A lot of flies


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Hello. I have a lot of flies around the bushes that are around my AC unit (live in Michigan; I think the bushes are yews). I remember some flies last year, but i don't really remember flies anytime before that. And this year there are a lot more flies than last year and they are here longer this year. Are the flies because of the red berries? Is this normal?
 

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Hello, and welcome to the Forums.

Do you have a photo of one of the flies? There are many species of true fly in the Order Diptera, as well as other insects commonly known as flies. Insects can be attracted to a spot for numerous reasons, so knowing which insect we are discussing is essential. It can even be a photo of a dead fly as long, as it is not squashed. I do see a fly in the second photo but there is not much detail.

One possible reason for an accumulation of flies is that it is a warm, sheltered spot. I often see flies warming themselves where the morning sun falls. Other reasons could include moisture or decaying matter, including fermenting yew (Taxus) berries (actually fleshy strobili).
 
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Here are some pics of the flies. Hope it helps. I don't see any feces anywhere and I don't see any dead animals that would be attracting them to this area. There are a lot, you can hear them buzzing when you move the bushespic 3.jpg
pic1.jpg
pic2.jpg
 
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This fly does resemble a fly in the Family Sarcophagidae. Many Sarcophagid flies are are attracted to feces and dead animals when feeding or laying eggs. However in this case, I think they may only be sheltering and warming themselves in a sunny spot. Do the flies remain when the area is in shade? In any case, there numbers should soon drop as Winter moves in.
 
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Thanks. I think that is what happened last year (they left when it became cold). I have only noticed them during the day, I will check tonight to see if they stay around. It is a sunny spot for sure the majority of the day. Thank you.
 
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So it is probably an extreme reaction to remove all of the shrubs and replace them.
What about spraying the bushes with some sort of insecticide? Or more "green" action of a complete clearing of the mulch/dead leaves on the ground and the replace with new mulch?
 
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The source of the flies isn't the shrubs or the soils. The most likely source in residential areas is dog feces, and also garbage. If you or your neighbors have dogs there will always be some Sarcophagidae around, also some Bottle Flies (Calliphoridae) and Houseflies (Muscidae) as well. Of course, daily cleaning up and bagging dog feces helps, but not all neighbors are so conscientious...

In any case, I wouldn't use an insecticide around your house. It will not get at the source of the flies, but it could kill other beneficial insect populations on your plants and in your soil. There also really is some human, pet, and wildlife health risk with using those chemical too.
 

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