Green Flies Identification and How to Keep Them Away

Disgusting, bothersome, and problematic are among the best adjectives to describe green flies. It is safe to say that none will disagree with these rough descriptions.

Also called blowflies, these insects are well-known for their lousy behaviors of consuming any kind of feces as well as decomposition in the ecosystem.

Although they acquire a crucial function for some specific purposes, you cannot deny that blowflies are something to avoid and keep at bay in general.


How Do Green Flies Look Like

Green flies are a distinctive metallic green or blue color, though some have a copper-like sheen on their backs and abdomins.
Green Flies Look

Compared to house flies, they are bigger and consist of numerous species including Phaenicia sericata, Calliphora vomitoria, and the common bluebottle fly.

To describe the appearance of these flies, you better remember that they metamorphose and look different in each stage.

Understanding these stages will help you recognize these flies from the very beginning instead of knowing the adult shapes only.

As you may ever see, adult blowflies typically feature a metallic green body with a splash of the greenish copper color.

The general diameter of these flies is around 0.8 to 1 centimeter. While their back is mostly hairy, you will barely find any hair underneath the wings.

  • Eggs and Pupae

Green bottle flies deposit eggs in decaying tissue, which the larvae feed on after hatching. This is why the pests often swarm near and develop in dead animals in wall voids, crawl spaces, attics and garages.
Green Flies Eggs

Around 0.15 cm in length, the eggs of the common green flies are typically white. However, you can find ones with a light yellow color as well.

Instead of laying their eggs individually, these flies will deposit them in bunches or batches.

Therefore, if you find a mass of elongated tiny eggs with a bit tapered end on one side, be worried that this is green flies’ next generation.

Meanwhile, a hardened covering enfolds the pupae of this fly and it will become the final larval instar skin of the creature.

While the pupae can come in some different colors including black, brunette, and pastel brown, its initial phase is white.

It only takes a few hours for this first color to get darker. The pupae itself is approximately 0.3 to 0.4 cm wide and the length is between 0.9 and 1 cm.

  • Larva

Green fly larvae are around 10 to 14 millimeters in length and are generally grey or tan in color.
Green Fly Larvae

Between the egg and pupae stages, green flies will get through the larva phase. During this period, they are smooth like other larvae out there.

Their shape is conical and the color is commonly white.

The larvae may get yellowish as they evolve and reach a maximal of 1.2-1.8 cm prior to the pupation phase.

Further, the larvae of blowflies typically acquire a complete peritreme as well, a sphere that surrounds the spiracles.

If you take a look closer at the picture, some structures appear like eyes. These function as the larva’s respiratory system.

It is hard to identify immature green flies even during the larva stage. You need to use a microscope to help with the identification.

Then, you can confirm the identifications by caring for these immature flies until the full-grown phase.

Where You Can Find the Bottle Flies

Green bottle fly is found throughout the world, but is more likely to be found in the Northern Hemisphere. This species is widely distributed throughout the United States and southern Canada.
Where to Find Green Fly

Also commonly known as a green bottle or scientifically as Lucilia sericata, these flies are found around the world.

However, people tend to determine that they acquire a Holarctic distribution.

Having this means that the wide distribution of green flies is throughout southern Canada and the United States.

Although being a Holarctic, Australia and a few Central, as well as South American Countries, are where these flies are more commonly seen.

Since blowflies love moisture climates and are more coastally distributed, you can find them more common in those countries.

However, it does not mean you cannot find bottle flies in other parts of the world since they occur nearly in every place where people are around.

The Significance of Green Bottle Flies in Some Special Cases

Because of their unsanitary habitats, they may carry pathogenic bacteria that can be transmitted to people and animals via mechanical transmission.
Special Cases for Green Flies

Despite being an irritant, you cannot deny that these flies have a role in treating injuries through maggot therapy.

This practice is often applicable when the conventional treatment cannot heal someone’s wound.

Your doctor will guide the process by placing the larvae of green flies on the wound and let them eat the bacteria and dead tissue in the affected area.

The larvae’s activity in the wound will boost the growth of healthy tissue as the creatures generate antimicrobial enzymes during the process.

Indeed, you have to use sterile maggots for this therapy treatment to diminish the risk of harmful transmitted microorganisms.

Aside from being helpful in maggot therapy treatment, green flies also make an important creature in forensic science.

To approximate the minimum fraction of the PMI (post-mortem interval), particularly in crowded locations, people will take advantage of immature flies.

Blowflies typically become the first insects to get into a corpse, making them important in this field.

People mostly utilize dipteran larvae to decide the developmental phase the immature is in as the body was collected.

