Name Bottle Fly
Family Name Calliphoridae
Nicknames/common names Blow Fly, Green Bottle Fly, Blue Bottle Fly, Cluster Fly, Carrion Fly
The name Bottle Fly comes from the appearance animal carcasses take when filled with Bottle Fly maggots. Typically one of the first insects to colonize a corpse, Bottle Flies are often important to forensic entomologists as their presence on/within/around a corpse, and a concurrent determination of their developmental progress can be used to aid in determining a victim’s time of death.
How do you get rid of Bottle Flies?
Physical control measures must be put in place, repair screens, locate and remove harbourages and other food sources. If the breeding material being used by your Bottle Fly population is not found and removed, flies will continue to reproduce. Baits, traps and insecticides may also be required if physical control measures do not suffice. Contact Addison Pest Control to schedule an inspection by a licensed Technician who will identify your pest species and tailor an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program specific to your pest population.
How to identify Bottle Flies
Bottle flies are noted for their impressive metallic green, blue, black and copper bodies with black markings, and light brown wings. Typically measuring in at 10-14 mm in length, Bottle Flies tend to be slightly larger than the average housefly with the black eggs and antennae that are typical of most domestic flies. Bottle Fly maggots are the same pale yellow or grey as their conical egg shells, with two posterior spiracles.
Life cycle/stages & anatomy
A single female will lay between 2000-3000 eggs in her lifetime, around 200 eggs at a time. Using damp and rotting organic matter as a breeding site, Bottle Fly eggs, usually pale grey or yellow, will hatch into larvae in anywhere between 9 hours and three days. Quickly seeking pupation sites, within 3-10 days and three larval instars later, developed maggots will drop off of their decomposing hosts and burrow into soil or other organic matter and emerge as adult flies after about 14 days. Bottle Fly metamorphosis times vary depending on the season, humidity and quality of their food source, breeding more rapidly in more moist and warm conditions. In colder climates pupa in the soil may overwinter there until temperatures rise suitably for them to emerge as adults. Females can begin to lay eggs within two weeks of reaching maturity, allowing Green Bottle Fly infestations to spawn quite rapidly in or around your property.
Under ideal conditions, Bottle Flies may complete their life cycle in 15-20 days.
Signs of a Bottle Fly Infestation
Attracted to carrion, garbage dumps, warm and moist decomposing matter, homeowners may find these flies emerging from dead animals or birds trapped in the chimney, chicken scraps in the trash, or a mouse caught in a forgotten trap, wall void or attic. They are noisy fliers that may have accidentally entered or have been bred in your home, flying tirelessly from window to window, landing on food and transmitting pathogenic bacteria to humans and pets. A Bottle Fly infestation inside your home is a serious matter, and so a licensed pest control professional should be contacted right away.
Where did they come from / how did I get them?
Common in temperate and tropical climates throughout the world, and distributed widely across The United States and southern Canada, Bottle Flies will often indicate the presence of dead animal carcasses in, or around, your property. Barring the presence of rotting tissue, a Bottle Fly infestation may mean a break in your sewage system, requiring the efforts of a plumber. Bottle flies lay their eggs in carcasses, animal faeces, or even ill-treated human wounds, wherein the eventual larva feed on the decomposing tissue.
What do Bottle Flies eat?
Bottle Flies consume human and pet food, will scavenge garbage and ingest excrement. Bottle Flies preferentially consume dead tissue over living tissue.
How Serious are Bottle Flies?
These ectoparasites, when farmed in laboratory environments, are used as biomedical agents to aid in suturing wounds and regenerating tissue. However, the typical Bottle Fly that you will likely encounter buzzing from window to window in your home, or feeding on dog faeces, is likely to carry pathogenic bacteria that can be transmitted to you and your family. Mechanical transmission occurs when Bottle Flies collect pathogens on their legs and mouthparts as they feed on decaying organic matter, on faeces and dead animal tissue, which can be transferred to humans by direct surface contact. With their sucking mouthparts, Bottle Flies need to feed on liquid material and so they will regurgitate semi-digested liquid food material from their previous meal onto their next food source to soften and consume it. In this manner, Bottle Flies leave dangerous vomit and faeces all over your food, and food preparation surfaces when their populations invade your home.
Bottle Flies have blunt mouthparts and cannot bite.
How Addison Can Help Eliminate Bottle Flies
Beyond removing and locating breeding material, cloves, lavender, basil, bay leaves, mint, marigold, wormwood, and rue all function as natural repellents and can be incorporated into DIY fly control systems. Glue traps and fly-swatters may act as temporary solutions for killing adult flies. When home remedies fail to correct your domestic fly infestation, contact Addison Pest Control.
How Addison can help Prevent Bottle Fly Infestations in the Future
To avoid pesky Bottle Fly populations from developing in and around your home, appropriately dispose of all rotting organic matter, keep food covered and your kitchen clean. Dispose of pet faeces promptly and remove any carcasses or waste from your indoor and outdoor spaces. Keeping your property free of potential breeding sites is the most effective preventative measure against all domestic flies. You may consider scheduling a sewage system inspection by a local plumber.