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Flies

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What Are Flies?

Flies are insects that belong to the order Diptera. There are over 160,000 known species of flies, and they can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Flies are characterized by their wings, which are used for flying, and by their ability to transfer diseases and parasites from one place to another. Flies have a short lifespan, and they reproduce quickly, laying hundreds of eggs at a time. Flies have a unique life cycle, including egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages. The larval stage, also known as the maggot stage, is often the most recognizable, as it is when flies are in the worm-like form that is commonly associated with them. Flies are often considered pests because they can be annoying and can transmit diseases to humans and other animals.

Flies As Pests

Flies are considered pests for a number of reasons. They can transmit diseases and parasites to humans and animals, contaminate food and surfaces with their feces, and cause annoyance and disruption. Some common fly pests include house flies, fruit flies, and blow flies. House flies are commonly found near sources of food and are known to transmit diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery. Fruit flies are attracted to overripe or rotting fruit and vegetables and can reproduce quickly, leading to infestations. Blow flies are often attracted to the smell of decomposing matter and can be found near trash bins or outdoor compost piles. In addition to being a nuisance, these flies can also cause damage to crops and other plants.

Houseflies

Houseflies are small, winged insects with a distinct pattern of four dark stripes on the top of their thorax (the middle section of their body). They are commonly found near sources of food, such as garbage cans, compost piles, and animal manure, and are known to transmit a variety of diseases and parasites to humans and animals. They can carry and spread diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery, as well as parasites such as tapeworms and roundworms. In addition to being a health hazard, houseflies can also be a nuisance as they are attracted to food and commonly found in homes, restaurants, and other places where food is prepared or served. They can contaminate food and surfaces with their feces and vomit, which can contain harmful bacteria. To control housefly populations, it is important to keep food and garbage areas clean, use fly traps or other pest control methods, and seal any entry points into buildings.

Gnats

Gnats are small, flies that are commonly found near plants, compost, and moist organic matter. They are often attracted to the moisture and nutrients found in these environments, and they feed on a variety of organic matter, including fungi, algae, and plant nectar. Gnats can be a nuisance when they fly around in large numbers, and they are known to transmit plant diseases and parasites. There are several species of gnats, including fruit flies, fungus gnats, and sand flies.

Fruit flies are about 1/8 inch long and are typically yellow, brown, or black in color. They are attracted to overripe or rotting fruit, and they are commonly found in kitchens, where they lay their eggs in drains and other moist areas.

Fungus gnats are small, dark flies that are commonly found near damp soil and compost. They feed on fungi and plant roots, and they can damage seedlings and young plants.

Sand flies are small, biting flies that are found near sandy or rocky coastal areas. They are known to transmit diseases such as leishmaniasis and are a major nuisance to tourists and residents in tropical and subtropical regions.

To control gnats, it is important to eliminate their breeding sources by keeping areas clean and dry, and disposing of overripe or rotting fruit and organic matter properly. In severe cases, chemical pesticides may be necessary to control gnat populations.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies, also known as vinegar flies or pomace flies, are small, winged insects that are commonly found near overripe or rotting fruit and vegetables. They are attracted to the smell of fermenting materials and are often found in garbage cans, compost bins, and fruit bowls. Fruit flies are about 1/8 inch long and have red eyes and a tan or yellowish-brown body. They are known to transmit diseases and can contaminate food and surfaces with their feces and vomit.

Fruit flies are a common pest in homes and restaurants, as they are attracted to sweet, moist materials and can reproduce quickly. Female fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, and the entire lifecycle from egg to adult can be completed in as little as a week, which means that an infestation can develop and grow rapidly. To control fruit fly populations, it is important to keep food and surfaces clean, store food in sealed containers, and dispose of overripe or rotting fruit and vegetables promptly. Using fly traps or other pest control methods may also be necessary to eliminate an infestation.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are small, dark flies that are commonly found near damp soil and compost. They are about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1/4 inch. They are typically grey or black in color and have long, thin legs and antennae. Fungus gnats have a lifespan of about 1 to 2 weeks and are found all over the world.

Fungus gnats are attracted to moist, humid environments and feed on fungi and plant roots. They can become a nuisance when they fly around in large numbers, and they are known to transmit plant diseases and parasites. They are most commonly found in greenhouses, plant nurseries, and indoor plant collections.

