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The insect pests of homes and buildings that are commonly referred to as “flies” include the common house fly (Musca domestica), and numerous other closely related species like fruit flies, blow flies, and drain flies. The fly pest species that breed on organic waste materials in urban and suburban environments are aptly referred to as “filth flies.” Filth flies are common indoor pests in every US state, but like nearly all insects, flies are particularly abundant in the subtropical southeastern states where the short winters, and wet and humid climate provide flies with the conditions they need to thrive. Unsurprisingly, pest control professionals manage house flies more frequently than any other fly pest species on both residential and commercial properties throughout the country. Fruit flies, drain flies, phorid flies, and blow flies follow house flies as the most common indoor filth fly pests in the US. Filth flies rely on organic waste like excrement, animal carcasses, and rotting food to reproduce and feed their offspring, but each filth fly species has evolved to favor some organic waste materials over others.
Of all filth fly pest species, house flies are best adapted to living within and around homes where they have evolved to exploit a variety of organic waste materials for the purpose of reproduction. Female house flies prefer to deposit eggs on organic waste materials that are prevalent in urban and suburban settings, such as excrement, garbage, carrion, compost piles, and even rotting food. House flies may breed on decaying rodent carcasses, as well as rodent feces that collect within wall voids and other concealed indoor areas where mammalian pests are known to congregate. They may also breed on fecal material within septic tanks, broken sewer pipes, porta-potties, and in waste water drainage systems. House flies, fruit flies, drain flies, and phorid flies are capable of laying viable eggs on minute food materials that gather beneath kitchen appliances and living room furniture.
Blow flies prefer to lay eggs on rotting animal carcasses, which leads to infestations within wall voids that are not usually noticed until larvae (maggots) begin crawling into open living areas. Indoor blow fly infestations are usually associated with dead animals located in hidden spaces within and/or around homes. Fruit flies prefer to breed on rotting food, dirty mop heads, dirty dishes, beverage stains, and fluids within cans and bottles in recycle containers. Drain and phorid flies prefer to breed on excrement, food buildup in drains, and in fluid that gathers in between tiles on kitchen flooring. Pinpointing the location of indoor and outdoor breeding sources that support large numbers of fly pests will often suffice to eliminate infestations.
Have you ever struggled to control and filth fly infestation?