If you live in the Southeastern parts of the United States, Bahamas, Costa Rica, Mexico, or other tropical regions around the world, then you’ve likely encountered yellow flies.
Despite being small, they pack a powerful bite and can make all kinds of outdoor activities unpleasant. In fact, they’re considered to be one of the fiercest biters among all the fly species.
Fly traps, chemical methods like permeating sprays containing Carbaryl, Permetherin, and Malathion, and natural repellents such as garlic, citrus peels, cinnamon, or bay leaves can help repel and reduce the number of yellow flies in your yard.
For a more robust approach to controlling these pesky pests, you can use an insect growth regulator that interrupts the reproductive cycle of female flies, preventing them from laying eggs and reproducing.
What Do Yellow Flies Look Like?
From the name itself, physically, these flies have a distinct yellow coloring in their bodies. Although their wings are clear, yellow flies have black and yellow stripes painted across their legs.
They are also small, measuring only about 3/8 of an inch in length, and they have piercing mouthparts that make them a formidable foe, especially when it comes to biting.
While yellow biting flies may look like regular deer flies at first glance, if you look at their clear wings, it has a black stigma or brownish patches along the wings. This distinct marking is the best way to recognize and differentiate from deer flies.
As for its head, it has blue-green eyes, vibrantly colored, and in some cases, their abdomen is covered in a haired lining.
As for their diet, both male and female species feed on nectar. This is their main source of energy, however, the female biting fly also needs to consume blood meal to develop and lay its eggs.
Blood is high in protein, which significantly helps in the egg development. With that being said, being bitten by a yellow fly is painful, and unfortunately, this helps them reproduce and live longer.
How to Get Rid of Yellow Flies and Keep Them Away from Your Yard
The fact that these yellow flies are persistent and capable of withstanding harsh conditions makes it difficult to completely get rid of them.
They have adapted to survive various climates, including the hot tropical weather as well the slightly cooler temperatures of the southeastern United States.
The best way to fight against these pests is to employ a multi-pronged approach – one that includes both chemical and natural methods.
Eliminate Breeding Grounds
The humid environment and plenty of standing water make your yard a prime spot for yellow flies to breed and lay eggs.
Those living in the Southern parts of the United States are more prone to this, as the climate is generally more warm and more moist.
Generally, you’ll find them around forest edges, alongside creeks, or even rivers. Removing standing water and cutting back tall grasses or weeds are great ways to reduce the number of yellow flies in your yard.
Use Fly Traps
Despite being ferocious and aggressive, it’s been proven that fly paper, sticky traps, and fly zappers are still effective in trapping yellow flies. However, since yellow flies are more attracted to those that are moving, you can level this up a bit and create a sticky ball trap.
All you need is a medium-sized ball wrapped in fly paper. You can attach it to a piece of rope and hang it near entryways or other areas where yellow flies tend to gather.
The ball should be light enough to sway when the wind blows. The swinging motion during windy days is enough to attract yellow flies. Once they land on the sticky ball, they’ll be trapped and unable to escape.
If you’re doing a DIY fly trap, make sure that the sticky substance is sticky enough to catch and keep them stuck.
Dealing with a large number of yellow flies seems scary and, to be honest, annoying. Using chemical products can help.
Malathion, Permetherin, and Carbaryl are all chemicals and ingredients that are proven to be effective against yellow flies.
The greatest thing about these is they are easily available and can be purchased from your local hardware or agricultural sprays.
One thing to note about these products is that they only offer a temporary reprieve from these yellow flies. Note that they are not considered as a long-term solution since this fly species can travel up to 2 miles looking for a blood meal.
With that being said, these chemicals can temporarily help stop them from coming around your property, but this should also be used in conjunction with other methods to permanently drive them away from your yard.
Clear Your Yard
Cleaning your yard, getting rid of the tall bushes and shrubs, or clearing the branches of tall trees might significantly help reduce the number of yellow flies in your yard.
By nature, these flies like to hide and take refuge against these shaded areas. Yellow biting flies dislike being soaked up and exposed in sunny areas, which is why they’ll hide in bushy and thick vegetation.
If you have a pond or lake nearby, it might be worth considering to remove any decaying organic material or replace the water every now and then.
These flies feed off of fermentation and decay, so by keeping your property clean and free from these, you can expect lesser yellow flies around your area.
Since we’ve established that yellow flies don’t like being exposed to direct sunlight, you may also use outdoor lights to make them scatter away. However, keep them to a minimum and make sure that these lights won’t be a source of additional humidity and moisture, which yellow flies are attracted to.
Insecticidal Control Methods
Insecticidal control methods can be a helpful way to eliminate yellow flies from your yard. This method involves applying insecticides either as sprays, granules, or slow release systems to areas where the yellow flies are found.
However, the use of insecticides has only been proven to be effective during their immature stages. The majority of insecticides aren’t recommended during the fly’s development sites.
If yellow flies are found swarming near ponds, riverbanks, or creeks, using them in these areas isn’t typically recommended. These water forms can be home to other aquatic animals and may be harmful if these insecticides are used near them.
Using these insecticides yourself is fairly easy. There’s no special skill or setup required, but it is of utmost importance that you follow all safety precautions to avoid any accidents or issues.
Call a Professional Pest Control Company
If all else fails, calling in professional help can be your next best move. If you’ve exhausted all your options and yellow-biting flies are still lingering around your property, then don’t hesitate to call a professional pest control company.
Their expertise, experience, and knowledge will make sure that you can get rid of these pesky flies in no time.
Professional pest control companies will be able to provide long-term solutions and it’ll be worth the money spent in order to ensure a safe and bug-free home.
The stinging sensation of yellow flies can be very uncomfortable and annoying. While they’re similar to other biting insects, their unique biology and behavior can really make them tricky to get rid of.
Fortunately, this guide has provided you with the knowledge of identifying yellow flies and the means on how to prevent them from lingering in your yard.
Clear any debris, get rid of standing water, minimize moisture and humidity from your area, and the use of chemicals and insecticides can help you drive away these pesky yellow flies.
At the end of the day, if none of these methods have worked, hiring an experienced pest control company can be your best bet.
Their knowledge partnered with the right use of chemicals and equipment can ensure that these yellow flies will be gone for good.
Having a pest-free yard is an achievable goal and with the right strategies, you’ll be able to keep it that way in no time. So once you spot one, take action immediately. Waiting for them to reproduce is like leaving the door open to a whole swarm of yellow flies.