A summer filled with rain and very few dry days is being blamed for a black house fly infestation in parts of Perry County.
“Some farmers spread some manure and that manure got wet or was wet, and the flies came in and bred in the wet manure,” Dr. Gregory Martin of Penn State Extension said, adding that flies normally breed in manure but a lack of drying has amplified the problem.
“That drying phase is a very, very important phase in the fact that it halts any fly breeding from taking place simply because the manure gets so dry. The fly can no longer lay eggs into that manure.”
Brenda Forney lives with the problem from the moment she wakes up.
“It’s an everyday thing. As soon as you open up your door, 10, 20 flies. I mean, you’re trying to wave your hands to keep them out,” she said, gesturing in the air. “You can’t even enjoy yourself. It’s terrible. You can’t sit out here. You can’t have a drink. You can’t grill out. You can’t have food.”
Forney’s window sills and screen doors are constantly buzzing with masses of black flies. Traps inside and outside her home fill up and need to be replaced in just hours.
She doesn’t blame the farmers and says her family is used to some flies on their property, which is right near several fields, but she says what is happening now has never happened before.
“We want to enjoy the summer, but you can’t,” she said.
Martin says flies are more attracted to wood than to harder materials like brick or concrete. He adds that if you have a garage, keep it closed; flies often seek refuge in areas with large volumes of air to either cool off or heat up, depending on the weather.
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