Cluster Flies and Houseflies: What’s the Difference?

Cluster FliesMost of us are all too familiar with houseflies. When one shows up here or there, we’re willing to pass it off as a minor nuisance, shooing or swatting it away. Most often, we don’t look close enough to determine if, in fact, the insect is indeed an ordinary house fly.  That flying, buzzing annoyance might actually be a cluster fly.

So what is a cluster fly anyway? As mentioned, they look quite similar to houseflies. They might spend their winter in your walls, attic or basement. You may have no clue that they’ve taken up residence in your home for the winter.

Come spring, and the warmer Western New York weather, cluster flies will appear inside your home, suddenly visible to you and yours. How did those little buggers get in your house in the first place, you wonder? Like many pests, they most likely entered through small cracks and openings in your home’s exterior. Try as we might to keep them out, crafty cluster flies have a way of finding their way in.

Next time you see one or more flies buzzing around, take a closer look and keep the following things in mind to determine whether or not you’re dealing with cluster flies.:

  • They are a bit larger than a typical housefly, with a black or silver-checkered body.
  • They have wings that overlap when resting (house fly wings remain separated).
  • They are a mellower version of a house fly—not nearly as frantic.
  • They tend to stay near windows, attracted to the light outside.
  • They have a signature scent when squashed.


Cluster flies don’t use your house to reproduce in these springtime months, and they don’t carry disease. However, this is small consolation for someone dealing with an infestation and the disgusting waste left behind.

Cluster flies may just want to escape your house after the long winter—can you blame them? Sometimes it takes a professional pest control service to help them find their way out. Then, when Fall rolls back around, a program can be put in place to prevent cluster flies from using your home as a winter resort to begin with.


Whatever type of fly you happen to be dealing with, get in touch with the exterminators at Comfort Pest Control to learn what they can do to alleviate the problem.


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