Greenhead Flies

Protect Your Home or Business From Greenhead Flies

A species of horse fly, greenhead flies are found on the eastern coast of the United States. As with other types of horse flies, these pests bite people and animals. Greenhead fly behavior has a serious effect on tourism near beaches.

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Appearance & Identification

These flies are named for their large, bright green eyes that often have streaks of red or purple. They have dark brown or black abdomens with three gray stripes and are about a half-inch long. Up to 20 percent of their weight is blood volume.


These insects breed in the summer and spring in wetlands and marshes. They are typically found within a few feet of the water. Greenhead flies appear in early July and are usually gone by August.


Greenhead flies feed on carbohydrates, such as nectar or honeydew, for energy. However, once females lay eggs, their behavior changes. They become extremely aggressive and seek out blood meals.

Using their razor sharp teeth, greenhead flies bite into several capillaries at once, creating a pool to feed from. Their saliva keeps blood from clotting, allowing them to eat for longer periods of time.


A female greenhead fly is able to lay its first batch of eggs without any blood meals. Eggs take several days to hatch. Within about two weeks, larvae become sexually mature adults.

Problems Caused by Greenhead Flies

While they are not life-threatening, these insects are bothersome because they deliver painful bites. The persistent females attack during the day, and often in large numbers.

Signs of Infestation

Many local governments use box traps to catch the insects, setting them along shorelines. Coming across these traps typically means greenhead flies live in the area.

The pests also create loud buzzing noises as they fly, which can alert people to their presence before they bite.

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Greenhead fly control is aimed at reducing their numbers, but cannot slow reproduction rate. Therefore, these pests continue to thrive in coastal regions.

Get Rid of Greenhead Flies

Professional help is required to put a stop to infestation. Contact Waltham Services to successfully address infestations and learn how to get rid of greenhead flies.