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Flesh Flies

Active Seasons

Appearance and Size Facts

  • Usually have gray bodies with three black stripes on the thorax
  • Abdomen has a light and dark gray checkerboard pattern and is often red at the tip
  • Their eyes are usually red
  • Size: Range from 3/8 to 1/2 inch in length
  • Scavenger flies
  • Often breed on decayed flesh, spoiling meat, and manure
  • Attracted by food odors

Behavior and Habitat of Flesh Flies

Flesh flies are scavengers. Their preferred breeding areas are decayed flesh, spoiling meat, and manure. Garbage can meat scraps and dog food left outside are possible sources of flesh fly breeding. Flesh flies can breed in dead rodents and birds, and inside attics or wall voids of houses. Female flesh flies give live birth after the eggs hatch inside of her abdomen, depositing the maggots on a suitable breeding area, which can even be shallow burial sites. Adult flesh flies have been shown to transmit diseases such as Escherichia coli, Streptococcus spp., Salmonella spp., and the Polio virus. Flesh flies are extremely common and are attracted to buildings by food odors. The sudden emergence of many flesh flies within a building could mean there is a dead rodent, bird, or other animal in the wall, ceiling, or attic. Larvae prefer moist environments and can even live in semi-aquatic conditions. Flesh flies are found throughout the world and are usually associated with human and/or animal remains in the United States.

Signs of Infestation of Flesh Flies

The most common signs of flesh flies are either the adults themselves or their larvae. Adult flesh flies are loud fliers and may at first appear to look like a large house fly.

Tips for Prevention of Flesh Flies

Remove the breeding source of the flesh flies, which may include accumulated garbage, a dead rodent or bird, and other sources which are in the earliest stages of decomposition.

Flesh Fly Gallery

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