Gross housefly

There are over 16,000 species of flies in North America, and since they’re small and quick, we tend not to distinguish them in casual conversation. However, just about any species of fly can be a major irritation in the home, especially as many of them are associated with the spread of disease. Flies can spread hundreds of pathogens, including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli and Shigella. They spread disease so quickly because of the rate at which they jump from rotting materials and waste to countertops, humans, and animals, still carrying a Petri dish’s worth of bacteria with them.


Because flies live in several stages, going from eggs to larvae (aka maggots) to pupa to adult fly, simply killing the adult population usually won’t do the trick of getting rid of all of them; not if they’ve established a breeding ground in your home.


Common Flies in Utah Homes


Flies reproduce very quickly, with two adults producing over a million offspring in just a matter of a month. Here are some of the most common fly species to affect Utah homes:


Bottle fly/blow fly: These flies feed on and lay their eggs on rotting meat. They’re metallic blue and green in appearance, and usually very large and loud. Most of the time, they are found outdoors, but they might wander inside an open door. If you’re frequently finding bottle flies indoors, they may have established a population somewhere. Check all food and garbage sources.


Fruit fly: These tiny insects are usually gray or tan looking. They’re attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables as well as liquor. They have a fast life cycle, usually living less than a month. However, they reproduce fast and can be terribly inconvenient. In order to get rid of them, toss out all ripe fruit, and store new fruit in the refrigerator until you’ve gotten rid of the breeding grounds. Fruit flies can also reproduce in the garbage and in sugary spilled drinks.


Gnats: Although fruit flies are often confused for gnats, black gnats or fungus gnats also affect Utah homes. Gnats are very small and tend to swarm. Some even bite humans and feed on blood. Fungus gnats are attracted to fungus that grows in the roots of houseplants, and so in order to counter them, it’s best to avoid overwatering plants, and use fungicides in order to prevent gnats that could threaten the plant


Housefly: These annoying creatures are common just about everywhere that humans live. They’re smaller than bottle flies, but larger than most other flies, and appear gray with black stripes down their backs. They eat just about everything, from rotting animal carcasses, and feces, to garbage and old fruits and vegetation. They carry bacteria that contributes to disease like bacillary dysentery or typhoid.


Smart Measures to Prevent Flies in Your Home


  • Keep screens on windows and doors, or keep them closed in the evenings. Be especially cautious during fly season from late spring to early fall.
  • Keep garbage completely covered, and take it out regularly.
  • Be careful of exposed fruit and other organic matter that might be decomposing, as that will attract various kinds of flies.
  • Light citronella candles, or use crushed mint or eucalyptus oil around windows and entrances to your home to repel flies.


How to Get Rid of Flies


If you’re frequently finding flies in your home, a professional can help you get rid of the problem. With an experienced eye, we’ll help you to target places where they might populate, determine what kind of fly you’re dealing with, and destroy the entire population of flies in every stage of their life cycle, from egg to adult.