Common Flies in Kansas

Blow Fly - Betts Pest Control - Flies Pest Control

Blow Fly

Appearance
Blow flies are often metallic in appearance, with feathery hairs on the terminal antennal segments of the males and are 12 to 18 mm long when fully grown. Adult blow flies have sponge-like mouth parts, while maggots have hook-like mouth parts.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits
Blow flies belong to the Family Calliphoridae of flies under the Order Diptera. To date, there are approximately 80 species of blow flies in North America.

Blow flies are attracted to decaying meat and are typically the first organisms to come into contact with dead animals. The meat of dead animals is essential for larval survival and growth. They are also attracted to plants that give off the smell of rotting meat and as such, can be a pollinator for those plants.

Signs of Infestation
The most common signs of blow flies are either the adults themselves or their larvae. The adults may be seen resting on surfaces or buzzing around potential food or odor sources. The larvae may be observed when they crawl out of the breeding material to pupate.

Cluster Fly - Betts Pest Control - Flies Pest Control

Cluster Fly

Appearance
Cluster flies, also known as attic flies, are household pests. Adults measure 8 to 10 millimeters in length and have light and dark grey-checkered abdomens. The thorax of an adult cluster fly is covered in short, golden hairs and the wings overlap when at rest. Cluster flies are slightly larger and darker than the common housefly and move more sluggishly.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits
They appear on the sunny side of the structure in heaviest concentrations in late fall and early winter, as they seek warm locations in which to live during cold months. Although cluster flies are observed buzzing and congregating at windows, screens may prove ineffective in preventing their entrance. Cluster flies are capable of crawling through small openings in the walls of a structure. They hibernate in secluded parts of houses like attics and wall voids. On sunny winter days, the wall voids become warm and the cluster flies try to move toward light. Very often they find themselves in the inhabited parts of the house and the move to the windows. They cluster around the windows and they leave stains on walls and curtains if crushed.

The cluster fly life cycle begins when a female lays her eggs in the soil in late summer or early fall. These eggs hatch within a few days, after which larvae seek to enter the body cavities of earthworms. Cluster fly larvae feed on earthworm hosts for several days, at which time they molt and pupate in the soil. Cluster flies’ development time from egg to adult is about 27 to 39 days.

Signs of Infestation
Cluster flies migrate from outdoors into the lofts of houses and farm buildings during the winter months. Obvious sign of an infestation is a roof space containing a large quantity of lethargic flies and a quantity of dead flies. Unless your loft is used for storage purposes or is accessed regularly the flies will hibernate successfully leaving in early spring dependent on the weather. If your loft is home to a hibernating colony of flies, first floor lighting diffusers or sunken spot light lenses can become full of dead or dying flies.

This often occurs in houses where the loft area has been converted into a living room. In most buildings built after 1950 the external roof covering has an under felt layer. Cluster flies can successfully hibernate undetected between these two layers.

Fruit Fly - Betts Pest Control - Flies Pest Control

Fruit-Vinegar Fly

Appearance
Drosophila melanogaster is a species of small fly. Adults are 3 to 4 mm long, may have red eyes, though some are dark eyed, and a tan thorax. The abdomen is black on top, gray underneath. Fruit flies can appear to be brown or tan in color.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits
Populations tend to build during the summer, becoming very abundant at harvest time. Indoors, fruit flies are frequently active at all times of the year. Fruit flies eat ripened fruit and vegetables and fermenting products.

Signs of Infestation
The two most visible signs of fruit fly activity would be the adult flies and the pupae. Adult flies often are seen flying around in kitchens or trash cans near the decaying fruit or vegetables. They also are attracted to liquor and liquor/beer bottles. The mature larvae of fruit flies crawl out of the breeding material to pupate in a dry nearby spot. They sometimes are mistaken for cockroach or rodent droppings but can easily be differentiated by a pair of horns on one end of the pupae.

