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Yellow Fly Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from yellow flies by learning techniques for identification and control.

Yellow Fly Illustration
Diachlorus ferrugatus
3/8 inch
Yellow body
Yellow & black legs
Blue-green eyes with purple bands
Clear wings


How do I get rid of yellow flies?

What You Can Do

Things you can do to prevent or control yellow flies include:

  • Wear clothing that covers skin

  • Repellents

  • Traps

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin Pro is trained to help manage yellow flies and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique fly treatment program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep yellow flies in their place and out of your home or business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Yellow Flies


  • Size: Adult yellow flies are primarily about 3/8 inches long. Larvae grow to about 1/2 inch long.

  • Color: The adult body is yellow, their front legs are mostly black, and the other two pairs of legs are yellow. They have large eyes that are blue-green with two purple bands. Larvae have fine yellowish-brown short hairs on their whitish-colored body.

  • Characteristics: These flies have wings that are clear, but they have black and yellow veins with prominent brown patches toward the middle and rear of the wings. Larvae are slender and aquatic or semi-aquatic. Adults look similar in appearance to deer flies.

Yellow Fly


Yellow flies are members of the Tabanidae family that also includes horse flies and deer flies. These flies are one of the few species of this family that will assault hosts indoors.


Like mosquitoes, the female consumes blood while the males do not bite and are mainly pollen and nectar feeders. Yellow flies are strong fliers, and females may travel long distances in search of blood meals.


Adult yellow flies tend to live around yards and bodies of water. In Florida, field researchers have found their larvae in shaded areas in:

  • Beneath the water surface

  • Root mats of cypress

  • Shingle oak

  • Wood plants

Geographical Range

Diachlorus ferrugatus are found in the southeastern U.S. from New Jersey to Texas, as well as in the Bahamas and from Mexico to Costa Rica. The only species found in the U.S., Diachlorus ferrugatus are thought to have traveled to the states from Mexico.

Peak activity season in Florida and much of the pest’s southern distribution is April through June, but they may become problematic anytime from early spring through late fall.

Life Cycle


Yellow flies undergo complete metamorphosis, meaning their life cycle involves four stages: the egg, larva, pupa and adult stage.


Yellow fly eggs are small, about 1 1/2 millimeters. They are white when laid by the female, but turn black several hours after being deposited. Egg masses are commonly mistaken for feces or specks of tar. After 5 – 12 days, these eggs hatch and the young larvae drop into the water or mud and begin feeding.

Females produce egg masses on water or other materials surrounding water including:

  • Plants

  • Rocks

  • Sticks

Larvae & Pupae

As larvae, yellow flies feed on decaying organic substances and molt about 10 times before pupating. Once mature, larvae will migrate to drier soil conditions and develop into non-feeding pupae.

Larvae have fine yellowish-brown short hairs on their whitish-colored body. Larvae are slender and aquatic or semi-aquatic.


Mating takes place soon after adults emerge from the pupal stage. These pests breed prolifically when near large bodies of water. Depending on the species and environmental conditions, there are only one or sometimes two generations per year.

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