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University of Minnesota Extension


Quick facts

Several species of flies can be found in and around homes in Minnesota during the summer months. These flies are attracted to human and animal waste and garbage, so they are sometimes called "filth flies." They can transmit diseases such as diarrhea and dysentery.

Other flies can be seen in and around homes during late summer and fall as they look for warm places to hide for the winter. They are a nuisance and don't harm people or property.

    Preventing and controlling filth flies

    The most effective way to control them is to keep your home and yard clean:

    • Tie plastic garbage bags tightly to reduce odor
    • Clean garbage cans regularly to remove food and odors
    • Use garbage cans with tight-fitting lids and place as far away as possible from your home
    • Remove animal manure, rotting mulch, lawn clippings and dead birds and animals from your yard
    • Cover compost piles with black plastic sheeting
    • Use 14- to 16-mesh screen on doors and windows

    Common filth flies


    Fall nuisance flies


    Jeffrey Hahn, Extension entomologist and Valerie Cervenka, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

    Reviewed in 2018

    Page survey

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