Identify Flies

Fly Close Up

Common Fly Identification

Flies vary greatly in size, shape, and color. Because they are easy to confuse with other pests, fly identification helps homeowners decide the next step in proper pest control. Most types of flies are harmless and some are even helpful to the environment as pollinators. However, certain species indicate wildlife, moisture, or cleanliness problems in the home, while others may spread bacteria or even bite. The preferred habitat and developmental sites of flies range from moist, organic material laden places and aquatic sources such as:

  • Animal & Pet Feces

  • Drains

  • Marshes

  • Soiled Garbage Containers

  • Streams

How to Identify Flies

Since these pests are generally small and move rapidly from place to place, getting a good look at a fly can be difficult. Pest experts are the best equipped to distinguish between different species, but homeowners should be able to spot a few important fly identification factors:

  • Size: Flies come in many sizes, from one-millimeter-long biting midges to horse flies over an inch in length.

  • Color: Black, brown, yellow, and iridescent green are common colors for nuisance fly species and those often associated with dead animals.

  • Shape: Body shape can range from compact gnats to the gangly, mosquito-like look of crane flies.

  • Hair: Some varieties, like shiny bottle flies, appear to have little hair, while fuzzy drain flies have a moth-like look.

  • Eyes: Forward-facing, goggle-shaped eyes are a hallmark of house flies. The eye placement of other types of flies can help experts identify them.

Controlling Flies

Once in a home, flies may feed on and lay eggs in human food. This contamination spreads harmful diseases. To identify flies and remove infestations, contact the trained professionals at Orkin.

Flies vary greatly in physical appearance, differing in size, color, and wing type. Numerous books are available from agencies such as the state extension service or the Nature Conservancy, some of which feature full-color photographs and descriptions that can assist homeowners in identifying pests.

Identifying fly species can be an important key in eradication of unwanted populations. If a fly is tiny and found near sugary substances, it may be a fruit fly. Blue bottle flies and blow flies are fairly large and slow flying. They lay their eggs on carrion rather than fruit. Identification of feeding and breeding sites can help to discern type of infestation. The sites should be eliminated as soon as they have been found.

Resources

Protect Your Home From Flies

Facts About Black Flies | Fly Habits and Behaviors

Black fly illustration

What Do Blow Flies Look Like? | Identify Flies

Blow fly illustration

How to Keep Flies Off of Pets | Fly Control

How to Control Face Flies | Remove Face Flies

Image coming soon

Flesh Fly Facts | Identify Flesh Fly Infestations

Image coming soon

How to Identify Drain Flies | What Causes Drain Flies

Drain fly illustration

How to Get Rid of Cattle Horn Flies | Cattle Pests

Horn fly illustration

How to Identify Cluster Flies | Fly Facts & Information

Cluster fly illustration

What are Green Bottle Flies? | Identify Green Bottle Flies

Bottle fly illustration

Horse Fly Facts & Information | Get Rid of Horse Flies

Horsefly illustration

Connect with Us

Our customer care team is available for you 24 hours a day.

877-819-5061

Find a Branch

Our local Pros are the pest experts in your area.

Get a Personalized Quote

We will help you find the right treatment plan for your home.

THE BEST IN PESTS.™

SERVICES

Pest ControlTermite ControlPrevent and Protect

PEST LIBRARY

Browse All Pests

© 2022 Orkin LLC

Terms of UsePrivacyAccessibility StatementCareers