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Pest Information

Flesh Flies

Flesh Flies

  • Latin Name: Sarcophaga sp.
  • Common Name: Flesh Flies
  • Latin Family Name: Sarcophagidae
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Flesh Flies
Flesh Flies


Many species native to North America.


The flesh flies are so named because of their common occurrence in meat or carrion, although they also will breed in other sources of decaying organic materials such as piles of vegetation or pet droppings. Prior to modern and proper meat storage practices they were commonly found in meat products. Adults are some of the largest flies, they are very loud, buzzing fliers, and are strongly attracted to light. The eggs hatch within the female, and she then deposits living larvae onto the larval food source. The interval from egg to adult may be anywhere from 8 to 21 days, depending on temperature, humidity, and the nutrition of the larval food.


Adults can be as large as 14 mm, or well over a half inch long. They are black and light gray with a “checkerboard” effect on the top of their abdomen, and usually a red tip to the anal area. Their eyes often are red and their legs appear very hairy.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Control of the source of the larvae is critical, involving cleanup and proper maintenance of garbage containers, removal of dead rodents or birds, and elimination of piles of yard debris, dead snails, or animal feces outdoors. Adult entry to structures is prevented by good building maintenance. The use of UV light traps is highly effective in trapping adults, along with bait granules or bait strips, and possible use of residual insecticides on surfaces the adults frequent.

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