Have fly problems? Learn all about flies, including the many different species of flies you may find in your home or business and your options to eradicate and prevent them.

FLY FACTS

There are more than 120,000 species of flies worldwide with about 18,000 found in North America. A female housefly can lay up to 600 eggs in her short lifetime. Most flies live an average of 21 days and take on various shapes throughout their short lives.

Baby flies are called larvae, but they are also known as maggots. Medical doctors use a special species of maggots to help patients with flesh wounds, especially burn victims. Maggots eat away the damaged flesh, which helps the wound heal.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies get their common name from their small size and fondness of some fruits. Small fruit flies are nuisance pests, but may transmit diseases. Fruit flies only live for 8-10 days. In that time, females lay around 500 eggs, using rotting fruit or vegetables as their nest.

Diet

Fruit flies feed on decaying fruits and vegetables.

Habitat

Fruit flies are commonly found in homes, restaurants and other facilities where food is processed. They are especially attracted to the garbage that has just been sitting around.

Impact

Fruit flies are found in unsanitary conditions like garbage dumps and trashcans. When they are around, humans can become very sick.

Prevention

Keep your home clean. Remove kitchen trash every day and keep kitchen counters clean. Immediately remove rotting food from your home.

House Flies

House flies are the most famous of 300,000 species of flies and they can be found all over the world. They can survive in all habitats where people can survive because they are accustomed to living near humans. House flies are pests because they easily reproduce and transmit numerous diseases. People apply various insecticides to eradicate them, but they are still very numerous and even resistant to some of those chemicals. On the other hand, house flies are beneficial because they accelerate the recycling process by decomposing organic waste.

Diet

They eat any wet or decaying matter, but they are particularly attracted to pet waste because the odor is strong and it is easy for them to find.

Habitat

House flies tend to stay within 1-2 miles of where they were born, but will travel up to 20 miles to find food. They breed in garbage cans, compost heaps and pet areas.

Impact

These insects have been known to carry over 100 different kinds of disease-causing germs.

Prevention

Keep your homes clean. Remove trash regularly and seal your garbage cans. Clean up pet waste immediately. Use fine mesh screens on doors and windows to prevent flies from getting into your home.

Horsefly

Horsefly is the common name for the large hairy flies of the family Tabanidae. The bites of many species are very painful. The larger horseflies, e.g., the mourning horsefly and the 1-in. (2.5-cm) black horsefly, belong to the genus Tabanus; the smaller and more common banded horseflies, with black, brown, or yellow bodies and brilliantly colored eyes, are members of the genus Chrysops. Deer flies, which carry the diseases anthrax and tularemia, and in Africa, a filarial worm infestation, belong to this group.

Diet

Male horseflies feed on pollen and nectar but the females suck blood as well and are common pests of animals and sometimes of humans. Horseflies are most abundant in hot weather. They lay eggs on plants or stones close to water. The somewhat flattened 1/2-inch (1.3-cm) larvae have fleshy protuberances on each body segment, aiding in locomotion; they live in water or in moist earth and feed on snails and on other insect larvae.

Cluster Flies

Homeowners are accustomed to swatting flies in the kitchen during the summer months. However, cluster flies make their debut in the autumn when they fly to the sunny sides of homes in search of protected over-wintering sites and may be found flying about inside, often in great numbers, throughout the winter. These flies are not reproducing within the structure, but become active on warm days and crawl out of wall voids and attics in a confused attempt to go back outside. Cluster flies are thought to be native to Europe and may have found their way to North America in the ballast of ships containing soil and earthworms, which are cluster fly hosts.

Behavior

Cluster flies will not damage your home. Occasionally, the flies may leave small dark-colored spots of excrement on windows and walls, but they are not known to carry any diseases of medical importance to humans. In addition to the ‘clustering’ on the sunny exterior of buildings in the fall, the flies will gather in large numbers at windows within the home on warm winter days. The flies are typically sluggish in flight and can be easily swatted or captured.

HOW TO GET RID OF FLIES

Removing flies can be a challenge, but it is possible. Preventative measures are an important step—monitoring doors and windows and sealing up any gaps can reduce the number of flies that get in your house.

