Why you have Flies

Flies are generally attracted to decaying organic matter and their control depends on stopping the infestations before they get started. The first step in the control is elimination of breeding places and good sanitation. The fly thrives in human environment and flourishes on the same kinds of food and temperatures. It also breeds and reproduces in the wastes left by people. A fly will eat anything and everything that is soluble. Any decaying animal or vegetable material may serve as food. The favored breeding places of flies include fresh manure, human and other animal excreta, and garbage. In fact, any decaying matter that has a moist consistency, including grass clippings will attract flies. The female fly will lay her eggs in clusters of 100 to 150. With heat primarily from the sun, and other favorable conditions, the eggs hatch into larvae, or maggots in as little as eight hours.


General Facts

Flies are not just a nuisance, but also some of the most deadly carriers of disease. In North America alone, there are 16,000 types of flies. Some of them eat by vomiting on their food to break it down, some of them eat or lay eggs in dead animals, some of them are bloodsuckers, most of them love to feed on garbage. Unfortunately, they carry whatever pathogens they pick up along the way on their hairy legs and in their mouths. So when they land on your arm (or your food), they pass these pathogens on. The fly most frequently associated with man is the common housefly and it has long been known to be a carrier of diseases. Among the most important are dysentery, cholera, typhoid, infantile or summer diarrhea, pink-eye, tuberculosis and smallpox.


House Fly

The House Fly is generally 3/16 to 1/4 inch long and grayish in color. It is found all over the world and can carry salmonella, staphylococcus and E. Coli and cause diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, hepatitis, polio, tuberculosis and dysentery. Because of their sponging mouth parts, they can feed only on liquids. However, through regurgitation they are able to liquefy many solid foods.


Blow / Bottle Flies

These flies are partly or wholly metallic blue, green, bronze, brassy or black and have sponging-sucking mouth parts They are located throughout North America, but they are especially prevalent in the Southwest. They feed on decaying meat and organic matter. The blow fly prefers fresh meat and is often the first visitor to a new carcass, where it lays its eggs. Blow flies also lay eggs in animal wounds. Adult blow flies / bottle flies measure approximately 1/4 to 5/8 inch long, making them somewhat larger than house flies.

The blue bottle flies are a common type of blow fly that measure 1/4 to 9/16 inch long and have a dull bluish-black thorax and a shiny metallic dark blue abdomen.

The green bottle flies are also a common type of blow fly and they range about 1/4 to 3/8 inch long and have a shiny metallic green thorax and abdomen without stripes.


Flesh Flies

Flesh flies are unusually large flies with stripes on their thorax. They have a thick body and limbs as well as bright red eyes and they can grow to be an inch long. Most flesh flies breed in carcass of a dead animal, dung, or decaying material, but a few species lay their eggs in the open wounds of mammals; hence their common name. Some flesh fly larvae are internal parasites of other insects, e.g. bees, cicadas, orthoptera and some mollusca. Adults feed on nectar, plant sap and other liquid sugar sources.


Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are found near ripening or fermenting produce, where they lay eggs. These flies are common in homes, restaurants, supermarkets, and anywhere else food is served. They can also make their way inside from your garden. Fruit flies are potential disease carriers, but more commonly they will cause stomach upset and diarrhea if the larvae are accidentally eaten. Populations are at their greatest near harvest.


Moth / Drain Flies

Moth / Drain flies are 1/8 to 3/16 inch long, delicate and fuzzy. If crushed, they leave a powdery smudge. Drain flies breed in drains, sewers, septic tanks and soil that is contaminated with sewage. While they don’t tend to spread disease, they can cause bronchial asthma when people breathe in dust from dead flies. This happens as a result of a major infestation. Moth flies are weak fliers, so indoors they are usually seen resting or crawling on the walls or other surfaces. When they do fly, it is only for short distances of a few feet and their flight is in characteristic short, jerky lines.


Cluster Flies

Cluster flies are strictly parasitic on earthworms. the females will lay their eggs near earthworm burrows, and the larvae then infest the worms. When the adults emerge in the late summer or fall, they can enter buildings in large numbers to hibernate. They are attracted to attics, crawl spaces and wall voids, The typical cluster fly is about 1/2 to 5/8th inch in length and have distinct lines behind the head with short golden hairs on the thorax They are typically slow moving.


Phorid Flies

The Phorid fly looks a little humpbacked and it tends to run away from you rather than immediately flying off. These flies measure 1/16 to 1/8 inch long and they may be black, brown or yellowish, They can be found around rotting vegetation and dead animals. In addition their habitats also include drains, trash cans, grease traps, crawlspaces and just about any place where there is something rotting. They tend to breed In health-care facilities and mausoleums, fresh-cut flowers in vases are frequently the source. In homes, pet stores, and zoos, phorid flies can breed in the urine and excrement-soiled bedding materials and bottoms of the animal cages.