Common Types of Flies in North Carolina
According to the National Pest Management Association, there are more than 120,000 species of flies worldwide and 18,000 in North America. In North Carolina, the most common types of flies that become a problem in residential and commercial environments include cluster flies, blow flies, and fruit flies.
Blow flies also look fairly similar to the common housefly but again are larger in size; adults grow to between 1/8th and 5/8th of an inch in length. Their bodies are usually black, metallic green, blue, or bronze in color. Blow flies have specialized sponge-like mouthparts that they use for feeding on liquids. Their larvae (maggots) are worm-like and pale yellow to white in color. They have hook-like mouthparts and tapered heads that are smaller than the back-ends of their bodies. Blow flies are usually the first insect to land on a person or animal that has died; they lay their eggs on the body, when the larvae hatch they feed on the carcass.
Cluster flies have gray bodies with darker black markings. They also have golden yellow hairs on their thorax and legs. Adults grow to between 3/8th and ½ of an inch in length. Cluster flies are often mistaken for house flies but they are larger in appearance, lack a metallic appearance, and move in a much more sluggish manner. Cluster flies often become problematic inside of homes and other buildings when they enter in the fall and “cluster” together in large groups behind walls, in crawl spaces, and in attics throughout the entire winter.
Fruit flies are tiny with adults only growing to be about 1/8th of an inch in length. Fruit flies are commonly known for their red eyes, but some species can have brownish or black colored eyes. Their bodies are black on top and gray on the underside and they have translucent wings. Fruit fly larvae are worm-like in appearance and are whitish in color except for the two dark-colored mouth hooks. Fruit flies build their numbers all spring and summer until they reach their peak during the fall harvest season. These flies feed on and lay their eggs on ripe, decaying or fermenting food.
Are flies dangerous?
Flies are known to spread more than 100 pathogens and parasites to humans. That’s probably because they’re frequent visitors of trash cans, piles of rotting food, decaying animals, and manure. They pick up bacteria and parasites on their bodies and legs and transfer them to kitchen counters and other surfaces as well as directly to food. Some flies also liquefy solid foods by regurgitation, leading to even more contamination and disease.
Why do I have a fly problem?
Flies are often attracted to properties that offer easy access to food sources and areas to lay their eggs on. If you’re property has any of the conditions mentioned below, then you’re likely to have a fly problem.
- Garbage that has not been placed in containers with locking lids
- Open beverage containers
- Easy access to food inside
- Dirty or clogged drains
- Moist organic materials like open compost piles
- Animal feces
- Fruits and vegetables that have fallen to the ground and have not been cleaned up
- Safe hiding spots where they can overwinter
How do you get rid of flies?
If you’re fighting flies in your home or business, it’s time to reach out to A-1 Pest Control. We have the knowledge and tools to identify and treat fly infestations, no matter how severe. Contact us today to learn more about our fly control solutions!
How do you prevent flies?
The best way to prevent fly problems is to correct the conditions that are attracting them to your property. Here are a few fly prevention tips from our team:
- Eliminate potential water sources by fixing leaky outdoor pipes or fixtures and make sure that gutters are working properly to direct water away from the outside of your home.
- Empty trash cans frequently and secure outdoor garbage cans with tight-fitting lids. If you have a dumpster, do not fill to overflowing and do not place crates, boxes or other trash outside of it.
- Harvest fruits and vegetables and remove any that have fallen to the ground.
- Do not let pet feces accumulate outside.
- Replace or repair screens covering doors and windows.
- Seal any holes or openings on the exterior of the structure.
- Ask A-1 Pest Control about year-round pest control services.