Types Of Flies - Fly Control Identification

Learn about the different types of flies, different species of flies and fly identification.

Blow and Bottle Flies

  • Identifying Characteristics: About twice as large as house fly; metallic blue or green color

  • Adult Occurrence: Spring and Summer
  • Life Cycle: 2-4 weeks
  • Management Products/Methods: Residual and contact sprays; traps
  • Sanitation, exclusion, habitat destruction

Cheese Skipper

  • Identifying Characteristics: Black, shiny, with bronze tints
  • Host Material: Moist sources: overripe and moldy cheese, ham.
  • Adult Occurrence: Most abundant in warm and moist conditions
  • Life Cycle: 2-3 weeks
  • Management Products/Methods: Pyrethrum contact and fogging sprays
  • Sanitation and habitat destruction

Cluster Flies

  • Identifying Characteristics: Superficially resemble house fly but is slightly larger and more sluggish in its movements
  • Host Material: They are parasites of earthworms and breed outdoors in lawns and fields
  • Adult Occurance: Abundant in spring and fall
  • Life Cycle: 4-6 weeks
  • Management Products/Methods: Residual and contact sprays
  • Screen and caulk around eaves, windows, etc.

Flesh Flies

  • Identifying Characteristics: 2 to 3 times larger than a housefly: gray and black checkboard pattern on the abdomen.
  • Host Material: Garbage, manure, and animal carcasses
  • Adult Occurrence: Common in warm months
  • Life Cycle: 2-4 weeks
  • Management Products/Methods: Residual and contact sprays; baits, traps
  • Sanitation, exclusion, habitat destruction

Fruit Flies

  • Identifying Characteristics: 1/8th inch long; yellowish-brown; hover around ripe or decaying fruits and vegetables
  • Host Material: Decaying fruits and vegetables; garbage
  • Adult Occurrence: Most abundant in late summer and early fall
  • Life Cycle: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Management Products/Methods: Chemical and Traps Methods: Residual and contact sprays; baits, traps
  • Sanitation, exclusion, habitat destruction.

Fungus Gnats

  • Identifying Characteristics: Fungus gnats are tiny; most are less than 1/16 of an inch, although some may be larger.
  • Host Material: The larvae feed on fungus growing in the soil and moist organic matter.
  • Adult Occurrence: Most abundant in warm and moist conditions
  • Life Cycle: 2-3 weeks
  • Management Products/Methods: Chemical and Traps Methods: Residual and contact sprays; baits, traps
  • Remove contaminated soil, breeding sites.

House Fly

  • Identifying Characteristics: 1/4 inch long: dull gray with four stripes on the thorax; 4th wing vein sharply angled
  • Host Material: Animal waste, garbage, and other decaying organic matter
  • Adult Occurrence: Most abundant later summer and early fall
  • Life Cycle: 7-45 Days
  • Management Products/Methods: Residual and contact sprays; baits, traps; larvicides
  • Sanitation, exclusion, habitat destruction

Moth Flies

  • Identifying Characteristics: 1/8 inch long; body and wings densely covered with long hairs
  • Adult Occurance: More common in warm months
  • Life Cycle: 2-3 weeks
  • Management Products/Methods: Residual and contact sprays, drain treatment with microbes

Sanitation, habitat destruction, and moisture control

Phorid Flies

  • Identifying Characteristics: Superficially resemble fruit flies, but are more humpbacked.
  • Host Material: Decaying vegetation and animal matter
  • Adult Occurrence: Most abundant in warmer months
  • Life Cycle: 1-2 weeks
  • Management Products/Methods: Residual and contact sprays, drain treatment with microbes
  • Sanitation, habitat destruction, and moisture control

Sphaerocerid Flies (Dung Flies)

  • Identifying Characteristics: 1/8-inch; black
  • Host Material: Decaying organic matter, especially moist animal manure
  • Adult Occurrence: Most abundant in warmer months
  • Life Cycle: 2-3 weeks
  • Management Products/Methods: Residual and contact sprays, drain treatment with microbes
  • Sanitation, habitat destruction, and moisture control

Stable Flies

  • Identifying Characteristics: 1/4-inch; long, pointed proboscis
  • Host Material: decaying hay, straw, fermenting weeds, grass, and seaweeds
  • Adult Occurrence: More common in warm months, after a rain
  • Life Cycle: 3-4 weeks
  • Management Products/Methods: Residual and contact sprays, traps

Sanitation, habitat destruction, and moisture control

Written by our resident pest control expert Ken Martin.