To control fungus gnats, it is important to eliminate their breeding sources by keeping areas clean and dry and properly watering plants. Chemical pesticides may also be used to control fungus gnat populations. It is also helpful to use sticky traps or yellow sticky cards to monitor and control fungus gnat populations.

Drain Flies

Drain flies, also known as moth flies or sewer flies, are small, non-biting insects that are commonly found near drains and sewage systems. They are about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1/4 inch. They are light grey or tan in color and have a fuzzy appearance due to the presence of long, hairy thoracic and abdominal segments. Drain flies have a lifespan of about 10 to 20 days and are found all over the world. They are attracted to damp, humid environments, and feed on organic matter found in drains and sewage systems. They can become a nuisance when they fly around in large numbers, especially near food sources. To control drain flies, it is important to eliminate their breeding sources by thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting drains and sewage systems.

Cluster Flies

Cluster flies are a type of fly that are often found in large groups or clusters, hence their name. They are typically found in homes and other buildings during the fall and winter months, when they seek out warm, protected places to spend the colder seasons. They are not considered pests, as they do not bite or transmit diseases, but they can be a nuisance due to their large numbers and their tendency to fly around inside buildings. Cluster flies are often found in attics, crawl spaces, and other areas that are warm and protected. To get rid of cluster flies, it is important to seal any cracks or gaps in the exterior of a building to prevent them from getting inside, and to use fly traps or other pest control methods to capture and remove the flies that are already present.

Lantern Flies

Lanternflies are large, plant-hopping insects that are native to Southeast Asia and have recently become an invasive species in the United States. They are about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long and have a wingspan of about 2 to 2 1/2 inches. They are brightly colored, with a distinctive red and black pattern on their wings. Lanternflies have a lifespan of about 1 year and are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and urban areas.

Lanternflies feed on the sap of a wide range of plants, including trees, shrubs, and crops. They are known to cause significant damage to plants, and they are a major pest in the areas where they have become established.

To control lanternflies, it is important to monitor for infestations and promptly remove and destroy any egg masses or nymphs that are found. Chemical pesticides may also be used to control lanternfly populations, but it is important to follow label instructions and rotate the use of different pesticides to reduce the risk of resistance. Biological control methods, such as the use of predatory insects or parasitic wasps, may also be effective in controlling lanternfly populations.

Blow Flies

Blow flies are a type of fly that is commonly found near sources of decomposing matter, such as garbage cans, outdoor compost piles, and animal carcasses. They are attracted to the smell of rotting materials and are often the first insects to arrive at a fresh corpse. Blow flies are larger than houseflies and fruit flies and range in size from about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch in length. They have a metallic blue, green, or black color and are known for their shiny, iridescent appearance.

In addition to being a nuisance, blow flies can also be a health hazard as they are known to transmit diseases and parasites. They can carry bacteria and other pathogens on their bodies and legs and can contaminate food and surfaces with their feces and vomit. Blow flies are also an important part of the natural ecosystem as they play a role in decomposition and the recycling of nutrients. To control blow fly populations, it is important to keep areas clean and free of decomposing matter, and to use fly traps or other pest control methods as needed.

Midges

Midges are small, non-biting flies that are commonly found near water sources, such as lakes, streams, and wetlands. They are about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1/4 inch. They are typically grey or brown in color and have a thin, elongated appearance. Midges have a lifespan of about 2 to 4 weeks and are found all over the world.

Midges are known for their swarming behavior and are often a nuisance when they fly around in large numbers. They are attracted to light and are most active at dawn and dusk. Midges do not bite or transmit diseases, but they can become a nuisance when they fly around in large numbers, especially near outdoor events or activities.

To control midges, it is important to eliminate their breeding sources by removing standing water and damp, organic matter from the area. Chemical pesticides may also be used to control midge populations. It is also helpful to use insect screens and lights with yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to midges, to reduce the risk of being bothered by them.

Biting Gnats

Biting gnats, also known as sand flies or no-see-ums, are small, biting flies that are found in tropical and subtropical regions. They are about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1/4 inch. They are typically light grey or tan in color and have a thin, elongated appearance. Biting gnats have a lifespan of about 1 to 2 weeks and are found all over the world.

Biting gnats are known for their painful bites, which they use to obtain blood from animals, including humans. They are attracted to movement and carbon dioxide, and they are most active at dawn and dusk. Biting gnats are also known to transmit diseases, such as leishmaniasis and sand fly fever.

