them out of your home.
Clear Your Yard
If you want to keep your home clear of yellow flies, the first step is to make it less attractive to them. Yellow flies tend to congregate around standing water, whether that’s lakes, ponds, or pools. Even a small ornamental pond can attract thousands of unwanted visitors, and once they’re in your yard, it won’t take long for some to work their way into your house as well. If you’ve got any water features in your yard that offer aesthetic appeal but no practical or environmental value, drain them. While you’re in the process of cleaning your yard, take the advice of fliesonly.com and get to grips with your vegetation too. Yellow flies don’t like open, sunny spaces, so the fewer shrubs, trees, and shade your garden has the better.
Install Window Screens
If you haven’t already installed screens in front of your windows, now is the time to do it. Tightly meshed screens are preferable over conventional screens as they’ll also stop the similarly annoying and equally tiny ne-see-ums from passing through
Bring out the Chemicals
DEET got a bad rep in the ’80s, but it’s still the most common ingredient in bug repellents for the simple reason that it works. There are also several DEET-free formulas available that offer effective relief against yellow flies. According to americanceliac.org, the following repellents are among of the best:
- Shoofly Natural Insect Repellent Soap
- Beat It! All-Natural Insect Repellent,
- Cactus Juice Outdoor Skin Protectant Spray
- Repel 100 Insect Repellent
- Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent
- Babyganic Natural Insect Repellent
- Ovvio Oils’ Prevent Insect Repellent
Whichever product you use, spray it on the vegetation around the area in which the flies tend to congregate, being careful to avoid adding it to water.
Trap and Kill
Setting traps around your yard and house is a great way of keeping yellow flies at bay. They’re also incredibly easy and cheap to make. To get started, you’ll need a length of string, a medium-sized ball, flypaper, and tangle tape. Apply a thick layer of tangle tape to the ball. attach the ball to the string and tie the string to the bottom of the stool. Wrap the ends of the stool with fly tape. Hang the stool in an area where the yellow flies tend to congregate. The swinging motion of the ball will attract the flies, who’ll then meet a grizzly end on either the flypaper or the ball.
Try the Natural Approach
If you don’t want to use chemicals to help control your yellow fly infestation, there are several natural methods you can try instead. According to twoworldnews.blogspot.com, Beautyberry has been used ever since the first settlers arrived in Florida to keep yellow flies away. As a bonus, they’re also very effective against other biting insects. Simply rub a few of the leaves against your skin and arrange a few of the branches around the house. According to some people, apple cider vinegar is also an excellent natural deterrent. There’s zero scientific evidence to suggest it works, but if you’re happy to accept the anecdotal reports on face value, simply drink a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before going into an area you’ll know yellow flies will be waiting. You might also want to wear a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers while you do it.