Flesh Fly Facts
With a name like flesh fly you have to imagine they aren’t the most adorable of pests. Your guess would be right, because this name comes from their habit of planting larvae in the flesh of decomposing animals. This pattern is not all that uncommon for many types of flies though, and is one of the primary reasons flesh flies and other species are considered bacteria transmitters. Despite this fact, few pathogens or dangerous diseases are carried by the fly, and are transmitted infrequently since they do not live off humans. Many instances of flesh flies depositing larvae into live farm animals have been recorded, but none of the same behavior with humans. We are lucky enough that these flies don’t bite, and remain relatively away from human populations. Interestingly enough, these flies are occasionally used to pinpoint the time of death of a carcass, based upon the stage of development of larvae found on carcasses. That’s not just some old Hollywood myth, and when it is used more often than not the larvae are flesh flies.
Flesh Fly Bites
Flesh flies rarely bother humans, and are not particularly known for transmitting diseases. Like with any fly their environment may bring them into more contact with bacteria. This is not a large concern however, as they rarely interact with humans, or seek shelter indoors. Should you come in contact with an animal with a wound imbedded with flesh flies, be sure to consult a veterinarian before any further action is taken. Once imbedded in animals these flies can cause severe infections, so great care must be taken.
Flesh Fly Infestation
The life cycle of this fly begins in on vegetation, decaying waste, or decomposing flesh, where the female lays its eggs. The egg is inserted into the body of another insect, allowing for the nymph to develop using its host as a food source. Once hatched, these flies rarely make a concerted effort to enter human homes, as their diet does not require blood. Instead they live out their lives on or around the decomposing bodies they were buried in by the female. When they do venture out, it’s typically in search for more decomposed materials or waste to feed off of and mate near.
These flies are not bloodsuckers, so fear not! Instead, while in the larval state these flies will feed off of the host insect that it has been injected into. Similar to the face fly, adults will more often feed off of liquids; frequently from the wounds of live animals, or decomposing ones.
Types of Flesh Flies
Flesh Fly Identification
This small fly has a standard range of colors along its body, making it easily confused with houseflies or bottle flies. Larvae are a distinct yellow color, with pointy-heads. Adult flies are more commonly a tinge of grey, with red eyes, and a slight metallic hue around them.
Flesh Flies In The House & The Yard
These pests breed and develop on feces and decaying flesh. Flesh flies will get into the home when a rodent, bird or other small animal dies inside your walls or somewhere else that you don't notice. Poor sanitation or a buildup of pet droppings can also lead to a flesh fly infestation. You may notice fly larvae, also called maggots, crawling in your living space as they seek a dry place to continue developing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you prevent a flesh flies infestation?
Many species of flies are a concern to humans, but this is not one of them. Even if prevention were desired, it would be extremely difficult. This is because the female flesh fly lets eggs develop into larvae before depositing them into another insect. That can make it difficult to try to stop the development of a generation of these flies, as they are deposited well beyond the fledgling egg stage of life.
To ensure these flies don’t make their way near or onto your property be sure to properly dispose of all decomposing materials. One common attractor of these flies is the improper burial of household pets, leading to aboveground decomposition and flesh fly population increases.
Benefits of Professional Flesh Fly Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a flesh fly problem. Finding and treating the flesh flies can be challenging, especially if they are hidden in the building. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the flesh flies infestation.