Flies in Florida
Types of Flies in FL
There are many different species of flies found in Florida, broadly categorized as filth breeding flies and biting flies.
Filth Breeding Flies
The best way to manage filth breeding flies is to minimize the number of suitable breeding environments, such as animal waste, animal carcasses, garbage, and decaying vegetation. In addition, the use of tight fitting screens over doors and windows aids dramatically in keeping these flies outdoors.
- Most common filth breeding fly, found everywhere from urban areas to farms and ranches.
- Large numbers of house flies can become a serious nuisance.
- Able to transmit disease-causing organisms which accumulate on the fly’s body as they land on garbage or other waste and are then transferred to food via the fly’s vomit, feces, and contaminated body parts.
Blow Flies and Bottle Flies
- Blow and bottle flies are non-biting species commonly found in Florida.
- Resembles house flies: Blow flies have distinguishing metallic green, blue or black coloration.
- Lays eggs in decomposing organic matter.
- If a homeowner or business owner notices blow flies around lights or other indoor areas, that’s a reliable sign there is a dead animal in a wall void, ceiling, or some other part of the building’s interior.
The most important biting flies in Florida are:
- Yellow flies
- Black flies
- Deer flies
These pests all feed on blood and their bites result in pain and itchy red patches. They are also capable of spreading diseases to both humans and livestock.
Many of the biting flies in Florida cause huge problems since they breed and develop in water near woods, swamps and coastal areas, all of which make up a very large part of the state’s ecosystem. Therefore, control of these flies is very challenging and residents must rely on state and local pest management organizations.
Pest professional contractors can also assist in the reduction or prevention of biting fly problems that arise on homeowner and business owner’s properties.
In general, fly control and prevention is similar to mosquito control.
- No-see-ums are also called sandflies, punkies, or biting midges.
- Primary habitat is coastal areas and salt marshes.
- Individuals may be alerted to a no-see-um’s bite if they feel skin irritation but cannot see the source as the pests are incredibly tiny.
- Most likely to be active in the early morning and evening, especially on cloudy days and when the wind is not blowing.
- Some species of biting midges are active year-round, most others prefer spring and summer months.
One of the best ways to avoid these pests is to use window and door screens that are 16 mesh or smaller. Another effective way to reduce no-see-um populations is to use ceiling or other types of fans.
- Thrives in damp areas in woods, marshes, ponds, and streams.
- Population tends to peak in June and July.
- Females consume blood from various mammals, including humans, pets, livestock, and wildlife.
- Has a higher tolerance for insect repellents. Avoid deer fly bites by using clothing to keep exposed skin to a minimum.
- Yellow flies are aggressive and can travel long distances in search of a blood meal.
- Usually feeds close to their preferred development such as underwater root masses of cypress trees and other woody plants.
- Insect repellents are moderately effective. Using long sleeve shirts, long pants, gloves, and head nets help prevents yellow fly bites.
- Florida has about 18 species of black flies, also known as buffalo gnats or turkey gnats. The most common species is the Simulium slossonae.
- Black flies have a humpback appearance, thus their nickname buffalo gnats.
- They like to fly around the eyes, hair, and ears of their hosts.
- Favorite developmental sites include slow moving water in streams, small rivers, or creeks.
- Black flies become more problematic after heavy rains.
- They are daytime biters and seek out any mammal in order to feed on blood.
- While they prefer the outdoors, they can move through screens and get inside.