A conservatory is a popular extension for the modern home (70% of buyers said a conservatory made a property more desirable). Better yet, they can be built relatively inexpensively, providing extra living space for a modest sum. During the summer, they afford homeowners a means of enjoying the sunshine without exposing themselves to the outdoors – and, given the right insulation and glass, they can do the same throughout autumn and winter, too.
Unfortunately when you open all your conservatory’s windows and the doors, the space can become a magnet for flies and other insects.
If you find yourself sharing your conservatory with a mass of tiny creatures, you’ll be pleased to learn that there are ways to mitigate the problem.
Why do insects like conservatories?
Before we can get rid of the flies in our conservatory, it’s worth contemplating what it is that draws them there in the first place. In most cases the answer is simple: they enjoy the conservatory for many of the same reasons that you do. A conservatory is more hospitable than the garden; it’s sheltered from harsh winds, and the temperature tends to be higher – even late in the evening. What’s more, a conservatory will be rich in many of the foods flies like to eat – namely tiny bits of food that have been left lying around, and particles of dead skin (okay, these last two might not be reasons you like your conservatory!)
What’s more, conservatories tend to be easily accessed from the outdoors, particularly if you’ve left windows and doors open to cool the space down in summer. All of this adds up to an environment that flies will thrive in.
How do I prevent flies from getting into the conservatory?
In order to guard against this invasion, you can place barriers between the flies and your interior. Naturally, you’ll want to avoid turning your conservatory into a prison – but fortunately, flies are so small that you’ll be able to place tiny bars in the way without spoiling the room’s appearance. Covering windows with a fine mesh screen can allow airflow while denying entry to tiny critters. You might want to also invest in a mesh door curtain that’ll perform the same function.
Another way of preventing flies from finding their way in is to intercept them just outside your conservatory. Place an outdoor fly trap or two a few yards from the conservatory, and the flies will be drawn in before they reach the conservatory itself.
How do I kill flies that are already in the conservatory?
No matter how thorough your screening measures, a few resourceful insects are sure to overcome all odds and find their way into your conservatory. It’s therefore worth equipping yourself with a few tools that will help you destroy them once they’ve found their way in.
The most obvious of these items, and possibly the most fun, is a fly swatter. While a piece of rolled-up newspaper or magazine might provide a means of killing a fly dead in a fix, you’ll want access to a proper fly swatter if you’re going to contend with flies for an entire summer. There are few feelings of relief more profound than the moment shortly after you’ve dispensed with a particularly irritating insect – and so even the most committed animal lover should consider a fly-swatter a must-have item for the conservatory.
Another popular means of killing individual flies and insects is a can of anti-fly spray. This is a similar solution to a fly-swatter – though it doesn’t require you to be quite as precise with your aim. Simply aim the nozzle in the general direction the offending insect, and press the button. Bear in mind however that these sprays can contain potentially harmful chemicals, so use with caution.
In an ideal world you wouldn’t want to chase insects around and kill them – you’d want a device that’s affixed to the wall, lures insects in with a sweet smell, and kills them. That’s precisely the role played by fly paper and cassettes. Flies will be attracted to the conservatory, but once they find their way in, they’ll be unable to take off again – causing them to die of starvation. Since flies have an extremely powerful sense of smell, it’s not necessary for fly paper to be particularly odorous – so you’ll still be able to enjoy your conservatory without having to tolerate an intrusive smell.
The electrical insect killer is an effective means of pest control that lures insects in and exterminates them. It works on any insect that’s attracted to light, by tempting the creature onto an electrical grid, where a high-voltage surge of electricity will kill them with a characteristic zapping sound.
Bug-zappers are a very effective means of killing insects – but unfortunately, they’re sometimes a little bit too effective: if placed outside, they might destroy every insect that comes near – including some of the harmless ones. What’s more, some bug zappers will produce an unpleasant smell, and distribute small pieces of dead insect across the surrounding area – which, if you’re likely to be eating in or around your conservatory, poses a distinct problem.
If you have any other questions about how to keep your conservatory in tip top condition, check out our frequently asked questions.