The Invasion Of The Flood Flies

At the first rain, following a drought, the flood flies invade! Those ‘flood flies’, which look a lot like ants, are ‘winged termites’. They are about ½” to 1” long and have 2 sets of wings.

This is a phenomenon that occurs a few times a year. This year it happened on May 29th, when tropical storm Arthur brought a deluge on Belize. The last time it rained here at Barton Creek was on March 5th. Everything, including the jungle, was very dry, dry enough that a lot of wildlife were lower in the mountains, nearer the creek.

On that day, the rain started in the early afternoon, and it came down hard! But it felt so good as you could feel the dust being washed off everything such as the trees, the rocks, the truck, the house… it smelled so clean. But, in the early evening, at dusk, the little pests arrived!

Here’s a very good video by Calvary Chapel Murrieta. After clicking on the link, then click on ‘flood flies’.

Since we had already experienced this invasion, we were aware and got ready for it. We made sure all screens were tightly in place and used masking tape around the windows’ handles where there are small gaps. We also closed the door early. But even with all that, those annoying bugs still found their way in. Within minutes we had a few hundreds in the house, but it was very minimal compare to what you can have if not prepared. They fly around lights and people, bump into you, crawl on your skin and are extremely irritating. Fortunately, they do not bite or sting! After just a few hours, they drop their wings, and start crawling all over the place…

CRAWLING ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER AFTER IT’S LOST ITS WINGS

… on the floors, furniture, ceiling fans, just about everywhere. The next day, all are dead, and it is then cleaning time! That is also quite exasperating as those wings are very small and light and therefore a nightmare to sweep.

HUNDREDS (THOUSANDS?) OF LITTLE WINGS EVERYWHERE!

But the best is that our water tanks are now full with the best water source when living off-grid. And the worst on this occasion is that some parts of Belize got hurt really bad and are still in the process of cleaning and rebuilding.

TropiCat

Other Posts:

1 ~ Living Comfortably In The Jungle Of Central America!
2 ~ Producing And Storing Your Own Electricity, You Have The Power To!
3 ~ Building Off-Grid In The Jungle, Fun But Challenging
4 ~ Easy Broadband Satellite Internet Access
5 ~ Water Supply Considerations, Off-Grid In The Jungle
6 ~ The Domestic Cats’ Life In The Jungle
7 ~ The Belize Mennonite’s Lifestyle
8 ~ How To Live As An Expat In A Foreign Country
9 ~ Living in Paradise! But… Where Is It?
10 ~ Solar Panels Placement & Sun Chart Creator
11 ~ Health Issues When Living Abroad
12 ~ Telecommunication Challenges In A 3rd World Country
13 ~ Fleas & Ticks In The Jungle
14 ~ The Dangers Of The Black Poisonwood Tree
15 ~ To Buy Or To Rent When Moving Abroad
16 ~ Home Schooling When Living Abroad
17 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 1 of 2
18 ~ Tips & Hints On Things To Watch Out For During Construction – Part 2

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13 Responses

  1. Again and again, WOW!

    If I read it correctly, those insects come AFTER the rains? They look large from the photo of a group on the floor.

    Do they bite? that second last photo is a mean looking warrior. It has pincers at its mouth I notice.

    Just for comparison, in Malaysia we experience this “phenomenon” (different insects though and smaller sized) but they arrive a few hours before a rainfall. If they arrive during nightfall, the lightings attract them and they are buzzing very close to the lightings.

    So, instead of having to insect-proof the entire house or to waste money on insecticide sprays, what we normally do is to leave only the porch light on, shut the door and watch TV in semi-darkness. LOL!

  2. hi,nice blog,very good work,congratulations…………greetings from switzerland

  3. Hi tropicat – sorry to hear you are departing Belize. I am becoming interested in transplanting there from the States. Understanding that the jungle is filled with critters of all kinds, my family has a particular concern regarding mosquitoes. I have heard elsewhere that much of the district of Cayo has a very limited mozzie problem. Is this only a relative statement or are there actually not many in the area?

  4. Hi John,

    Thanks for your comments. As for us departing Belize, that could be in months, or years… Selling this kind of property is not like selling a condo in a popular city!!!! In the mean time, we are enjoying every minute of it :)

    As for the critters, it is not that bad. I was worried about snakes, but we so rarely see any… and when we see one, it runs away pretty fast you can’t even make out the color or size! For mosquitoes, it is not a major problem either. During the day we don’t have many, but comes sunset, there’s a bit more. After sunset they are usually gone. And for many months we sometimes don’t see any at all. Near water of course it is always worse. But overall, that is not something that should keep you from ‘transplanting’ to Belize! Unless of course you plan on building on the edge of the mangrove :)

  5. Sounds like the lake fly hatch every May near Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin…the flies don’t bite, just make a BIG mess!!! They have 2 main hatches in May and then pretty much die off…how often do you get downpours? Does this happen every time? If so, what a mess!!! Oh well, a few times a year I think I could handle.

    • Hello again Patricia!

      Yes, what a mess!!! We do get downpours regularly during the rain season, but those flies only hatch after a long dry spell. So this phenomena happens no more than 2 to 3 times a year, and is easy to deal with as it only last one or two evenings.

  6. You mentioned the termites are all dead the next day, so their lifespan is short or is it because of insecticides you used beforehand? And do they lay eggs or anything before they die?

  7. Hi Gemco,

    Sorry for the delay in replying to your question.

    They are all dead because their lifespan is real short. As for laying eggs before they die, I really don’t believe that they do, but I am not sure 100%. I do not believe they do since we do not see any at all after an invasion…

  8. [...] sign of any flood flies. The ants seem fairly fond of them, so we had to clean them up right away. We didn’t have as many in the house as the previous owners. We saw a video they took of the swarm that came last year, and ours were nothing like that (you [...]

  9. Hello! I wonder if these termites cause the same type of problem that regular termites do? Do they eat your house?! I ask because I think I just got a swarm of these in my back garden in New Mexico. We’ve had a drought forever, and now it just rained and these bugs appeared.

  10. In malawi, Central Africa. They are a source of food in some way. We leave the porch light on and pour water on the floor. The light attracts them and after they fly around it they eventually fall off to the floor and get trapped in the water. We pick the up, FRY them together with the wings, Let em dry off and remove the wings. after that. Its time for dinner. lol. Try it. though i dont personally like them.

    Mind you, their are too types. Small ones(which we dont eat) and the ‘big’ ones, like the one in the picture. those we eat.

    • That is too funny! I’m not sure I would want to eat them, but health wise they are probably very good for you… mix in a sauce with some pasta it would be just like meat ?!?!

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