Different House Fly Species

house fly picture

Identifying Types of Flies That May Get Into Houses

House flies, a kind of filth fly, are a nuisance in homes. Many species in this category thrive in kitchens, bathrooms, and even sink drains. As a result, residents may refer to a variety of filth flies as house flies. All of these fly species reproduce quickly, and infestations can spread diseases to residents.

The first step to control the pests is to identify which of the different house fly species is causing problems. Divided into two groups by size, these types of house flies frequently invade homes.

Large Filth Flies

Common House Fly
Adult house flies are ash gray to black in color. The pests search for food waste or pet feces as sites to lay their eggs. They infest trashcans, sewers, and carrion. This house fly species also spreads diseases, such as salmonellosis, when the insects contaminate kitchen surfaces.

Cluster Flies
Slightly bigger than the common house fly species, cluster flies are dark-grey in color and have golden colored hairs on parts of the thorax. These pests invade homes in autumn as they search for a protective place to overwinter.

Cluster fly infestation problems occur at two points in their lifespan, one is when the insects get inside while seeking overwintering sites in attics or wall voids in large numbers and the other is when they complete their overwintering phase, known as diapause, and begin to look for a way to leave the home and return to the outdoors. As temperatures rise, cluster flies can swarm indoors as they look for an exit.

Blow Flies
Also called bottle flies, these pests develop inside carrion or rotting meat. Finding many of the shiny blue or green insects indoors usually indicates the presence of an animal carcass in the attic or walls. The blow flies found in buildings are fairly large, metallic gray, blue, or black colored flies. Two of the more common species are the black blow fly and the blue bottle fly.

Small Filth Flies

Drain Fly
Although often mistaken for a small version of the common house fly species, drain flies have a distinctive furry or moth-like appearance. They infest sink drains or unused garbage disposals to lay their eggs in the organic sludge that builds up inside pipes. Since their breeding sites are hard to reach, drain flies are tough to remove.

Fruit Fly
Yellowish-white or tan with red eyes, these pests feed on sugary items. They develop inside drain lines or almost any source of moisture that accumulates inside poorly cleaned garbage containers. Fruit flies are kitchen invaders that drink and are attracted by vinegar, soda, or the juice of overripe produce. The insects crawl into liquids or sticky syrups, causing contamination. Fruit fly infestations typically are more frequent in summer and fall, but will occur anytime a suitable source of food and developmental sites are nearby.

Lesser House Fly
Another tiny pest that frequents homes is the lesser house fly, also known as the little house fly. About two-thirds the size of the larger common house fly species, they create similar problems.

House Fly Control

The easiest way to deal with different house fly species is to remove potential breeding sites and conditions. Pesticides are available but may not be safe for use in homes with children or pets. Also, homeowners are inclined to use bleach to help control flies that develop in drains. This may not always be a safe thing to do unless homeowners use diluted bleach instead of concentrated bleach. When in doubt, consult your Orkin pest management professional.

Identifying the true species of flies in the house, as well as knowing what to do and where to direct control efforts are vital to proper prevention and control. Certain types of house flies, like the drain fly, require a special approach. Contact the team at Orkin for assistance with control.