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  • Flies, Spiders

  • Homeowners are often bothered by sluggish flies in their homes in late winter and early spring. These flies are collectively called "clustering flies," but may actually be any of the three most common types of flies.

    • Cluster flies are about 8 to 10 mm (.31 to .39 inches) long. They are dark grey, with black and silver (non-metallic) checkered stomachs, and many golden hairs on their upper body (these may or may not be present on older flies). Unlike house flies, their wings overlap when they are at rest.
       
      At first glance, they may look like house flies, but they are larger, darker and slower-moving. There tends to be more of these flies in houses surrounded by large lawns or those backing onto open parks. The name "cluster fly" is used because of their habit of gathering in clusters after entering a house in the fall. They may give off a sickly, sweetish odour if disturbed.
    • Face flies are pests of cattle and may hibernate in homes or invade them during the summer. Hibernating face flies have very similar habits to cluster flies. Since the larvae develop in fresh cattle manure, face flies are most likely to invade farm homes or homes located near pastures or where cattle are kept.
    • Blow flies, also referred to as blue or green bottle flies, are robust flies with shiny metallic bodies. They can often be found in homes during winter and early spring. These "buzzing" insects develop in manure or dead animal carcasses. They are strong fliers and are attracted to lamps or lights. The green bottle fly is also attracted to dog feces and garbage.

    Spiders commonly found in Canadian homes include house spiders, wolf spiders, cellar spiders, fishing spiders, and (much less often) black widow spiders. They are usually found in corners of rooms, closets, boxes, dark crevices, basements, garages, and gardens.

    The spider has an unsegmented body with two main divisions and four pairs of walking legs. It also has organs for producing silk, which is used for making nests, webs to catch prey, or cocoons for its eggs.

    Most spiders prey on insects, many of them pests. Once the prey becomes tangled in the web, the spider immobilizes it by wrapping it in more silk and then injecting venom to paralyze it. Later, the spider injects a predigestive liquid and sucks out all the nutrients from its prey. Not all spiders are web spinners, and there are many types of spiders that use different strategies to catch their food.