What Do Flesh Flies Look Like?
Found across New England, the flesh fly is about two to three times larger than the average house fly. The pest has red eyes as well as a gray and black striped upper body with a checkerboard pattern on the abdomen.
How Can I Tell if I Have a Flesh Fly Problem?
Both home and business owners can encounter flesh fly issues. Restaurants, grocery stores, and food production companies, such as meatpacking factories, often have trouble with these insects. Signs of an infestation include:
- Swarms – Flesh flies that suddenly appear indoors may indicate a dead rat or other wildlife pest trapped in a crawl space, wall void, or chimney.
- Maggots – The pests give birth to live larvae in organic matter such as garbage and animal carcasses. Seeing flesh fly maggots fall from ceiling tiles or finding them in storage areas is a serious issue.
How Do Flesh Flies Get Inside Homes and Businesses?
Flesh flies get into houses and apartments through open doors as well as torn screens. Strong odors and decay attract the pests, so uncovered trashcans, compost, and pet feces in yards can cause an infestation. A flesh fly will also seek out sugar and may hover near patios in search of crumbs.
Dumpsters, and any garbage left on the ground around them, can bring the insects close to doorways and loading bays. Hotel and restaurant kitchens as well as supermarkets risk contamination and the spread of disease when flesh flies infest buildings. Meat processing and rendering plants are also prone to infestations, which may affect residences and commercial spaces nearby.
Are Flesh Flies Dangerous?
These pests eat and breed in decaying material. As such, flesh flies can transfer Salmonella and E. coli bacteria to whatever they touch. Ingesting food polluted by flesh fly larvae may lead to an infection known as myiasis, but this condition is rare in the U.S.
How Can I Prevent Flesh Fly Infestations?
If you have a flesh fly problem, the first step is to get rid of anything that attracts them. Clean up pet waste, place trash in sealed bags, secure garbage cans with lids, and keep spaces around bins and dumpsters clear of debris.
It’s also important to check rodent traps frequently to remove any remains. Inspect wall voids and other hidden places for animal carcasses when the insects swarm in a specific area. If flesh flies become an issue for your home or business, contact Waltham Pest Services for help.