Persistent flies forecast for winter

Te Waha Nui report by Sam Kelway
Winter generally means an absence of pesky flies. However pest agencies are saying the onslaught may not be over for Aucklanders yet.

Viv Van Dyke, director of Flybusters and Antiants (FBA), says the company has noticed a huge increase in the number of flies this season.

“With such large numbers over the summer there will be more problems over winter as the wintering stocks of insects will be greater.”

Van Dyke says flies live for a limited time, but some struggle through the winter to provide the populations for the following the years.

“The bigger the population in summer, the bigger the population in winter,” she says.

Claire Littler, a Grafton resident, says she came home recently and found flies all over herwindows.

“As we kept looking around there was more and more. I’d never seen that many before in one spot. It was quite surreal,” she says.

Van Dyke says this occurs due to the drop in temperature and in areas containing rich soil.

“These lavae soon to be cluster flies feed on small earthworms.

“When they hatch they walk up structures and leave a nasty smell behind. This smell attracts generations of flies for years.

“If you can’t get up there, to kill and remove the bodies, then it can be quite a dramatic problem,” she says.