To control biting gnats, it is important to eliminate their breeding sources by removing standing water and damp, organic matter from the area. Chemical pesticides may also be used to control biting gnat populations. It is also helpful to wear light-colored, long-sleeved clothing and use insect repellents when spending time outdoors to reduce the risk of being bitten by biting gnats.

Horse Flies

Horse flies are large, biting flies that are commonly found near water sources and damp, humid environments. They are about 1/2 to 1 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1 to 1 1/2 inches. They are typically black, brown, or grey in color and have a shiny, iridescent appearance due to the presence of scales on their bodies. Horse flies have a lifespan of about 1 to 3 months and are found all over the world.

Horse flies are known for their painful bites, which they use to obtain blood from animals, including horses, cattle, and humans. They are attracted to movement and dark colors, and they are most active on warm, sunny days. Horse flies are also known to transmit diseases, such as tularemia and African sleeping sickness.

To control horse flies, it is important to eliminate their breeding sources by removing standing water and damp, organic matter from the area. Chemical pesticides may also be used to control horse fly populations. It is also helpful to wear light-colored, long-sleeved clothing and use insect repellents when spending time outdoors to reduce the risk of being bitten by horse flies.

Fish Flies

Fish flies, also known as mayflies or shadflies, are small, aquatic insects that are commonly found near streams, rivers, and other bodies of water. They are about 1/4 to 1 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1/2 to 2 inches. They are typically brown or grey in color and have a delicate, translucent appearance. Fish flies have a lifespan of about 1 to 2 years, but they spend most of their lives in the larval stage, which can last up to 2 years. During the adult stage, which lasts only a few days, fish flies mate and lay eggs before dying.

Fish flies are important indicators of water quality because they are sensitive to pollution and are only found in clean, healthy bodies of water. They are also important food sources for a variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals, including fish, birds, and small mammals.

To control fish flies, it is important to maintain the health of bodies of water and prevent pollution. Fish flies do not pose a direct threat to humans and do not require control measures.

Mayflies

Mayflies are small, aquatic insects that are commonly found near streams, rivers, and other bodies of water. They are about 1/4 to 1 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1/2 to 2 inches. They are typically brown or grey in color and have a delicate, translucent appearance. Mayflies have a lifespan of about 1 to 2 years, but they spend most of their lives in the larval stage, which can last up to 2 years. During the adult stage, which lasts only a few days, mayflies mate and lay eggs before dying.

Mayflies are important indicators of water quality because they are sensitive to pollution and are only found in clean, healthy bodies of water. They are also important food sources for a variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals, including fish, birds, and small mammals.

To control mayflies, it is important to maintain the health of bodies of water and prevent pollution. Mayflies do not pose a direct threat to humans and do not require control measures.

Black Flies

Black flies, also known as buffalo gnats or turkey gnats, are small, non-biting flies that are commonly found near streams, rivers, and other bodies of water. They are about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1/4 inch. They are black in color and have a rounded appearance due to the presence of a swollen thorax. Black flies have a lifespan of about 1 to 2 months and are found all over the world.

Black flies are known for their painful bites, which they use to obtain blood from animals, including humans. They are attracted to movement and carbon dioxide, and they are most active on warm, sunny days. Black flies are also known to transmit diseases, such as river blindness and tularemia.

To control black flies, it is important to eliminate their breeding sources by removing standing water and damp, organic matter from the area. Chemical pesticides may also be used to control black fly populations. It is also helpful to wear light-colored, long-sleeved clothing and use insect repellents when spending time outdoors to reduce the risk of being bitten by black flies.

Whiteflies

Whiteflies are small, winged insects that are commonly found on the undersides of leaves of a variety of plants. They are about 1/16 to 1/8 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1/8 inch. They are white in color and have a powdery appearance due to the presence of a waxy, white substance on their bodies. Whiteflies have a lifespan of about 1 to 2 months and are found all over the world.

Whiteflies feed on the sap of plants and can cause yellowing, wilting, and stunted growth. They are also known to transmit plant diseases, such as tomato yellow leaf curl virus. Whiteflies are a major pest of greenhouse and outdoor plants, and they can be difficult to control because they reproduce quickly and are resistant to many pesticides.

To control whiteflies, it is important to regularly inspect plants for signs of infestation and promptly remove infected plants. Chemical pesticides may also be used to control whitefly populations, but it is important to follow label instructions and rotate the use of different pesticides to reduce the risk of resistance. Biological control methods, such as the use of predatory insects or parasitic wasps, may also be effective in controlling whitefly populations.