There are more than 120,000 species of flies worldwide, with about 18,000 found in North America. Most flies live an average of 21 days and take on various shapes throughout their short lives but can reproduce quickly. This means that fly infestations can manifest in a short period of time if left unchecked. On top of possible infestations, flies come into contact with various harmful bacteria and diseases and can spread them to humans.

There are approximately 80 species in North America. Disease transmission can occur through contaminating food and food preparation surfaces. Disease transmission can also happen when a blow fly comes into contact with an open wound or lesion on people, livestock, or pets. These pests can spread dysentery, eye infections, and other illnesses.

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What You Need To Know About The Blow Fly

  • What do blow flies look like?

    • Metallic blue-green or black coloring, larvae are pale white

    • Adults have sponge-like mouthparts, with feathery hairs on the males’ terminal antennal segments

    • Larvae have hook-like mouthparts with a median row of fleshy tubercles that resemble hair

    • Larvae have the appearance of a grain of rice

  • What do blow flies eat?

    • Blow flies are attracted to decaying organic matter

    • The meat of dead animals is essential for larval survival and growth

    • Ability to smell dead animal matter as far as a mile away

    • They are also attracted to plants that give off the smell of rotting meat and, as such, can be a pollinator for those plants

  • Where do blow flies live?

    • Most commonly found in climates that are warm and humid, as they cannot thrive in windy and arid regions of the world 

    • Common pests in the southern parts of the United States

What You Need To Know About Blow Fly Infestations 

  • What are the signs of a blow fly infestation?

    • Adults can be spotted resting on surfaces or checking out potential food or odor sources

    • Spotting larvae often happens when they move out of breeding sources to pupate

    • Blow fly maggots are generally seen near dead animals

  • Why do blow flies invade my home or business?

    • Through open doors, windows, or small cracks in walls in search of food

    • Once inside, blow flies find a meal and begin to deposit eggs on its surface

    • Blow fly species are known for infesting homes, especially homes located near slaughterhouses, meat processing plants, and landfills

  • How do I get rid of blow flies?

Tips To Prevent Blow Fly Infestations

    • Keep food stored away and out of the open

    • Clean up food crumbs

    • Ensure trash is covered in a receptacle that has a secure lid

Gnats are a nuisance to deal with. When attracted to stimuli, they seem to swarm around it, whether that be food sources, bright lights, or houseplants. Their tiny size can make it challenging to identify where they are coming from.

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What You Need To Know About Gnats

  • What do gnats look like?

    • Adults range in size but usually are no larger than 3 mm

    • Dark brown to light brown coloring

    • Wings are larger than their bodies

  • What do gnats eat?

    • Some species are excellent plant pollinators and feed on crop pests such as aphids and scales

    • Other gnats, such as the Hessian fly, are crop pests themselves

    •  Fruit and other plant material 

  • Where do gnats live?

    • Indoors, they can live in potted plants and bathrooms

    • Outdoors, they can live near areas of stagnant water 

    • Attracted to places with moisture, garbage, houseplants, and other warm, moist areas like your bathroom or kitchen

What You Need To Know About Gnat Infestations 

  • What are the signs of a gnat infestation?

    • Massive swarms of gnats around food, water sources, or buzzing near light sources

  • Why do gnats invade my home or business?

    • Moisture and organic material attract gnats

    • Some species prefer the soil of houseplants, while others seek out decomposing food debris in garbage disposals or on damaged and over-ripe fruit

    • Any wetness in the home or unsanitary habits could draw them indoors, and once inside

  • How do I get rid of gnats?

    • Identify damp places where the fungus can grow

    • Remove moisture from indoor plant trays

    • Don’t overwater indoor plants

    • Use Insecticides  

    • Use the Stick-All Glue Trap

Tips To Prevent Gnat Infestations

    • Keep food stored away and out of the open

    • Clean up food crumbs

    • Ensure trash is covered in a receptacle that has a secure lid

House flies are the most notorious of 120,000 species of flies, and they can be found all over the world. They can survive in all habitats where people can survive because they are accustomed to living near humans. House flies are pests because they easily reproduce and transmit numerous diseases. People apply various insecticides to eradicate them, but they are still very numerous and even resistant to some chemicals. On the other hand, house flies are beneficial because they accelerate the recycling process by decomposing organic waste.

