Flies

Identification

  • Colour Varies between species
  • Size Up to 10 mm long
  • Description A typical adult fly has three body parts: head, thorax and abdomen. They have two compound eyes, two antennae, and various mouthparts, as well as two functional, membranous wings, and three pairs of legs. Fly larvae are tiny, cream-whitish, legless, and often worm-like.
Flies

General Facts

Where do they live?

There are over 15,000 species of flies in North America. Some of the most common domestic fly species in Canada include blow/bottle flies, cluster flies, drain flies, fruit flies, flesh flies, phorid flies and house flies. Flies always live close to suitable food sources and breeding grounds. In homes, they look for warm, moist decaying organic matter.

Fly life cycle

Flies start life as eggs, which hatch into tiny, whitish, legless larvae, also known as maggots. These larvae then become pupae, enclosed in hard shells (puparium) from which they eventually emerge as adult flies. The length of time it takes for a fly egg to develop into an adult fly depends on the temperature of the surrounding environment – the colder it is, the longer the life cycle will take. Once fully grown, the life expectancy of a fly can be from eight days to two months, or in some cases, up to a year. One pair of mating flies can produce more than 1 million offspring in as little as six to eight weeks.

Why do I have flies?

Flies are looking for somewhere moist and warm to breed and feed. Drain flies, fungus gnats, and phorid flies like to live in or around drains, leakages in slab floors, shower pans, sinks, and overwatered potted plant soils. Fruit flies tend to breed in decaying fruits and vegetables. Meanwhile, filthy flies such as house flies, dung flies, blow flies, bottle flies, and flesh flies visit and breed in garbage, trash bins, piles of compost or manure, and the carcasses of animals. Flies are also attracted to light, so often gather around windows when inhabiting indoor areas. Some fly species such as blow and bottle flies are known to fly long distances of up 32 km in search of food and breeding sites.

How worried should I be about flies?

As many as 33 million microorganisms may flourish in a single fly’s gut, while a half billion more swarm over its body and legs. Flies can easily spread disease, because they move quickly from rotting, disease-laden garbage to exposed foods, food prep surfaces and utensils. More than 100 pathogens are associated with the house fly including salmonella, staphylococcus, E. coli and shigella. These can cause typhoid fever, cholera, bacillary dysentery, hepatitis, ophthalmia, polio, tuberculosis and infantile diarrhea. However, for every fly you see, there are an estimated 19 more flies hidden from view. If you are concerned you have a fly infestation, the best way to deal with it is to get the help of a professional pest control service who can accurately identify the species.

How can I prevent flies invading?

Clean all drains and sink areas, Replace broken windows and screens, Reduce the presence of ripe fruits and vegetables, Place fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, Create an air current to prevent flies from landing, Close the lids on all garbage and waste containers

Types of Flies

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