Blow Flies

blowflyQuick Stats

  • Latin Name: Family Calliphoridae
  • Size: Small in length, usually measuring about 9-22 mm
  • Color: Each species is a different color; all look metallic and shiny and can range from black to blue to green
  • Shape: Long and ovular with large wings and extremely long antennae
  • Found in: Blowflies are found all over the country, particularly where it’s warm and livestock are present. Nuisance in OklahomaIllinois, and southern states.
  • Overview: These pests spend most of their lives as maggots – adults lay larvae in the bodies of carrion. Once grown they fly to new areas in search of food.

About the Blow Fly

Blowflies are often confused with the common housefly thanks to a similar build. They’re large in size and range in color from metallic blue to green. They’re most notably found near livestock – particularly cows and horses – and spend most of their life cycle in these areas. Adults lay their eggs directly in discarded fecal matter of the livestock or in the rotting flesh of animals. Within a few days the eggs hatch and turn to maggots, and a few days after that the maggots reach adulthood and leave in search of food.

These flies eat a lot of protein, particularly the females. Scientists generally agree it’s because the females need an above-average amount of protein to produce eggs, explaining their interest in meat and animals. Females can lay upwards of 2,000 eggs during their lifetime.

Do you Have a Blowfly Problem?

In some instances, the blow fly has been shown to be attracted to plants that give off a meat-like odor such as a pawpaw or dead horse arum. They’re not pollinators though and will stay in one area if a protein source is found. Because of their attraction to rotting flesh that may contain diseases and bacteria, blowflies are a household nuisance that can actually make you sick. If these pests are seen on meat within your home you should discard it immediately as they can carry disease.

Because they hatch so quickly the best way to spot a blow fly infestation is to see the adults themselves. Note their metallic color when identifying. If you have a continuous problem with blowflies in your home you may have an indoor infestation. Be sure to keep windows screened and doors closed in warmer months when these pests are more active.

If you suspect you might have a problem with flies in your home, contact a pest professional in your area immediately. They can help you identify the culprits and make a plan for controlling all pests in your vicinity.



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