Types of Flies in the UK

Like other insects, flies tend to have large numbers of individuals on planet earth, and it is estimated that there are around 120,000 known species. In the UK, flies are found in homes and businesses, attracted to our food and waste.

Some species are more abundant than others and are attracted to different environments that are compatible with their habits and life cycles. Knowing the type of fly present in your environment helps you know which pest control treatment will help eliminate them.

So, here’s everything you need to know about the types of flies and what distinguishes them, so you know exactly which insect you’re dealing with.

Cluster fly

cluster fly

The scientific name is Pollenia rudis, and each is between 8 and 10 millimetres long. They have golden hairs on the abdomen, and when at rest, the wings overlap just in that area.

These flies emerge between summer and autumn, finding harbourage in homes, which they enter through cracks and holes in attics, windows or walls. They require warmth inside their hiding place to hibernate.

They have a life cycle lasting 30 to 50 days. The larvae emerge from eggs in the nest, then feed on worms for 3 to 4 days, eventually developing into maggots. After 30 days or more, they emerge from the soil as adult flies.

Fruit flies

fruit fly

Drosophila Melanogaster are usually smaller, measuring about 3 millimetres in length. The abdomen of fruit flies is black above, while their thorax is light yellow or golden.

Like other flies, these insects have large eyes and translucent wings. The fruit fly’s abdomen hangs low, making it one of the slowest flies. They are found in the kitchen or other places where food is stored.

They are attracted to fermenting organic matter, preferably decaying fruit or sour milk, for oviposition.

If the fly larvae are not removed, they will turn fruit into a kind of semi-liquid. If you want to exterminate them, it is important to identify the nests and apply residual insecticide or ULV treatment.

House fly

house fly

Experts agree that these flies are the main transmitters of disease, infesting all kinds of establishments. They are attracted to all foodstuffs, whether human or pet, waste and faecal matter.

One of the most obvious signs of their activity is to see them hovering around, which is sometimes a big problem. Larvae are also often seen as they emerge from their eggs to become pupae.

Adult blow flies are 5 to 8 millimetres long, with a grey thorax with four narrow stripes. Their abdomen is beige or yellowish, and is provided with hairs which they use as organs for tasting.

As troublesome as they can be, they are easy to control with insecticides for flying insects. But if there are rubbish collection problems, a pest is imminent.

Blue Fly

blue fly

Calliphora vomitoria is twice the size of the traditional bluebottle fly, between 10 and 14 millimetres. As the name implies, the abdomen of this fly is bright metallic blue with black spots.

Another distinguishing feature is the orange hairs under the eyes. They generally grow well in warm temperatures and are not seen much in the winter or autumn.

They are found near rivers or rural areas. The bluebottle fly inhabits higher ground than other flies.

They hibernate in the colder months until warmer temperatures cause the pupae to resurface. Bluebottles feed on nectar, while larvae prefer to feed on faeces or carrion. They live for about two weeks.

Horse fly

horse fly

Also known as horse flies, this species of fly can be detrimental to livestock. The relentless attacks of the females cause certain animals to lose body weight. Males feed on pollen and nectar, remaining active during the day.

Horsefly bites are also painful to humans, which is because these flies have mouthparts that operate like miniature razors, which they used to cut the skin as if with scissors.

They are usually black or dark brown, with black or green eyes. Male horse flies have close-set eyes, which distinguishes them from females, which tend to have widely spaced eyes.

Black Fly

black fly

These flies vary in appearance and range in length from 5 to 15 millimetres. They have an arched thorax, large compound eyes, small antennae, and large wings. Although most flies are black, yellow, and orange flies have been found.

Black flies are attracted to clean, fast-flowing water. They are aquatic insects that need blood to live. They usually bite poultry, wild birds, and occasionally various farm animals.

Furthermore, they are found in concrete dams or steam channels, as these are places that favour the development of larvae and pupae. It is the females of the species that bite during the day by biting the top or head of the victims.

Autumn fly

house fly

The female autumn fruit fly is much the same as the traditional fruit fly. Males are different in that they are distinguished by their orange abdomen with black stripes. They have red eyes and light wings, and the females are considerably larger than the males.

The insect is found in houses, but can also be found in the eyes and noses of cattle or horses. The fall army fly harasses these animals when feeding on their saliva, which inevitably leads to disease transmission.

These flies enter buildings during the autumn to prepare for hibernation, always looking for a place to feed. Keep these flies at bay by closing windows as well as possible, although insect screens are also recommended.

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