Common Types of Flies in Washington

Flies. They’re everywhere. In fact, they’re one of the most common pests in the United States, and Washington is no exception. There are several types of flies that property owners and managers encounter in our region, keep reading to learn more about the common types of flies in Washington that infest homes and businesses.

  • Cluster Flies

    Slightly larger than house flies, cluster flies have long, narrow bodies that are dull gray in color. Their thoraxes and legs are covered in dark black and golden hairs and they have wings that overlap at the tips when not flying. Cluster flies typically enter homes in the late fall to overwinter and will “cluster” together inside of wall voids, in attics, and in crawl spaces. Learn more about cluster flies.

  • House Flies

    House flies are dull gray in color and have two velvety stripes on their faces and thorax. They also have four narrow stripes running the length of their bodies. Growing up to ¼ of an inch, house flies also have specialized spongy mouthparts that they use to feed on liquids. Their cream-colored, greasy-looking larvae have no eyes, no legs, and taper from rear to head. Learn more about house flies.  

  • Drain Flies

    Dark or graying in color, drain flies have bodies that are covered in fuzzy hairs.  Growing up to 1/8 of an inch in length, drain flies have large, horizontal wings which are also covered in fuzzy hairs. Though they have wings, they are poor fliers that fly in short, frenzied flight paths. Drain fly larvae are whitish in color, have a wormlike appearance, and are legless. Learn more about drain flies.

  • Fruit Flies

    With yellowish-brown to brownish-black colored bodies and large compound eyes that are often red (they may also be brown or black), and translucent wings, the fruit fly is easily recognizable. Fruit flies are quite small, growing up to 1/8 of an inch in length. Fruit fly larvae have bodies that taper at the head and that are rounded at the back-end.  They are whitish in color except for two dark-colored mouth hooks. Learn more about fruit flies.

  • Fungus Gnats

    Fungus gnats have black or grayish-colored bodies, long thin legs, and smoky wings that have a unique Y-shaped pattern. A very small, frail fly species, fungus gnats look like tiny mosquitoes and grow to about 1/8 of an inch in length. Their larvae have worm-like bodies that are translucent. They also have a black head capsule. Learn more about fungus gnats.

Why do I have a problem with flies?

You likely have a fly problem in your home or business because they found a way in through a small or large opening and because you have food and provide shelter. In some cases, such as fruit flies, they enter on infested produce. Flies, depending on their species, feed on decaying vegetation, meat, excrement, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fermenting liquids.

Do flies bite?

While some flies bite, the ones described above do not have a tendency to or cannot bite.

Are flies dangerous?

Even though flies do not bite, flies are considered dangerous.  In the course of their travels (through excrement, sewers, decaying vegetation, etc.),  they pick up and spread disease, human pathogens, and parasites.  Dysentery, diarrhea, cholera, conjunctivitis, and tapeworms are just a few examples of those. 

How do I get rid of flies?

If you have a fly infestation in your home or business, contact a pest control company that specializes in fly control. At Prosite, we offer onsite inspections to accurately identify the fly problem, evaluate the severity of the infestation, and then develop a plan of action that will deliver results. Contact us today to learn more about our Central Washington fly control services for homes and businesses or to schedule your inspection.

How do I prevent problems with flies?

In addition to the implementation of professional fly control solutions, the following tips can help you to prevent fly problems.

  • Seal potential entry points
  • Keep doors and windows closed when not in use or make sure all screen coverings are intact and free of rips and holes
  • Don’t garden in close proximity to your structure and don’t allow produce to rot on the ground
  • Equip outdoor trashcans with lids that fit tightly
  • Clean food and other material out of drains
  • Store food in the fridge or in air-tight containers with locking lids
  • Keep kitchen counters and floors clean and wash dishes daily
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