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Flies
Flies

There are many different types of flies found in the UK, although not all species of flies are classed as pests.  Flies can cause health issues as they carry numerous diseases which can be life threatening to both people and animals.  They carry all the food poisoning bacteria and can cause diarrhea to humans, with older people and infants being most at risk.  In hotter climates they also carry dysentery, typhoid and mosquitos can carry malaria and the zika virus.  Please see below for the most common flies treated in the UK as pests.

Treatment depends on the type of fly  and usually consist of chemical controls including spray and fog treatments, dusts and baits.  There are also physical controls which include electric fly killers and fly bags etc.

There are many fly species common to the UK.  Identification of the type of fly is of the upmost importance as this will identify the type of breeding sites that the flies are using so that a more effective control treatment plan can be implemented.  Below are the most common pest flies that are treated in the UK:

Bluebottle (Blow fly): Calliphora vomitoria

Length: 6-12mm

Colour: Metallic blue sheen to abdomen

Wings:  Two pairs of wings which consist of one pair used as a balancing organ halters and the other primary flight wing which are able to generate lift.

Bluebottle flies have a large abdomen so in flight they look large and bulbous.

Habitat: Breeds mostly in decomposing meat products and in general waste.

 

Greenbottles: Lucilia spp

Length: Up to 10mm

Colour: Metallic green on thorax and abdomen

Wings:  Two pairs of wings which consist of one pair used as a balancing organ halters and the other primary flight wing which are able to generate lift.

Habitat: Feeds on decaying meat products and will also lay eggs on live hosts e.g. dogs, sheep, cats etc. This practice is known as fly blow and can prove fatal to pets and animals if not treated quickly.

 

Lesser House Fly: Fannia canicularis

Length: 4-6mm

Colour: Dark blackish-grey in colour.  Male has narrow yellow patches on abdomen

Wings:  Two pairs of wings which consist of one pair used as a balancing organ halters and the other primary flight wing which are able to generate lift.

Habitat: Breeds in decaying organic semi-liquid matter e.g. rotting leaves and general garden waste.

 

House Fly: Musca domestica

Length: 7mm

Colour: Dark blackish grey in colour, thorax has four distinctive narrow grey stripes

Wings:  Two pairs of wings which consist of one pair used as a balancing organ halters and the other primary flight wing which are able to generate lift.

Habitat: Found in almost all types of premises, breeds in vegetable decaying matter e.g. rotting vegetation.

 

Fruit/Vinegar Fly: Drosophila spp

Length: 3mm (small)

Colour: Mottled grey to black with bright red coloured eyes

Wings:  Two pairs of wings which consist of one pair used as a balancing organ halters and the other primary flight wing which are able to generate lift.  In flight this fly appears to hover.

Habitat: Breeds in decomposing residues.  Public houses are at risk of fruit fly infestation due to the flies will reproduce in beer slops.  Will also reproduce in decomposing vegetable matter and unclean drains.

This type of fly can appear suddenly and in vast numbers.

 

Filter Fly:

Length: 2-2.5mm

Colour: Silver/grey

Wings:  Two pairs of wings which consist of one pair used as a balancing organ halters and the other primary flight wing which are able to generate lift.  The wings are covered in a very fine hair and when the fly is resting the wings cover the body like a cover

Habitat: Often related to sewer beds where larvae feed on decaying matter. Public houses are also at risk as this fly will feed on beer slops.

 

Cluster Fly: Pollenia rudis

Length: 5-10mm

Colour: Dark grey.  Body is covered in thick hairs

Wings:  Two pairs of wings which consist of one pair used as a balancing organ halters and the other primary flight wing which are able to generate lift.  Sluggish and slow to change direction in flight

Habitat: Found in roof voids, lofts etc. and in early Autumn where they over winter in vast numbers emerging from their sleep in the early spring where they leave the over wintering lofts to lay the eggs in soil.

Due to the location of their breeding sites (in fields, gardens etc.) the most effective treatment is carried out when the insects are contained in lofts over wintering.  This may take several treatments over a number of seasons to eradicate this issue fully.  This is because they return to the same wintering site year after year.

 

Please contact us if you require any assistance.



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National Pest Technicians Association        British Association for Shooting & Conservation                Think Wildlife (CRRU)