The blow flies are important decomposers of dead animals and other rotting organic material, such as decomposing plant material. They are the first insects to arrive at a newly deceased carcass and their larvae are frequently used in forensic science to determine facts about a crime scene. The maggots also have been used in “maggot therapy”, to eat dead tissue off the skin of victims of burns or wounds. Females may lay several hundred eggs on an appropriate larval food source, with development to the adult stage being completed in about one week in hot, humid conditions. The larvae leave the food and may squirm long distances to find a protected crevice in which to pupate, often falling through ceilings or across floors because of this.
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 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.