Blow/bottle flies range in size, varying from ¼ – ½ inch. The black blowfly’s coloring is black with a bluish-green luster; the green bottle fly is a metallic blue-green, and the blue bottle fly is a metallic blue.
Phormia regina (Meigen) / Phaenicia (Meigen) / Calliphora spp.
Depending on the species, females lay from 540 to 2,373 eggs in their lifetime. Eggs are laid in batches of 100 to 180 on meat and fish predominantly, as well as animal manure, garbage, and rotting vegetable matter. The eggs are ready to hatch in less than a day, making their cycle continuous and rapid.
Blow/bottle flies are frequently found evolving in the decaying bodies of rodents and other deceased animals. Some species are strong fliers, and all are attracted to bright light.
Sanitation is the most important step to blowfly control, as it eradicates the breeding sites. Property owners should ensure that all garbage is emptied, and that receptacles are cleaned weekly to disrupt the developmental cycle. Fly and sticky traps are beneficial in decreasing the adult fly activity, both indoors and out.
Approximately 3/8 inch in size, cluster flies are close relatives of blow flies. Cluster flies appear narrow when at rest because their wings completely overlap over their back.
Pollenia rudis (Fabricius)
The female cluster flies mate in the spring, laying their eggs in soil crevices, which take three days to hatch. The larvae burrow into the bodies of earthworms, where they continue the process of developing. There are generally four generations per year.
Cluster flies are highly aggravating and annoying because even frigid winters won’t move them out of cozy attics and wall voids of structures. They enter structures in early fall to seek shelter from cooling temperatures, and will get comfortable as winter approaches.
On warm days in winter and spring, they can become active and crawl sluggishly over walls and windows. When the weather warms, the cluster flies emerge in order to exit the structure.
There is no effective means of control for the larval stage of the cluster fly because they develop in earthworms. Large accumulations of these flies can be removed with a vacuum cleaner. Insect light traps can also be placed in attics, but require frequent oversight. Since cluster flies cannot be controlled by disrupting the life cycle of the larvae, it is recommended to contact a pest control company for treatment.
Adult fruit flies are 1/8-inch long and are a dull, yellow-brown to dark brown colour. Some species have distinctive red eyes. The larvae are small (1/10-to 1/5-inches long), characterized by an extended, stalk-like breathing tubes at the rear end of their bodies.
Eggs are laid onto the surface of fermenting fruit or vegetables, or in areas where moisture and yeast are abundant. The eggs hastily hatch within 30 hours. Each female produces up to 500 eggs. The larvae complete development in five to six days, and crawl to drier areas of the food or their habitat in order to pupate. Fruit flies complete their life cycle in about eight to ten days.
Fruit flies are common structural pests, frequently associated with fermenting fruits and vegetable. Recycling bins and their contents, as well as fruit and salad bars, are ideal habitats and have resulted in increased problems with this pest fly.
Fruit flies are best controlled by finding and eliminating the breeding material. Complete and thorough sanitation is necessary to eliminate the source of the infestation. Insect light traps and baited jar traps, fitted with tops which permit entry but prevent escape, are effective in reducing the population, but are no substitutes for sanitation.