Caddisflies

Caddisflies are small to medium-sized insects that are commonly found near water sources, such as streams, rivers, and wetlands. They are about 1/4 to 1 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1/2 to 2 inches. They are typically brown, grey, or green in color and have a moth-like appearance. Caddisflies have a lifespan of about 1 to 2 years, but they spend most of their lives in the larval stage, which can last up to 2 years. During the adult stage, which lasts only a few days, caddisflies mate and lay eggs before dying.

Caddisflies are important indicators of water quality because they are sensitive to pollution and are only found in clean, healthy bodies of water. They are also important food sources for a variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals, including fish, birds, and small mammals.

To control caddisflies, it is important to maintain the health of bodies of water and prevent pollution. Caddisflies do not pose a direct threat to humans and do not require control measures.

Black Soldier Flies

Black soldier flies are large, non-biting flies that are commonly found near composting materials and other sources of decomposing organic matter. They are about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long and have a wingspan of about 1 to 1 1/2 inches. They are black in color and have a glossy, iridescent appearance. Black soldier flies have a lifespan of about 1 to 2 months and are found all over the world.

Black soldier flies are important decomposers and play a role in the breakdown of organic matter. They are also important food sources for a variety of animals, including birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

To control black soldier flies, it is important to properly manage composting materials and eliminate sources of excess moisture and standing water. Black soldier flies do not pose a direct threat to humans and do not require control measures.

Dragonflies

Dragonflies are medium to large-sized insects that are commonly found near water sources, such as streams, rivers, and wetlands. They are about 1 to 3 inches long and have a wingspan of about 2 to 4 inches. They are typically slender and have long, delicate antennae. Dragonflies are brightly colored and are often metallic or iridescent in appearance. They have a lifespan of about 1 to 2 months and are found all over the world.

Dragonflies are important indicators of water quality because they are sensitive to pollution and are only found in clean, healthy bodies of water. They are also important food sources for a variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals, including fish, birds, and small mammals.

To control dragonflies, it is important to maintain the health of bodies of water and prevent pollution. Dragonflies do not pose a direct threat to humans and do not require control measures.

Damselflies

Damselflies are small to medium-sized insects that are closely related to dragonflies. They are commonly found near water sources, such as streams, rivers, and wetlands. Damselflies are about 1/2 to 2 inches long and have a wingspan of about 1 to 2 inches. They are typically slender and have long, delicate antennae. Damselflies are brightly colored and are often metallic or iridescent in appearance. They have a lifespan of about 1 to 2 months and are found all over the world.

Damselflies are important indicators of water quality because they are sensitive to pollution and are only found in clean, healthy bodies of water. They are also important food sources for a variety of aquatic and terrestrial animals, including fish, birds, and small mammals.

To control damselflies, it is important to maintain the health of bodies of water and prevent pollution. Damselflies do not pose a direct threat to humans and do not require control measures.

Stone Flies

Stoneflies are a type of insect that are found in a variety of habitats, including rivers, streams, and other bodies of freshwater. They are generally small, ranging in size from about 1/2 inch to 1 inch in length, and they have two pairs of wings that are held flat against their bodies when not in use. Stoneflies are an important part of the ecosystem, as they are a food source for a variety of animals and they help to break down organic matter in the water. There are over 3,000 species of stoneflies, and they can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They are typically brown or black in color, and they have long, slender bodies with large heads and eyes. Stoneflies are not known to be pests, and they do not pose any threat to humans.

What Damage Can Flies Do To Plants?

There are several ways in which flies can damage crops and other plants. Some flies, such as aphid flies, thrips flies, and fruit flies, feed on plants and can cause direct damage by sucking sap from the plant's tissues. This can lead to stunted growth, distorted or deformed leaves, and reduced crop yields. Other flies, such as the potato fly and the bean fly, lay their eggs on or near the plants, and the larvae (immature flies) feed on the roots or stems of the plants, causing further damage. In addition to direct feeding damage, flies can also transmit plant diseases as they move from plant to plant. This can further weaken the plants and reduce their ability to produce a good crop.

Fly Control Services

Miche Pest Control is a family owned and operated, full service pest control company that provides residential and commercial pest control services for pests, including flies, in Washington DCMaryland, and Northern Virginia. Our expert fly exterminators get rid of flies fast, and use preventative methods to help keep flies from coming back after they've been eliminated. Miche Pest Control has a 4.9 star rating and over 1,000 reviews online - contact us today!

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