fruit fly in a knoxville home

When flies get into a home or businesses, they can spread harmful bacteria and contaminate foods, dishes, and silverware. Their ability to fly, coupled with their attraction to dead animals and decaying organic matter, makes them a health threat no business can ignore, and one no homeowner should ignore either. The fly that is crawling on your sandwich, could be the same fly you saw crawling around in your trash, or worse, it could have been crawling around in filthy areas of your home you never see. Here are five of the most common flies we battle in Tennessee.


Common House Fly

This is a dull gray fly that is so common in houses, it is called the "common" house fly. It can be distinguished from other flies by the four dark stripes on its back. Though it has red eye, like a fruit flies, they are not as bright in color.

These flies love garbage, rotting organic matter, dead animals, and other decaying things, but they are also drawn to the foods we eat. When they feed, they regurgitate the fluid from their stomach to dissolve food and suck it up through straw-like mouthparts.

A house fly can have dangerous pathogens and harmful bacteria on its body and in its feces. These can lead to food poisoning and stomach illness.

Green Bottle Fly (Blow Fly)

This fly, with its metallic sheen, is hard to miss when it gets into a kitchen or pantry, but you're more likely to find it outside. This fly species is drawn to wet or blood soaked fur, wool, or hair. On a farm, they will often lay their eggs in infected wounds, and plague livestock. Contact with carrion and festering wounds make this a fly you should never have in your home.

Drain Fly

The drain fly has a moth-like appearance to help you tell it apart from the others listed here. If that isn't enough, you can apply packing tape to your drain and check it later to see if you catch some flies. Drain flies, as their name implies, are drawn to wet, rotting, organic matter. They breed in the clogged material found in drains so their young have easy access to the food they require.

The fine grayish-brown hairs on a drain fly not only give it a moth-like appearance, they make this fly water-repellent. If you're thinking of drowning your problem, you may want to think again. These flies can survive a strong flush of water, even if it is scolding hot.

Fruit Fly

This fly is easily identified by its bright red eyes. But you'll have to look closely. Fruit flies are very small. When they get in, they reproduce quickly and seek out sweet, rotting foods to feed on. If you have fruit laying on your counter or kitchen table, these will be quick targets. But, fruit isn't the only food a fruit fly eats. It can feed on a wide variety of foods that contain carbohydrates.

Phorid Fly

This fly is in the family Phoridae, which has over 3,500 species within it. The species most often found in businesses and homes is Dohrniphora cornuta, which is often mistaken for a fruit fly because of its tiny size and ability to reproduce quickly. But, they do not have the red eyes of a fruit fly. Their defining characteristic is their rounded back, which has earned them the name humpbacked fly. And, phorid flies don't behave like fruit flies. When approached, this fly will not usually take to the air like a fruit fly. It prefers to run across surfaces, to get away.


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