Sphaerocerid Flies

Facts, Identification & Control

Scientific Name

Family Sphaeroceridae


What Do They Look Like?

Sphaerocerid Fly

Sphaerocerid Fly image licensed under CC
  • Color: They are dark in color.
  • Size: Adults are about 1/8 inch long.

How Did I Get Sphaerocerid Flies?

Sphaerocerid flies can enter homes through open doors or windows. Once on the pests appear, dirty homes encourage them to stay and breed large populations. Damp organic material can attract these pests to areas including:

  • Animal pens
  • Compost
  • Dirty kitchen floors
  • Poorly cleaned or clogged drains
  • Produce left on counters
  • Recycling bins
  • Rotting fruits and vegetables
  • Standing water in yards

How Serious Are Sphaerocerid Flies?

Are They Dangerous?

Because they seek unsanitary conditions, sphaerocerid flies often pick up disease-causing bacteria and spread pathogens when they land on food or surfaces.

Although the pests themselves are a nuisance, the potential illnesses they might carry creates a major concern for homeowners.

Signs of Infestation

The presence of adult flies is the most obvious sign of an infestation since the location of immature flies are usually hard to see.

How Do I Get Rid of Sphaerocerid Flies?

What You Can Do

Some prevention procedures that a homeowner may use include the following:

  • Removing accumulations of wet organic matter (leaves, lawn clippings, manure, poorly maintained compost) that occurs on the property.
  • Removing or maintaining outdoor standing water sources such as bird baths, old tires, flower pots, clogged rain gutters, tree stumps and water pools around air conditioning units.
  • Thoroughly cleaning interior drain pipes, drain traps and plumbing pipes and removing food wastes under kitchen equipment and on floors in kitchens.
What Orkin Does

Sanitation is the best preventive procedure to combat sphaerocerid fly problems, but this often is a highly demanding process. If sphaerocerid flies become problematic, contact your pest management professional (PMP) for help.

After conducting an inspection, your PMP will use the inspection findings to prepare and carry out an integrated pest management plan to control sphaerocerid flies and their developmental sites.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Geographic Range

Sphaerocerid flies are commonly referred to as small dung flies. Different species of these flies are found around the world. North America contains more than 200 different species.

Within the United States, the most commonly encountered species are those that develop in commercial chicken houses. They occupy a habitat that is similar to phorid and fruit flies within commercial and residential kitchens.

What Do They Eat? / Where Do They Live?

Sphaerocerid flies have a wide range of developmental sites and food preferences. Some species develop in areas such as:

  • Animal droppings
  • Commercial chicken houses
  • Corpses
  • Feed waste
  • Horse and cattle manure

Other species will infest almost any location where there is moist organic matter that may accumulate in places such as:

  • Clogged plumbing lines
  • Cracks in homes
  • Drains
  • Gaps in kitchen floors

Sphaerocerid flies tend to reproduce in facilities indoors where it is warm. They are likely to reproduce year-round, but not overwinter when temperatures turn cold.