The dump flies include several species in this genus in North America. The adult flies feed on nectar and other liquid materials, but the larvae feed on animal excrement, decaying garbage, and other decaying organic matter. The larvae may also be carnivorous, feeding on the larvae of other insects found in their habitat. They may be found commonly around waste disposal sites and unwashed garbage receptacles. Because of their habit of visiting these kinds of filthy sites the adults may be able to vector pathogens that cause typhoid, polio, dysentery, and food poisoning. The adult flies prefer sunny areas where they often hover and circle about continuously in the manner of the lesser house flies.
Removal of breeding resources is critical for successful elimination of these flies. Indoors their presence suggests that animal feces or unwashed garbage cans must be present. They are rarely found breeding in garbage that is less than 2-3 weeks old.