Here are the three main types of house flies we see in Central Illinois and what you can do about each species.
1. Drain Flies
Where do drain flies come from? Not always from drains. They often slip inside homes through minuscule holes in walls, window screens, or door or window frames.
Once inside, drain flies often stay near sinks and drains. But they can also infest a toilet tank, loose floor tiles, a leaky pipe, and other sources of moisture.
How to get rid of drain flies: You can try putting up flypapers or glue boards on each wall of a room. Then, search the area near whichever one collects the most flies.
You’ll probably find them in a moist area, often close to organic matter they’re feeding on. Clean it up thoroughly, and try not to let them come back to that area again.
2. Fungus Gnats
Are fungus gnats actually flies? Yes, they’re like miniature fruit flies with black bodies. They eat rotting organic material, and they often lay their eggs in moist soil where plenty of this matter is available—especially fungus.
Fungus gnats sometimes infest and damage gardens. They are also attracted to lights and to the carbon dioxide emitted by our mouths and noses.
How to get rid of fungus gnats: Take away what attracts them. Clean up any dead plants, bark, and dead fruit that have collected around your home. If the soil in your house plants includes composted material, switch it out for a different type, and make sure it drains well after being watered.
3. Phorid Flies
Phorid flies look a lot like fruit flies, but their back legs are a bit horizontally flattened, almost like a grasshopper’s legs. They also don’t have red eyes. And their backs have a hunch to them.
Phorid flies search for rotting animal and plant material. They can breed quickly in garbage, yard clippings, carcasses, compost, and damp organic matter.
How to get rid of phorid flies: The only way to prevent phorid flies from gathering is to clean up the places they breed. Sometimes, it’s as simple as finding the apple core that got kicked under the stove.
You could also rinse out an infested floor drain with a specialized product and scrub it with a high-quality brush. Some homeowners have had to break through a concrete floor to root them out, but we recommend getting a professional to help you if it comes to that.