Bluebottle Fly

Appearance: Shiny, metallic blue or green; 1/4- to 3/8-inch.

Habitat
Bottle flies are one of the first insects to reach a dead animal, and the sudden appearance of dozens of them within a building signals a dead rodent, bird or other animal in the wall, ceiling, attic or crawl space. They breed in garbage containers, dumpsters and decaying vegetative matter. They are attracted to buildings by food odors and also warm or cool air currents coming through cracks around doors and windows.

Diet
Bottle flies feed on a variety of food materials but prefer fermenting or decaying organic matter.

Control
Fly control is challenging because their larval sites must be located and eliminated for success, and these sites may be some distance from where the adults are a nuisance. Throw trash away in trash cans in plastic bags, and locate trash receptacles as far from the building as possible. Keep doors and windows closed unless they are equipped with a tight-fitting screen. While a dead animal behind a wall or in a crawlspace is not always easily found, if you suspect a dead animal it must be removed.





Drain Fly

Appearance: Hairy or fuzzy, resembling a tiny moth; black or brown. About 1/4-inch.

Habitat
Drain flies breed in heavily decaying organic matter that remains fairly wet. They are commonly found in sewage treatment facilities. In other commercial buildings they are often seen in restrooms, mop closets and boiler rooms, breeding in drain traps, sump pumps, and any very wet, poorly maintained area. Drain flies are weak fliers, and indoors are usually seen crawling on walls or other surfaces. When they do fly, it is usually only for a few feet and then in characteristic short, jerky lines.

Diet
Heavily decaying organic matter such as is found in sewage sludge is their preferred diet.

Control
Finding the breeding sites and removing them is key to controlling drain flies. Inspection needs to focus on any place where wet organic matter has accumulated, including slimy drains, dirty garbage cans, bird baths or feeders, clogged roof gutters, moist compost and septic tanks. Clean drains regularly using appropriate drain cleaners or bacterial drain cleaning products.





Fruit Fly

Appearance: Tan brown with red eyes; 1/8-inch.

Habitat
Fruit flies are attracted primarily to fresh fruits and vegetables, although any freshly decaying, moist organic matter will do. Once indoors, fruit flies can find and exploit other potential breeding sites such as poorly maintained trash containers, recycling bins, mop heads, garbage disposals, etc. They may also be found breeding in dumpsters outside and flying into the building through doorways. Because of their small size, many species are able to penetrate ordinary screens.

Diet
Ripened fruit or vegetables, or any other fermenting products.

Control
The key to controlling fruit flies is finding the breeding sites and removing them by cleaning thoroughly. Some breeding sites will be obvious, like ripened fruit, while others, such a food kicked under a cabinet, may be easily overlooked. The inspection needs to focus on finding all sites where moist organic matter has accumulated and then removing that matter completely. Often in homes, fruit flies are carried in on bananas and when the bananas are removed, the presence of flies disappears within a few days. It is also advissable to empty all trash receptacles daily, until control is achieved.



Gnat

Appearance: Tiny flies ranging from 1 mm to 1/4-inch; black or brown, with very long thin legs and wings.

Habitat
Rotting logs and similar fungi- and mold-laden settings are ideal places for gnats to breed in nature. Indoors, they are attracted to the soil in potted plants. When plants are overwatered, molds in the soil provide a breeding medium for gnats. Gnats are not dangerous to humans, although most people find them annoying.

Diet
Molds and fungi that thrive in damp areas.

Control
The key to controlling gnats is finding the breeding sites and then drying them out sufficiently to stop the growth of the molds in which gnats breed. The top inch of soil in potted plants should be turned over several times a day to dry it out. Plants should be watered only when necessary and their soil should be well-drained. Wet wood and areas that have suffered leaks should be replaced and/or allowed to dry thoroughly.





House Fly


Appearance: Usually gray, with four black stripes on their backs; less than 1/4-inch.

Habitat
As their name implies, house flies are the most common type found in homes. They lay their eggs in almost any warm, moist material that will supply suitable food for the larvae. House flies excrete and regurgitate whenever they come to rest. This habit, combined with their many body hairs and the sticky pads on their legs, makes them well adapted for transporting disease organisms.

Diet
A wide variety of food, including human food, animal food and carcasses, garbage and excrement.

Control
To minimize problems with flies, eliminate their breeding sites by throwing away trash in plastic bags. Let trash cans dry out, and keep them as far from your home as possible. Regularly pick up pet waste. For commercial establishments, professional cleaning of dumpsters and nearby areas may be necessary.

Equip all doors and windows with tight-fitting screens, and apply weatherstripping to the edges of all doors and windows; flies can squeeze through amazingly small cracks.