Phorid Fly Image
The phorids, also known as humpbacked flies, are small to minute flies that resemble
fruit flies in appearance. The Phorid fly lacks the red eye color that is the
classic trademark of the fruit fly. Phorid flies are in the small category of flies,
measuring up to 1/8 inch in length, including the wings. The most prominent feature
of this fly is the humpbacked shape of its thorax. The severe arch of the thorax
gives it the common nickname of humpbacked fly. The most easily recognized feature (seen with the naked eye) is
the habit of the adult Phorid fly running rapidly across surfaces instead of immediately
flying when disturbed. Most flies immediately take flight.
Phorid flies are also know as coffin flies, when found in
mortuaries and mausoleums.
Click on image for enlarged view of Phorid Fly.
Use the back button on your Web browser to return.
Top of Page
The key to controlling phorid fly infestations is to locate and eliminate their
breeding sources. Restaurants, buffets and night clubs often have
reoccurring problems with fruit
flies (Hump Backed flies,) house
flies and other flying insects. In these instances, the use of
a Visu Industrial
Fly Trap in the food preparation areas and Ultralite
Fly Trap in
front end areas where more discreet methods are needed.
Although there are several sprays and traps used to kill flies in
a home, restaurant or other structure, the infestation cannot be eliminated without
eliminating their source. A space spray (Pyrethrin aerosol) can be used as a quick
kill, reducing populations of flying insects. Pyrethrin aerosol is also a crack and
crevice tool that is used to spray the tiny areas where Phorid Flies breed. To
monitor the area, use a Gold Stick
trap. These traps use a fly sex lure to attract flies to their doom. Every
Phorid fly caught is one less breeding, egg laying adult! If you locate a drain that
is a breeding ground for Phorid flies, use Invade
Bio Drain Gel to destroy the film in which the fly eggs and larvae are
developing. A surface spray is not recommended in this situation, unless there are
great numbers of flies resting on the surface of trash cans, dumpsters or exterior
walls. Click here to see fly
elimination products. Inspecting the area for possible
breeding sources is the key for Phorid fly elimination.
Top of Page
The phorid fly breeds primarily in and feeds on moist decaying organic matter.
Because it frequents unsanitary areas (with the ability to spread disease causing
bacteria onto food products) this fly is of particular concern to hospitals, health care
facilities and restaurants.
The reproductive potential of these flies is tremendous and very large numbers
of them may appear in a short time. Adult flies are strong fliers,
having been known to travel as far as 6 miles within a 24 hour period. Phorid flies
are found throughout the world and are a serious pest when found in food
producing, food handling or food serving facilities. Health care facilities are
another favorite target of this fly. Phorid fly larvae have been
found in the open wounds of patients in nursing homes and hospitals.
Fermenting materials such as fruit, dirty garbage containers, rotten
vegetables or slime in drains are just a few of their favorite breeding
and feeding places.
Top of Page
Phorid flies develop by egg, larva, pupa and adult. The female will lay
about 20 eggs at a time and will lay about 40 eggs in a 12 hour period. Each
adult female phorid will lay approximately 500 eggs. The tiny eggs are deposited on
or near the surface of decaying organic matter. Larvae emerge in 24
hours and feed for 8 to 16 days. The Phorid fly larvae then crawl to a drier spot to
pupate. The life cycle from egg to adult can be completed in as little as 14 days
(under ideal conditions) but may take as long as 37 days to complete their cycle.
Top of Page
Adult Phorid flies are fairly common in many habitats, but are most abundant
about decaying plant and animal matter. In structures, these flies can be found
breeding wherever moisture exists around plumbing and drains in bathroom and kitchen
areas, garbage containers, garbage disposals, crawl space areas and basements. These
breeding areas are occasionally very difficult to locate. Although it is primarily
used to reduce fly populations, a Gold Stick pheromone trap can be used to monitor
different areas of the home. This will help identify the areas populated with flies
and help locate their possible breeding sites.
When searching for Phorid fly breeding sources, remember that the larva can
only survive in decaying organic matter that is moist. The first obvious place
to check is where any fruits or vegetables or stored outside of refrigerators or coolers.
Other areas to inspect would be recycling bins, seldom used (or cleaned) garbage
cans, underneath and behind large appliances. Do not overlook drains where small
flies are often found breeding in the super thin layer or film of debris that naturally
accumulates in pipes, traps and drains.
In commercial and residential structures, tiny amounts of organic debris are
often found where the legs or feet of appliances, tables or cabinets touch the floor.
These tiny spaces can harbor thousands of fly larvae. All small cracks and
crevices at floor level need to be inspected and thoroughly cleaned.
Once one source has been located, continue with your inspection. Phorid
flies easily follow air currents and usually have several breeding places in any
structure. Do not assume that all of your breeding sources are indoors; fruit flies
will wander in from nearby dumpsters, outdoor garbage cans or even damp compost piles
where fruits and vegetables are disposed.
Top of Page
6920 Pine Forest Road
Pensacola, FL 32526
Call us: 8:30 &
4:30 weekdays, Central Time