By Montana Grant

Posted: July 29, 2023

Montana is home to several species of nuisance flies. House flies and Horse Flies abound. At this time of year, swarms of flies show up in our yards, and homes.

Flies live 15-25 days. It takes them a while to become adults as they go from an egg/maggot to a pupa to a larva to a winged bug. Their purpose in life is to reproduce. They serve as decomposers and scavengers outdoors. If there is a pile of feces, dead critters, rotting anything, or exposed food, flies will zero in on them.

Only 2 fly’s bite. The Horse fly and Black fly can feel like a burn when they chomp down on livestock or people. The resulting sore can easily become infected.

Flies are considered filthy bugs since they socialize and feed on feces, compost, roadkill, and manure. They spread bacteria, fungi, viruses, Tuberculosis, typhoid, anthrax, cholera, and other digestive illnesses.

Make some fly traps that can be hung around your property and outbuildings. Use an empty soda bottle for this trap. Cut the top third/cone off and invert the bottle. Connect with some wire and add an attractive scent. Use some vinegar with a few drops of dish washing liquid in them. Place these traps in areas where you see flies. The traps will do the best. The soap will keep the flies in the liquid after they smell the vinegar.

Bug Assault guns make fly hunting fun. You only have a 2–3-foot range but these salt shooters effectively kill flies. Avoid shooting at pets and eyes. Horse folks are often packing when at equestrian events. No horse fly is left alive.

The old traditional sticky strips are scented with fly attractants. Once the fly touches the strip, they will never leave. Fans keep the air moving and keep flies flying by. Birdhouses, bat boxes, and several natural plants will also deal with the flies.

There are several scents that flies don’t like. Lemongrass, citronella, mint, rosemary, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and lavender will deter flies. Having these plants around the gardens, mulch/compost areas, and decks will encourage these bugs to fly by.

Keep your flies down!

Montana Grant

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