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This summer (the worse for five years) we had swarms of ‘cluster’ flies. The outside of the house had been sprayed with RipCord but they still came in through every crack and crevice. Could you please advise what plants/shrubs I could plant around the house to help deter then next year. I should add that our property is rural Wairarapa.

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I’m not aware of anything specific that can help, but apparently planting tall vegetation can reduce the attractiveness of walls to flies seeking warmth and shelter in autumn. Also, if possible it is best to prevent the problem of these flies moving into your home by treating the larvae in the soil before they become adult flies. Try No Insects Lawngard Prills which is a slow release insecticide for removing pest insects from the soil. Sprinkle these prills on grassy areas within 100-200m of your home.

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