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Greenhead Flies

What Do Greenhead Flies Look Like?

This horsefly species thrives in New England’s salt marshes and coastal areas. Known for its large, green eyes, the insect has a flat head and a light brown body that’s about half an inch in length. Greenhead fly larvae are dark and worm-like. The maggots can live in this developmental stage for up to two years before becoming adults.

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

Greenhead flies deposit their eggs on top of marsh grass, so you are unlikely to find them inside your home. If you’re in an area with this pest, you may see other signs instead, such as:

  • Eggs – Females lay large batches of 100 to 200 eggs at a time in salt marshes.
  • Black Boxes – These traps help curb greenhead fly populations and reduce bites. However, spotting these boxes also means there are significant pest issues in the area.
  • Maggots – You may notice greenhead fly larvae as they forage in mud and vegetation during high tide.

How Do Greenhead Flies Get Inside Homes and Businesses?

These pests prefer cool, shaded places. Dark clothing and strong scents from hair products and perfumes attract a greenhead fly’s attention, too. The insects can easily follow humans through open doors or fly in through windows to get inside.

Sweat and saltwater on skin attract greenhead flies, which makes beaches their prime hunting grounds. Waterfront hotels and restaurants may struggle to keep the pests out as patrons enter and exit. Outdoor cafes also suffer losses during peak greenhead fly season.

Are Greenhead Flies Dangerous?

While they don’t transmit disease, female greenhead flies use their sharp fangs to take blood meals from both people and animals. They are most active during the daytime. Like mosquitoes, the pests inject saliva into the wound to prevent clotting, which causes pain and swelling.

Commercial properties near the water often lose revenue due to greenhead flies. Likewise, beachgoers, tourists, and golfers may have their vacations ruined due to swarms. Female flies need protein to lay a second batch of eggs, and they start biting during peak travel season in July and August. Even real estate values can drop when greenhead fly populations are at their highest.

How Can I Prevent Greenhead Fly Infestations?

To stop greenhead flies from coming into buildings, keep doors and windows closed and repair any torn screens. Toweling off immediately after swimming and wearing unscented deodorants may also help. The insects can’t bite through clothing, so long-sleeved shirts and pants are the best defense against greenhead fly bites when outdoors.

If you have questions about greenhead flies around your home or business, contact the professionals at Waltham Pest Services.

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