CHICAGO (CBS) — Even with this weekend’s unseasonably cold weather, you may have gotten your Memorial Day Weekend picnic in.
But did you spend it swatting away flies?
We heard from many viewers who said they are seeing more of the bugs in bigger numbers. CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra asked an expert why this is happening.
The backyard at Teresa Garcia’s home was built to party.
“We pretty much have family here, and we pretty much celebrate birthdays, and just good weather and holidays,” Garcia said.
So she spent Saturday getting it ready for a Sunday barbecue. But she said her Wicker Park yard was flooded with uninvited guests.
“We saw a slew of flies just coming out of everywhere. They were settling on the tables, on the chairs, throughout the yard,” Garcia said. “It was just like out of nowhere, so we were concerned.”
It was such a large swarm that Garcia said her neighbors even saw it. And other Chicagoans have experienced the winged invasion too – as seen in a Reddit thread titledand in a video shot Saturday in Lincoln Park.
Last night’s rain and wind seems to have ushered in a plague. Swarms of tiny flies all over Chicago. What’s the deal? 🪰
— Andy Sternberg (@andysternberg)
“Oh, I’m getting all types of residential calls,” said Bryan Nichols of Advanced Pest Control Chicago.
Nichols has 20 years’ experience fighting flies. He said our rain and last week’s stretch of warm weather ushered in the start of bug season – but some of your new quarantine habits may be contributing too.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of increases with those because of the increase of home gardening,” Nichols said. “Composting has also become a big thing – so people doing that, cooking at home over the past year, started doing different things with their garbage – and that is also contributing to a food source for these flies.”
Beyond that, your typical culprits could be to blame – dead animals, pet waste, and standing water. Nichols said sometimes pesticides can work – it just depends on the situation.
Otherwise you can wait them out, which is what Garcia did. But she still wonders how she got so unlucky.
“And they ended up here, Saturday evening. And they’re never invited back!” Garcia said. “No, not to my barbecue!”