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Phorid Flies

What Do Phorid Flies Look Like?

phorid fly photo

Also known as humpbacked, coffin, or scuttle flies, phorid flies are a common New England pest. These tiny insects have brownish-yellow or black bodies and a distinct round thorax. Often mistaken for fruit flies, eye color is the easiest way to tell the two apart. The phorid fly’s eyes are black, while a fruit fly has prominent red eyes.

How Can I Tell if I Have a Phorid Fly Problem?

It can be difficult to know if you have a phorid fly infestation on your property. These pests are so small that accurate identification is tricky. A few signs to watch out for include:

  • Swarms – These pests often gather in large numbers near trash bins, drains, and piles of animal droppings.
  • Larvae – Phorid flies feed on and lay eggs in decaying matter, so you may spot larvae in a forgotten bag of rotten potatoes or a garbage can.
  • Scurrying – When in danger, some phorid fly species run away in an erratic manner rather than take flight.

How Do Phorid Flies Get Inside Homes and Businesses?

Leaky disposals, broken septic lines, and compost bins produce odors that attract phorid flies. Their size allows them to enter buildings easily through the slightest opening. Doorways, foundation cracks, and attic vents are all potential entry points for phorid flies.

While any business can get phorid flies, food production facilities and hospitals are prone to problems with this pest. Decaying scraps of meat, fruit, and vegetables in a processing plant could quickly lead to an infestation. Nursing homes and other health care centers that collect and launder soiled garments and bedding are also at risk.

Are Phorid Flies Dangerous?

Since phorid flies live in and around septic tanks and rotting material, their bodies pick up harmful bacteria. When a phorid fly lands on food, eating utensils, or meal prep areas, they can transmit these pathogens to any surface they touch.

Phorid flies also cause trouble for businesses. Processing plants and grocery stores may see profit losses due to contaminated meat and produce. In addition to ruining products, phorid flies spotted in a restaurant or hotel could prompt patrons to leave poor reviews.

How Can I Prevent Phorid Fly Infestations?

Removing the pests’ breeding sites is the fastest method of controlling phorid flies. Throw spoiled leftovers away and always keep trashcans sealed. Wipe down counters, clean under appliances, and use floor cleaners regularly to prevent food crumbs from accumulating in kitchens. If phorid fly issues persist, call Waltham Pest Services or contact us to discuss removal options.

Author: Waltham Pest Services