How to Get Rid of Green Flies for Good

Place fly strip traps near windows during the day. These sticky traps catch the green bottle flies that are attracted by the light from windows. This kills the flies without introducing chemicals into the house.
Get Rid Green Fly

Despite the above importance, keeping bottle flies away is still the best choice in general. You just do not want them to contaminate your food and transmit any disease.

They love to shift between muck or dead animals and your habitats, making them a perfect transmitter for bacteria that can cause cholera, dysentery, and typhus.

For this reason, practicing good sanitation while performing the necessary action to control these flies is the most ideal option.

  1. Green Fly Control with Insecticides

Hygeia Greenfly Spray RTU - 1 Litre is a natural insecticide for the control of most common insects including greenfly and whitefly.
Green Fly Insecticides

If you find a huge infestation of bottle flies around your house, utilizing insecticides or chemical traps may be helpful.

Using chemicals makes a good choice if you already try some natural methods and find unsatisfied results.

Besides, this may provide long-term help against other pests, not only the green flies.

Since many insecticide products acquire harmful chemicals that can give a bad impact on you and your pets, make sure to apply them correctly.

You may consider utilizing the insecticides directly to bottle flies and do not forget to keep them away from your little ones and pets.

  1. Natural Green Fly Control

Remove aphids by hand by spraying water or knocking them into a bucket of soapy water. Control with natural or organic sprays like a soap-and-water mixture, neem oil, or essential oils. Employ natural predators like ladybugs, green lacewings, and birds.
Natural Way to Control Green Fly

In case you want to try something more natural that will not be dangerous to your kids and pets, the option is available as well.

Most natural methods to get rid of bottle flies take advantage of organic ingredients that can manage these irritating insects around the house.

The tips may include the use of non-toxic remedies and essential oils.

Essential oil-based outdoor perimeter spray makes a good choice when you want to repel green flies without harming others.

Find one that is multipurpose so that you can use it to protect your house against various pests like spiders, ants, mosquitoes, and roaches aside from flies.

A yellow repellent light bulb is also available in the market if you need a reliable device that can repel flies as well as other bugs and pests.

  1. Green Fly Management with Trap

Make a DIY fly trap using apple cider vinegar, a jar, and a paper funnel. The flies will be lured into the funnel by the apple cider vinegar and then get stuck in the jar.
Manage Green Fly with Trap

Using a fly trap is basic when it comes to protecting your house from this annoying insect. However, you can still count on this solution as it can lure and kill any type of flies.

You can get an insecticide-free flytrap or one with non-poisonous bait so that it will not cause any harm to the people and pets around.

Some fly trap products are reusable, so you do not need to purchase them too frequently.

  1. Green Fly Control Using Essential Oils

The most effective type of essential oil at keeping aphids away is lavender oil. Lavender oil comes from an herb known as Lavandula and it's the aroma of the herb that keeps the aphids away.
Control Green Fly with Essential Oils

If you prefer essential oils as they may be able to give you comfort while repelling green flies, do not hesitate to try them.

Rosemary, peppermint, garlic, lemongrass, pennyroyal, basil, clove, and eucalyptus oil are among the best choices when you need bottle fly repellent.

Use the essential oil of your choice as a fly repellent spray by blending adequate drops of it into two cups of clear water.

Apply the mixture inside the house, particularly around recycle bins and entrance points. Do not forget to spray it outside your home as well for better protection.

  1. Bottle Fly Control with Pyrethrum Aerosol

Pyrethrin is an insecticide that kills a wide range of insect pests including ants, mosquitoes, moths, flies and fleas.
Pyrethrum Aerosol for Green Fly Control

While green flies do not always need chemical management, using one is sometimes necessary if the problem persists.

For instance, you can take advantage of pyrethrum aerosol that promises to give immediate relief. It may take time to start working, but it kills blowflies on contact shortly.

Alternatively, you can mix apple cider vinegar with dish soap and some essential oil of your choice to create a natural fly killer.

Simply use the solution to spray blowflies on contact or apply it around the house. Repeat the process if you think that additional protection against these pests is needed.

Sanitation and Exclusion to Keep Bottle Flies at Bay

Getting rid of flies outside means keeping your outdoor areas clear of animal waste, decomposing animals, and dirty garbage cans.
Keeping Bottle Flies at Bay

Sometimes the best pest control termite does not provide you with lifetime relief.

Thus, you need to practice good sanitation to make sure that green flies will not come back to your home and lawn.

Try to find out and get rid of all potential reproduction sources for blowflies around your house. Pay attention to any material where these insects can lay their eggs.

Do not forget to complete your garbage bins with tight-fitting lids and wash them frequently. Monitor and maintain the structure of your windows and doors as well to exclude bottle flies.

Make sure good drainage will be helpful to manage bottle flies as well since it can remove extra dampness around your area.

Finally, keep in mind to screen any opening in your buildings tightly to avoid green flies from coming inside the home. Good luck!

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