Fungus Gnat - Betts Pest Control - Flies Pest Control

Fungus Gnat

Appearance
The adults are 2–5 millimeters (0.079–0.197 in) long.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits
Fungus gnats belong to the families
Sciaridae and Fungivoridae and typically are found in and around areas with high humidity. Female fungus gnats deposit their eggs in soil or other damp, decaying organic plant material. These eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae of some species feed on fungus in overwatered soil, but there are other species that consume plant roots as a source of nutrients. This leads to diminished health in affected plants. When infested with fungus gnat larvae, plants show signs of stunted development. Gnat larvae also carry plant pathogens and make plants highly susceptible to various plant diseases.

Unlike some other flying insects, fully mature fungus gnats often remain low to the ground, close to plants and soil. Adults are seen on leaf litter and foliage, while larvae remain in the soil until they pupate. The larvae of fungus gnats are legless and have transparent bodies with black head capsules. Pupae are difficult to see without the use of a magnifying glass. They are stout and dark in color.

Signs of Infestations
Unlike some other flying insects, fully mature fungus gnats often remain low to the ground, close to plants and soil. Adults are seen on leaf litter and foliage, while larvae remain in the soil until they pupate. The larvae of fungus gnats are legless and have transparent bodies with black head capsules. Pupae are difficult to see without the use of a magnifying glass. They are stout and dark in color.

House Fly - Betts Pest Control - Flies Pest Control

House Fly

Appearance
Usually gray, less than 4 to 7.5 mm long with four black stripes on the thorax.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits
They prefer corners and edges or thin objects to rest on. Indoors, they rest on floors, walls and ceilings during the day. Outdoors, they will rest on plants, the ground, fence wires, garbage cans, etc. Night resting places are usually near sources of food and 5 to 15 feet off the ground.

Wide variety of food, including human food, animal food and carcasses, garbage and excrement.

Signs of a House Fly Infestation
The adult flies are the most common sign of activity. Larvae also may be seen as they crawl out the breeding material to pupate. Lastly, the pupae themselves may sometimes be observed nearby the breeding material.

Scuttle Fly - Betts Pest Control - Flies Pest Control

Phorid/Hump Backed/Scuttle Fly

Appearance
Most are black or dull brown, but some are yellowish in color. Very small—0.5 to 5.5 mm. The arched thorax of the adult gives them a humpbacked appearance.

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Behavior, Diet & Habit
Characteristically short and erratic flight. Adults have a peculiar habit of rapidly running across windows, TV screens, tables, walls and plant foliage. These flies are frequently mistaken for “gnats.” Some species feed on fungi, while others are parasites of various insects.

Signs of Infestation
The most apparent sign of phorid flies is the adult flies. They often are observed buzzing around rooms and scurrying across counters or other surfaces.

Sewer Fly - Betts Pest Control - Flies Pest Control

Sewer Fly

Appearance
Sewer flies measure about 1.5 to 5 mm long with a light gray or tan body and lighter-colored wings. The body and the wings are covered with long hairs, giving the fly a fuzzy appearance. When at rest, the sewer fly folds its wings over the body in a characteristic roof-like manner.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits
In homes, adults are found on bathroom, kitchen or basement walls. More active at night, sewer flies do not bite and, surprisingly, do not transmit human diseases. Drain flies feed on organic matter and sewage.

Signs of Infestation
As with most flies, the most noticeable sign of sewer flies are the adults. They typically are seen resting on the walls in bathrooms or near the breeding materials. Larvae also may be observed wriggling in the breeding material.

Stable Fly - Betts Pest Control - Flies Pest Control

Stable Fly

Appearance
The stable fly appears similar to house or flesh flies. With mottled black-brown bodies and bulbous, complex eyes, stable flies typically measure 7 to 8 mm in length.

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Behaviors, Diet & Habits
They are serious livestock pests, affecting cattle, chickens and dogs. They can also bite humans. The mouthparts of the adult stable fly enable them to pierce and suck to obtain blood for food. Unlike other species of biting fly, both male and females feed on blood. Stable flies feed several times during egg laying, and one fly can be responsible for multiple bites.

Female flies seek decaying organic material within which to lay eggs—wet straw, old manure and wet grass clippings are ideal egg sites. The full life cycle of a stable fly in hospitable conditions is generally one month.

Signs of Infestation
If infestations become severe, production and animal health will suffer. Stable flies focus on the legs of affected animals, and livestock experiencing stable fly bites stamp their feet frequently against the ground.