What To Know About Common Flies
- Blow flies are identified by their shiny, metallic colors. They seek shelter in homes during late fall and winter. They are scavengers of animal-based materials and breed in unsanitary surfaces and materials.
- House flies are one of the most common found indoors and have a gray exterior with four black stripes on their back.  They breed in manure and feed on a variety of substances including sugars, solid foods, rotted fruit and vegetables as well as garbage. Both blow and house flies pose a health risk due to their ability to carry bacteria from surface to surface.
- Cluster flies are often found in higher elevations, notably in taller buildings during the cool months. Unlike their close relative, the blow fly, clusters target earthworms and are found outdoors in fields and lawns. They are known to shelter in indoors during cool months in an almost hibernation mode until warm weather arrives and they can return outdoors.
- Biting flies are also a nuisance to people and animals alike. They locate humans and other animals by sensing certain substances, including the carbon dioxide and moisture in exhaled breath, dark colors and movement, warmth and perspiration.  Bites from black flies, horseflies and stable flies are known to produce severe allergic reactions in people. For example, the deer fly can transmit “rabbit fever” or tularemia.
 “List of flies” Richard Pallardy. Brittanica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/list-of-fly-2073944
 “Flies in the Home” W.S. Cranshaw and F.B. Peairs. Colorado State University.
 “Biting Flies” Illinois Department of Public Health – Prevention & Control. http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcbitingflies.htm
 “True Flies (Diptera)” Bug Info. Smithsonian Institute. https://www.si.edu/spotlight/buginfo/true-fly-diptera
 “Kentucky Critter Files. House Flies” Blake Newton, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky.
How To Eliminate Common Flies
Fly traps in the form of ribbons, sticks, bags or jars are effective in catching adult flies outdoors. When hung outside and baited as directed, these common flies can be trapped before they find shelter in your home. Additionally, screening and traps near entryways can be important steps to further prevent flies that develop outdoors and use buildings like homes, barns, garages and sheds for temporary shelter. Properly maintained screens can fend many off from coming indoors. Open windows without screens provide an open invite for these common pests. Another type of indoor fly can also benefit from keeping areas clean. For example, fungus gnats can take up residence in the pots of houseplants due to overly damp soil or decomposing plant materials like old leaves. Maintaining houseplants and not overwatering them can keep fungus gnats from appearing in your home.
How To Eliminate Biting Flies
Biting flies are strong and fast fliers. They seek a blood meal from animals and humans alike. Dealing with bites is an issue for livestock as well as homeowners and those enjoying the outdoors. Because they are larger than most species, keeping them outside is achieved with the use of screens and proper window maintenance. Fly paper, traps, repellents and a variety of preventive methods are all ways to address biting flies. Avoiding areas where there is a lot of them is also important. Biting flies can be found often around marshes, bays, ponds and lakes. For example, deer fly larvae are aquatic so deer fly adults will be near water.
When in these areas, treating biting flies like mosquitoes or ticks is equally effective. Covering exposed skin with heavy-duty, light-colored clothing that includes long-sleeve shirts and pants is a preventive measure for biting flies as much as it is for mosquitoes.v
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Spotlight on an Invasive Fly Species
Spotted lanternflies feed on a wide range of fruit, ornamental and woody trees, with tree-of-heaven being one of the preferred hosts. Spotted lanternflies are invasive and egg masses, juveniles, and adults can be found on trees, plants, bricks, stone, metal, and other smooth surfaces . If allowed to spread in the United States, this pest could seriously impact the country’s grape, orchard, and logging industries.
What do to when you encounter spotted lantern flies? The USDA and other states recommend killing them. If you see them in your nearby area, please report them using the state resources below: