Pest Guide : What is a Fly?

What You Need to Know About Flies

Everyone has encountered flies in their lifetimes. Even so, not many people stop to think about what a fly is, how it reproduces, or the different fly species around the world. Although it may seem like a waste of time to learn as much information as possible about flies, some information can help you protect your home from infestations.

Flies are technically defined as insects that belong to the order “Diptera.” They have a single pair of wings., but individual species will have their own technicalities, characteristics, and defining traits. Being able to determine the fly species can help you exterminate the problem.

If you have a fly infestation of any kind, call our team for help. Our expertly trained exterminators will be able to identify the fly species to execute a customized treatment plan. This treatment plan can help get rid of the current infestation and prevent future ones.

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How to Identify an Fly Infestation

What you need to know about flies from the House Fly to the Fruit Fly


It is estimated that there are over 100,000 species of flies in the world. Luckily, the vast majority of these flies are not in our area. However, there are some species that are relatively common. Here is a look at the most common species in our area:

Blow or Bottle Fly

Blow Flies are about the size of a House Fly at 1/8 to 5/8 of an inch long. They have sponging mouthparts and unique antenna that are feathery towards the bottom. The adults are partly or completely metallic shades of blue, green, or brass. They can be black occasionally as well.

The larvae look a bit different. They are slightly larger at 9 to 22 millimeters long. The larvae do not have eyes or legs and are tapered and rounded from head to tail. They are yellow to white in color.

Cluster Fly

Cluster Flies are a little bit larger than the common House Fly at 1/2 inch long. They are distinguishable by their black color and yellow hairs on the thorax. Their wings overlap whenever they are resting.

If you have a Cluster Fly problem, you likely will never see the larvae. The eggs and larvae are deposited in the soil around earthworm burrows. The earthworms become the larvae’s source of food.

Cluster Flies are a serious nuisance. They often survive the winter by hibernating in different voids around your home, such as within the wall, attic, or basement. Though they are inactive during the winter, they become super active and annoying during the summer. Often, Cluster Flies get into homes by entering through small cracks in foundation, vents, and gaps.

Drain Fly

Drain Flies also go by the name Moth Flies. They can be anywhere from 1/5 to 1/6 of an inch long. They are Gray or dark in color. If you look under a microscope, you will also see that the Drain Fly is fuzzy all over the body and has large wings.

Drain Flies get their name from where they lay their eggs. The females prefer to lay their eggs within drains that have an overflowing population of moist, organic matter. As such, Drain Flies are often found around overflow pipes or garbage disposals. The larvae are about 3/8 of an inch long and look more like worms given that they are legless.

Drain Flies do not bite, but they are still a big nuisance because their populations grow quickly.

Fruit Fly

Fruit Flies are commonly seen alongside Vinegar Flies. They are about 1/8 of an inch long, including their wings. The antennae include feathery bristles, while the wings have thick margins. These flies can be tan, brownish yellow, or brownish black. The eyes are distinctively red.

Mature larvae are between 1/4 and 3/8 of an inch long. They do not have eyes or legs, and they are tapered with dark mouth hooks on the head. The larvae are almost completely white. Only the mouth hooks are black and the abdominal breathing pores are yellow.

House Fly

The House Fly is one of the most common flies in the area. It is about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch long. The females are always longer than the males. These flies have two velvety stripes around the head, silver above the head and gold below. The thorax also has four stripes, but it lacks a pale spot. The abdomen is usually pale, though the adult is generally dull gray.

Larvae House Fly are between 1/4 and 3/8 of an inch long. Like the other larva, these larvae are eyeless and legless. Its body is tapered from the rear and has a pair of hooks. The larva is cream colored and somewhat greasy looking.


Common Questions About Flies

Most flies invade a home whenever they can find a lot of food and places to breed. Some of the most common food sources for flies include excrement, garbage, decaying vegetation, fresh fruits and vegetables, fermenting liquids, meat, and animal carcasses. You may also have flies when an animal, such as a squirrel or raccoon, dies inside an attic or wall void.

For this reason, you are often going to find flies around your outdoor garbage bin in between garbage days. You can also find flies hovering around your dog’s bathroom spots outside.

Despite their small appearance and common occurrence within the home, flies are dangerous. Most flies liquefy solid foods through regurgitation. Whenever they regurgitate, they can contaminate food and spread diseases. Flies can also indicate other problems such as an issue with drains or a dead animal.

Some flies do bite, but most will not bite people. The more serious concern is that they are spreading diseases to food surfaces.

Getting rid of flies is difficult. Identification of the fly species is critical to determining what may be causing or attracting the fly infestation. You have to eliminate the food source and breeding areas entirely. If you do not do this, the flies will quickly infest your home once again.

You may be able to treat a minor fly issue yourself. Fly strips can be helpful in reducing fly populations. Although there are plenty DIY fly extermination products and methods out there, most are ineffective, especially for long-term extermination. For that reason, forgo any ineffective DIY methods and opt for professional fly extermination instead.

Tips for Preventing Flies

  • Wipe up crumbs and spills immediately.
  • Remove garbage from home frequently.
  • Store food in airtight containers.
  • Put away food—including any uneaten pet food.

How My Pest Pros Helps Eliminate Flies

Preventing flies can be a difficult task. Our professionals will ensure that your fly infestation is gone once and for all. By calling our team, you know that your pest problem will be solved in no time. We will visit your location to determine species, breeding area, and food source to ensure all aspects of the infestation are covered.

To ensure efficient extermination, our professionals are expertly trained in applying EPA-registered products for pest control use. Our technicians will apply the products in such a way to eliminate the pest issues while protecting your children and pets.

With over a decade of experience, My Pest Pros knows what it takes for effective fly control comes to flies control in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland. With our protection plan, these annoying  invaders will be eradicated both now and in the future with regular treatment visits. These visits are effective at treating and preventing flies infestations.

For ultimate protection, our professionals will work with you to find a customized solution for your flies problem, today and tomorrow.

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