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What You Need To Know About House Flies

  • What do house flies look like?

    • 0.6 - 0.7 cm in length

    • Gray coloring

    • Black stripes on the thorax

    • Clear wings 

    • Covered with little hairs

  • What do house flies eat?

    • Eats a wide variety of food, including human food, animal food, and carcasses, garbage, and excrement

  • Where do house flies live?

    • They prefer corners and edges or thin objects to rest on

    • Indoors, they rest on floors, walls, and ceilings during the day

    • Outdoors, they will rest on plants, the ground, fence wires, garbage cans, etc. 

What You Need To Know About House Fly Infestations 

  • What are the signs of a house fly infestation?

    • A large number of flies out in the open and near food sources 

    • White larvae are seen out in the open 

  • Why do house flies invade my home or business?

    • They breed and feed in filth, including garbage, feces, and rotting or spoiled food 

    • Poor sanitation and ripped screens, and unsealed cracks in windows and doors can lead to house fly infestations

  • How do I get rid of house flies?

Tips To Prevent House Fly Infestations

    • Keep food stored away and out of the open

    • Clean up food crumbs

    • Take out trash on a regular basis

    • Replace damaged window screens

The phorid humpbacked fly is an adept scavenger for food. Both indoors and outdoors, these flies will search for decaying food. This leaves homes and businesses with unsanitary conditions or exposed food waste susceptible to infestation.

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What You Need To Know About Phorid Humpbacked Flies

  • What do phorid humpbacked flies look like?

    • Very tiny, 0.5 to 5.5 mm in length

    • Varying colors, black, brown, and yellow

    • Arched thorax (a "humped" back)

  • What do phorid humpbacked flies eat?

    • Feed on organic matter that is moist or decaying

  • Where do phorid humpbacked flies live?

    • Live in areas that are unsanitary and have poorly stored food

What You Need To Know About Phorid Humpbacked Fly Infestations 

  • What are the signs of a phorid humpbacked fly infestation?

    • A large number of flies have been observed

    • Often are observed buzzing around rooms and scurrying across counters or other surfaces

  • Why do phorid humpbacked flies invade my home or business?

    • Access to food sources

    • Exposed trash 

  • How do I get rid of phorid humpbacked flies?

Tips To Prevent Phorid Humpbacked Fly Infestations

    • Keep food stored away and out of the open

    • Clean up food crumbs

    • Ensure trash is covered in a receptacle that has a secure lid

    • Take out trash on a regular basis

The horse fly is the common name for the family Tabanidae’s large hairy flies. The bites of many species are very painful. Black horse flies belong to the genus Tabanus; the smaller and more common banded horse flies, with black, brown, or yellow bodies and brilliantly colored eyes, are members of the genus Chrysops.

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What You Need To Know About Horse Flies

  • What do horse flies look like?

    • Around 2.5 cm in length

    • Back or gray in color

    • Large, bright green eyes

    • Short antennae on their head

  • What do horse flies eat?

    • Females feed on the blood of livestock and other animals

    • Males feed on pollen and nectar

  • Where do horse flies live?

    • In warm areas where moisture is present 

What You Need To Know About Horse Fly Infestations 

  • What are the signs of a horse fly infestation?

    • A large number of horse flies are observed around the home or business

  • Why do horse flies invade my home or business?

    • Livestock may be nearby

    • Entered through damaged window screens

  • How do I get rid of horse flies?

Tips To Prevent Horse Fly Infestations

    • Replace damaged window screens

    • Keep food stored away and out of the open

Find the Infestation

Removing flies can be a challenge, but it is possible. Preventative measures are an essential step—monitoring doors and windows and sealing up any gaps can reduce the number of flies that get in your house. If you’re dealing with a fly infestation indoors or outdoors, the Kness Stick-All® Glue Trap can help eliminate the problem. So convenient to use and safe for the environment, this is one sticky mouse trap you’ll want to keep around.