Common Flies in Texas and How to Get Rid of Them
What Are Common fly species in Texas?
Flies are common pests found living throughout the United States. Most fly species pose significant health threats to people, and should not be allowed to live inside homes and other structures at any time. The most common flies in our area of Southeast Texas include:
- House flies
- Drain flies
- Fruit flies
- Bottle flies
Dull gray in color, they have two velvety stripes on their faces and four narrow stripes running down the thorax. House flies also have specialized, spongy mouthparts that they use for feeding on liquids. Their greasy-appearing larvae are eyeless, legless, taper from rear to head, and they are cream in color.
These are not clean insects. They feed and breed in gelatinous organic matter. When they get into homes, they can sometimes find unexpected locations to breed and turn into a serious health concern.
Also known as moth flies, these flies are small, and are dark or grayish in color. Their bodies and large, horizontal wings are covered in fuzzy hairs. Drain flies are poor fliers, and they follow a short, frenzied flight path. Larvae are whitish in color, legless, and have a worm-like appearance.
These flies reproduce in extremely moist, rotting food matter. The best place to find this organic sludge is inside your drains or around your septic tank. Their exposure to decaying organic materials makes them a disease vector.
They have small, oval-shaped bodies, with large, compound eyes that are red (most common), brown, or black. Their bodies are yellowish-brown to brownish-black, and their wings are translucent. Larvae bodies are tapered at the head and have a rounded back-end segment. Their bodies are whitish except for their two dark-colored mouth-hooks. An adult fruit fly is only around ⅛ of an inch long.
The most annoying fly on this list is probably the fruit fly because you can have hundreds of these flies appear in your home. While this is not something you're likely to put up with, you don't have to be too concerned about whether or not these tiny pests will make you sick. The risk of illness is low with fruit flies.
Adult bottle flies, also known as blow flies, are slightly larger in size than house flies. They are metallic green, blue, black, or bronze, and their metallic appearance is often what helps one to identify this fly species. The blow fly’s worm-like larvae (maggots) are pale yellow to white. Their back end is larger and rounder than their tapered heads. They have hook-like mouthparts and are eyeless and legless.
This fly is perhaps the filthiest of all the flies that will get into your home. Fortunately, it is less likely to breed in your home than the other flies mentioned here. You're most likely to find bottle flies near outdoor trash and buzzing around animal waste in your yard. They have been observed feeding on animal waste, rotting meat, and open wounds of livestock. As you can imagine, you don't want these flies landing on your hamburger.
Are flies dangerous?
Flies are considered to be dangerous due to the many diseases, human pathogens, and parasites they can spread. Flies pick up bacteria and disease on their bodies and legs as they fly around feeding and landing on items, such as carrion, excrement, and decaying vegetation. Flies spread bacterial diseases and parasites, including dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, conjunctivitis, and tapeworms.
Why do I have a fly problem?
Flies take advantage of any food, water, and shelter sources that they find outside or inside homes or other buildings. Flies, depending on their exact species, are attracted to a wide variety of foods, including:
- Decaying vegetation
- Meat Excrement
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Fermenting liquids
Flies find their way inside homes through open windows and doors, spaces found around windows and doors, and through cracks in the foundation. Fruit flies often make their way into homes on infested fruits and vegetables that were purchased from the grocery store.
Where will I find flies?
Outside, flies are found congregating around food sources and sources of water - compost piles, gardens, garbage bins, and clogged gutters. Bottle flies are the first to infest carrion. Inside homes and other buildings, flies can be found behind wall voids, in and around drains, and in the kitchen and pantry. As their name suggests, drain flies feed and breed inside drains in sinks and bathtubs. Flies, especially fruit flies, can become problematic in grocery stores, restaurants, and food processing facilities.
How can I prevent flies in the future?
To stop flies from choosing your home and property to nest and breed on, the 'Bugsperts' offers the following prevention tips:
- Seal cracks and crevices in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.
- Make sure screens in windows and doors are completely intact.
- Place weather stripping around windows and doors.
- Remove water sources from your property.
- Plant vegetable and fruit gardens a distance away from the outside of your home.
- Make sure that outdoor trash cans have locking or tight-fitting lids on them.
- Store food in your home either in the refrigerator or in containers with air-tight lids.
How do I get rid of flies?
To find, eliminate, and accurately identify the flies that are living and nesting on your property or in your home, contact a professional pest control expert. At Bill Clark Pest Control, our highly trained 'Bugsperts' receive continuous education, and are up-to-date with the latest information and industry trends. To eliminate flies, our professionals provide thorough inspections and treatment through our residential pest control programs. For exceptional fly control in Southeast Texas, reach out to Bill Clark Pest Control.