Cluster flies

These flies are commonly found throughout Europe and the UK. The name refers to their habit of clustering together in large numbers and hibernating in buildings.

There are several species found in the UK but they are often found in mixed swarms.

The sizes vary between species from 6 - 10mm.

They are slightly larger than the house fly and appear to fly more sluggishly.

Cluster flies can be recognised by their distinctive stripes behind the head, short golden hairs on their thorax and a mottled light/dark grey abdomen.

Eggs are laid on damp soil or beneath dead and rotting leaves.

The adult flies feed on the nectar of garden and wild flowers.

As a free-living insect the length of the life cycle is weather dependent. In Britain two generations of cluster flies are common, but in hot summers up to four are possible.

During the summer and early autumn cluster flies are rarely noticed as they are away from buildings.

As the season cools they seek shelter in nooks and crannies in houses and other buildings.

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