The Q&A Archives: Flies

Question: I guess what I have is Flies (they bite and itch, right) I read your last response and it would of been easy if we had any of the conditions. But, in my yard and neighbors, there's no standing water, ponds, pools and our trash receptacles are far on the other side of our house. Our neighbors have only dirt lots (new homes). That's pretty much the pest, do you recomend anything not too abrassive, I was going to spray my garden with a light soap and water mix, could that work?

Answer: Actually, mosquitoes bite, leaving behind a bumpy itch. The flies we typically have around here don't. At this point, I suggest you take a sample or two of the flies (dead or alive, but hopefully not too squashed!) in a plastic baggie or little jar to the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Master Gardener satellite office in Sun City West (contact below) for accurate identification. If they seem to be resting on particular plant species, or causing damage to it, take samples of that with you.

A soapy water spray won't do anything to stop mosquitoes, if that is indeed the insect. It doesn't really help to spray without knowing if it will target the pest, otherwise it can do more harm than good, such as killing the beneficials that might eat the pest for you. If you can't make it to the satellite location, mail a sample in a plastic baggie to the main office, including your name and contact info, and as much description of the problem as possible, i.e., itchy bites, where the insect is found, there's no standing water, etc. Good luck!

In the P.O.R.A. Building
13815 Camino del Sol
Sun City West, AZ 85375
(623) 546-1672
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Maricopa County Cooperative Extension (main office)
4341 E. Broadway Road
Phoenix, AZ 85040
(602) 470-8086 ext. 301
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

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