Facts, Identification & Control
Blow flies are often metallic in appearance, with feathery hairs on the terminal antennal segments of the males. Adult blow flies have sponge-like mouth parts, while maggots have hook-like mouth parts.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Blow flies belong to the Family Calliphoridae of flies under the Order Diptera. To date, there are approximately 80 species of blow flies in North America.
Blow flies are attracted to decaying meat and are typically the first organisms to come into contact with dead animals. The meat of dead animals is essential for larval survival and growth. They are also attracted to plants that give off the smell of rotting meat and as such, can be a pollinator for those plants.
Female blow flies typically lay their eggs on decaying meat, where maggots hatch within a few hours to a few days depending on species. These maggots undergo three stages within several days, after which they leave their food source and pupate in soil. Within a few days, the pupation will be complete, at which point they emerge as adults.
Signs of a Blow Fly Infestation
The most common signs of blow flies are either the adults themselves or their larvae. The adults may be seen resting on surfaces or buzzing around potential food or odor sources. The larvae may be observed when they crawl out of the breeding material to pupate.