Filth Flies are DISGUSTING!

Figure 1: Blow Fly (courtesy UF/IFAS)

Flies are a nuisance, but did you know they can also transmit 60 disease causing microorganisms to humans?? Nobody wants intestinal diseases like dysentery and diarrhea.  We don’t always make a differentiation between filth flies.  There are house flies, greenbottle, bluebottle, blow flies, filter flies, soldier flies and flesh flies – none of which you want buzzing around your home.

Figure 2: Flesh Fly (courtesy UF/IFAS)


Although filth flies don’t bite, they are a nuisance. We don’t want them around food because as according to UF in the ENY-222 publication found at “the house fly moves about from one food source to another, it samples and eat its food by regurgitating liquid and dropping it on the food to liquefy it.  Light colored spots called fly specks are visible signs of this kind of feeding. Darker fly specks associated with house flies are fecal spots.”

Figure 3: Green Bottle Fly (courtesy of UF/IFAS)


They are prolific breeder and depending on the type, lay their eggs in warm organic material (yes, poop, but also grass clippings, decayed flesh, spoiled meat and garbage).

Although good fliers, they are usually abundant close to their breeding site.

Figure 4: House Fly (courtesy of UF/IFAS)

Get Rid of ‘Em!

Since the flies are looking for breeding places, making sure garbage is stored in cans with no holes that have tight fitting lids. Drying out vegetation accumulation or animal excrement is helpful. Use screens on doors and window to prevent entry. Larvicides or sprays may be needed for larger populations.

Want to be grossed out?  Check out this video from our UF entomology department!



Posted: August 22, 2023

Category: Food Safety, Home Management, Pests & Disease, UF/IFAS Extension,
Tags: Flies, Home Pest, Pest Management, Suwannee County Extension, Topic Tuesday, UF/IFAS Extension

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