How to Get Rid of Mayflies?

how to get rid of mayflies

If you ever notice a gathering of flies around your house entrance or doorway, it is probably a mayfly eruption. Though these insects are harmless to humans, pets, and plants (as they do not bite, sting, or attack), they often emerge in millions, which can be frightening and challenging to deal with.

If you are thinking about getting rid of mayflies, it can be a pretty challenging task, as these flies can reproduce quickly and in massive numbers.

However, there are several ways to eliminate mayfly swarms from your home and yard. Do you know which method will work the best for you?

Give this article a good read to know how to get rid of mayflies!

What Is a Mayfly?

mayfly flying above the water

The Mayfly is a fly with an elongated body and a pair of wings. Their body appearance is quite similar to that of miniature mosquitoes.

Mayflies are aquatic insects in the same category as dragonflies and damselflies, except that the mayflies are larger. Their length is around 5.2 inches, with a set of antennae on their heads, indicating that they are neither snakes nor mosquitoes.

The mayfly family consists of thousands of species of mayflies globally, with approximately 400 genera in 42 families. Their bodies are typically yellow, black, or other dull colors, all with transparent sets of wings.

The presence of mayflies in homes, yards, or bodies of water around the house indicates that the place is unpolluted and clean. The eggs hatch in large quantities from Spring to Autumn.

The Mayfly’s Life Cycle

Since the mayflies are aquatic insects, they spend most of their lives in or around fresh water. The lifecycle of a mayfly is pretty simple. The female mayflies lay their eggs on the water surface, which sink beneath, sticking to stones and plants after.

After hatching, the nymph stays underwater, feeding on other aquatic organisms and plants. The larval and the nymph stage are the only times a mayfly eats. Thus, an adult mayfly does not have a mouth.

Once fully developed, the nymph swims to the water’s surface and sheds off its covering. Once the wings are fully dry, they can be called a fully-grown adult mayfly.

Are Mayfly Swarms Dangerous?

mayfly swarm

Since these insects do not bite, sting, or spread bacteria, they are not dangerous to humans, plants, or other animals. Unless they are swarming, they are harmless.

This means that the most significant risk associated with mayflies is when they are mating, as they gather into colossal mayfly swarms, blocking vision. For example, if you encounter a mayfly swarm while driving, you might not be able to see the road ahead. The mayfly buildup also causes slippery road conditions.

How to Get Rid of Mayflies?

If you desire to get rid of mayflies from your home and yard, the best way to do so is to get rid of the stuff that these mayflies are easily attracted to. Several things attract the mayflies, such as standing water, white light, etc.

Once the nymph grows into an adult mayfly with wings, it will immediately fly around, seeking a mate. This is because the mayflies have a short lifespan and need a mate quickly to reproduce.

The following are a few easy ways to get rid of mayflies naturally.

Get Rid of Stagnant Water

After mating, female mayflies seek stagnant water for their eggs. You should remove any standing bodies of water from your yard. If you have a pool at your house, cover it with a pool cover and use chemicals to keep them away. Also, keep the pool water clean by removing any debris from the standing water.

Turn off Any Unnecessary Lights

Mayflies are most attracted to lights. They tend to move quickly to wherever they see bright and white light. You can eliminate the mayflies by switching off unnecessary lights at night in your house and yard, or by dimming any intense lighting around your property. You can use exterior lights like shed lights, patio lights, pathway lights, porch lights, string lights, and other dim lights to prevent the mayflies from entering your home.

Install a Bug Trap

how to get rid of mayflies

One of the best ways to trap mayflies is to install a bug zapper alongside white or yellow lights. Since light attracts mayflies swarms, they can easily get trapped in the bug zapper once they come near the trap.

Chemical Foggers

Consider using a chemical fogger if your house is located in an area with many mayflies around, like a pond or a lake. Chemical foggers are pesticides that can instantly kill all the mayflies around. However, you should first check with the laws if it is legal to use in your area and if you know how to use it properly.

Wait for Them To Die Naturally

It may sound strange, but simply waiting for the mayflies to die naturally is also a good option. Since these insects do not have a long lifespan, their wait is almost worth it. It only takes a few days for the whole mayfly infestation to die.

DIYs to Getting Rid of Mayflies

Nowadays, when a DIY solution is available for almost everything, DIY natural remedies to kill mayflies are getting everyone’s attention. There are many natural repellents and other natural methods that can eliminate mayflies. Here are a few of them.

Use Garlic

Common garlic is an excellent way to get rid of mayflies. Its strong scent acts as a natural repellent, which keeps the mayflies away from your home.

You can keep a few garlic cloves where you notice mayfly swarms and wait for the action. You can also make a DIY garlic spray and use it to kill the mayflies. Crush some garlic, mix it with water, and pour it into a spray bottle to spray generously around your home.

Other Essential Oils

Similarly, you can use a few essential oils mixed with water to spray around your property, keeping the mayflies at bay. These oils include cinnamon oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, sweet birch oil, pennyroyal, pine, and citrus.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Mayflies Live?

Mayflies have one of the shortest lifespans among all insects around the world. They can only live up to a few hours to one day. Female mayflies die as soon as they lay eggs.

Do Mayflies Bite?

Adult mayflies have vestigial mouths. They cannot pierce or sting human skin. Mayflies are harmless creatures, unlike mosquitoes and chiggers.

How Do I Keep Mayflies Away?

You can take different measures to get rid of mayflies, but getting into action when these mayflies hatch is the best way to eliminate them quickly. You can do this by turning off any exterior lights on your property during the night.

Why Are There So Many Mayflies Around My House?

Being extremely sensitive to dirty areas and pollution, mayflies indicate that the water is healthy and clean. The female mayflies seek new and pristine bodies of water to lay eggs on the surface of.

When to Contact a Pest Control Service?

If you encounter massive swarms of mayflies that seem impossible to control on your own, it is time to call in a professional pest control service, such as Active Pest Control. An expert from the team will inspect your property to identify the source of mayflies swarms, as well as work with the best methods to ensure that your home and yard are freed from mayflies.

Final Thoughts

Many houses and yard owners are eager to learn how to get rid of mayflies from their property. This is because there are several problems associated with these tiny flies. Hence, you can use any of the methods mentioned above to prevent the mayflies from swarming your home.

Because mayflies are good for the environment and indicate a healthy and clean habitat, it does not mean that you have to suffer from their massive swarms. Just turn off or dim the exterior white lights around your house that instantly attract adult mayflies. You can also simply replace any white lights with yellow ones, as mayflies do not find yellow lights much attractive.

If you encounter mayflies swarms while driving, avoid braking too frequently and continue driving at a steady speed. The reason behind this is that when you apply the brakes too often, your headlights get brighter, attracting the mayflies towards it.

There is nothing much more you can do to eliminate a mayfly problem, aside from buying a leaf blower and using that on the swarm (which is surprisingly effective).


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