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Green Bottle Fly

(Lucilia sericata)

Appearance

Green Bottle flies are a common blowfly and are slightly larger than House flies. They have brilliant, metallic, blue-green or golden coloration with black markings. They also have black bristle-like hair and three cross-grooves on the thorax. The wings are clear with light brown veins, and the legs and antennae are black.

Size

Range from 1/4 to 3/8-inch in length.

Behavior

Green Bottle flies are scavengers and are part of the decomposition process. They lay a mass of up to 180 eggs in wounds, carcasses, or necrotic tissue. Pale yellow or grayish-white larvae hatch in half a day to three days, and begin feeding on the decomposing animal matter they were hatched in. They are fully grown in two to ten days, when they will seek soil (in which they will burrow) to pupate. The adults emerge to mate, beginning the cycle again. During cold weather pupae and adults can hibernate until warmer temperatures revive them.

Habitat

The Green Bottle fly is very common around dumpsters. It lays its eggs almost exclusively in dead or rotting flesh. It is usually the first insect attracted to a fresh carcass, sometimes within minutes of death. Maggots from these flies are used by forensic entomologists to establish the time of death.

Interesting Facts

It was on the battlefield, a few centuries ago, that the healing powers of maggots were first noted. Physicians observed with amazement that soldiers with deep, gaping, maggot-infested wounds recovered more quickly and in greater numbers than did the soldiers whom they had elected to treat.

Control

Do you live in South Florida and think that this pest may be invading your home? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty pest control treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!

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