Flies

Types of Flies We Control and Get Rid Of in NJ

HOUSE FLIES

House flies are about 1/4” long, hairy and generally gray in color with broad dark stripes on their thorax (midsection). Most house flies have yellow coloring along their sides which helps to distinguish them from face flies. House flies have red compound eyes which are made up of 4,000 lenses which allows them a wide range of vision. They can fly at about 4.5 mph and use their antennae to help them navigate as well as to detect odors.

House flies lay their eggs in batches of 120 – 150 and can hatch in 8 – 72 hours. The larvae of house flies are white, legless and can take 3 – 60 days to mature. They are usually develop in or near man-made sources of food and can be found in animal waste, garbage, decaying fruit and vegetable matter and spoiled animal feed. The larvae sometimes crawl out of their breeding site to pupate. The pupae takes 3 – 28 days to mature. Adults live for 2 – 4 weeks after they emerge.

House flies are not picky eaters. Their food choices are sugars and proteins as well as moist, decaying organic matter including decaying plant material along with all manners of liquefied bodily by-products. House flies are only capable of feeding on liquids. Therefore, they will spitting or vomiting onto solid foods to pre-digest it then start to draw in the fluid with their sponging mouthparts. Because of their feeding habits, house flies can pose potentially serious health risks by transmitting disease organisms.

Unlike the silent and efficient hunters, bats, house flies are persistent and often seem impervious to conventional control methods.

CLUSTER FLIES

Cluster flies are larger than house flies ranging from 3/8 to 1/2″ long, black in color with short yellow hairs on their thorax, a checkered pattern on their abdomen and have large reddish-brown eyes.

Adult female cluster flies lay their eggs in soil near the entrance to earthworm burrows. When the larvae hatch they seek out an earthworm host. The larvae will burrow into the earthworm host and consume the host internally until they are ready to pupate. Adult cluster flies emerge from the soil to find mates and lay more eggs. There could be up to 4 generations each year with the adults overwintering in houses and other structures.

During the summer, cluster flies could be found on flowers and fruits. They don’t become a nuisance until late summer – fall when they look to overwinter inside. The adults will fly to buildings in the afternoon and rest on sunny areas. As the sun sets, they seek out cracks and other openings into a structure then congregate in attics, wall voids and other out-of-the-way places. When temperatures cool, cluster flies stay dormant but on sunny warm days in the fall and winter they may become active as they are tricked into thinking it is spring. Cluster fly activity inside, at this time, is usually found around windows as they are attempting to leave the home.

BLOW FLIES

Blow flies are about 1/4 – 1” long with hair-like bristles and vary in color. Blow flies are often shiny, metallic, blue, green or black. They have large compound eyes, one set of wings and short antennae.

Blow flies are attracted to recently deceased animals as well as animal feces where they lay their eggs. The grub-like larvae (maggots) infest the animal carcass for 5 – 10 days before they leave in search of a dry place to pupate. Blow fly larvae are beneficial in nature as decomposers of dead animal carcasses. The appearance of blow flies inside the home could indicate an animal has died within the walls, crawlspace or in the attic.