Phorid flies live in organic, decaying, and moist matter. They are small flies commonly discovered within homes. Adult phorid fly breeding sources are commonly found in decaying plants, infested soil, and other organic debris.

Adult phorid flies, and their larvae are common culprits to spread diseases within urban environments. They also use floor drains in homes as their primary breeding place.

They get their name from where they are most commonly found--in human corpses and burial grounds. Adult flies can also be found near dead animals and other decaying organic matter.

Sometimes, they make their breeding grounds in coffins, which is why they are often called coffin flies. Generally considered to be harmless, the adult phorid fly is a pest that uses human orifices such as eye wounds or intestinal lining for larval infestations.

Phorid fly on a flower

How Do You Identify Adult Phorid Flies?

Scuttle, Coffin, and Humpbacked flies are some other popular monikers Phorid flies go by. One can sometimes recognize a Phorid fly by its hump. The fruit fly and the phorid fly are almost identical. However, each of these species of flies has characteristics that set them apart from the others.

Some species of phorid flies are used in controlling fire ants. Commonly confused to be fruit flies, phorid flies are pests like fungus gnats. Phorid flies have a body that is almost the same color as fungus gnats, but their thorax has a distinctive hump.

Do you know how to differentiate the two?

Phorid flies, when fully mature, are about one-eighth of an inch in height. The fruit flies' coloring is dark brown and mostly black, and their thorax has a distinguishable hump, hence the name “hump flies.”

Unlike fruit flies, their eyes are also noticeably different upon inspection. In comparison to scuttle flies, the fruit flies' eyes are bigger and red.

Description and Life Stages of this fly species

M. scalaris female phorid fly lays eggs that one might describe as being in the shape of a boat. Same size Their eggs are about the same size as the fruit fly eggs, otherwise known as Drosophila melanogaster-- at 0.5 mm long on average. It takes approximately 9 hours for the eggs to develop at temperatures of around 93 degrees Fahrenheit.

The larvae of drain flies are cream-colored and have a cylinder shape that tapers as it nears the head region. About 3 mm long on average, when temperatures are ranging at 93 degrees Fahrenheit, they pupate in 55 to 65 hours.

Once pupating is complete, it becomes a long-oval-shaped pupa, about 4 mm in length. It then takes around 170 hours to finish this developmental stage.

It takes around 10 days to become fully developed from the stages of egg to pupal when temperatures are 93 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures are a bit lower--73 degrees Fahrenheit, it can take about 17 days to develop.

Once the Phorid fly reaches the adult stage, it will be around 3 mm long on average. Coloring may vary--light brownish to yellow hues. They will have developed the shorter, thickened costal wing vein that is characteristic of other species of phorids. The total lifespan, dependent on weather and temperature, is about one to two months.

What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Phorid Flies?

In order to kill adult flies, you must also remove their habitats for breeding. How serious the infestation is determined by how hard it will be to get rid of the phorid flies. Identifying and ridding their source of breeding is the primary target for eradicating these flying pests.

For instance, if you find some decaying organic matter beneath a cabinet, you need to get rid of it. After doing so, you need to sweep and mop where it was lying, as well as the surrounding areas. The larvae of a Phorid fly are not able to survive if there is no moisture available, as it is a requirement for their growth and development.

Mopping the floor to get rid of Phorid flies

How to Prevent Phorid Flies?

Unless you know where to locate a phorid fly problem, you will have a hard time removing or preventing a swarm. The larvae emerge and search for a source of breeding. It cannot remain in the decaying organic matter. Some breeding sources include garbage cans, potted plants, and rotting meat.

You will discover Phorids in a number of areas; the most typical breeding sources are where animals or organic material is eroding. Ensure to inspect all garbage disposals, kitchen, and bathroom drains. If you have a leaky drain, this moisture/wetness creates organic material that will attract flies.

In addition, verify that there is no moisture or organic debris on the floors or bottoms of cupboards.  Make sure to sweep and mop these areas often to prevent an invasion by these and other flies.

How to Control Phorid Flies (Humpback Flies)?

When looking for an infestation of Phorid flies, it is imperative to locate their sources for breeding. Sometimes it can be hard to locate these sources. However, if you get rid of any probable sources, it creates an answer for the long haul.

This could be anything from cleaning a floor drain to throwing away fruit that has started rotting. You also need to seal small cracks, as most flies can squeeze through these tiny areas.

It is critical to ensure the drains in your floors are clean when battling pests such as phorids, mosquito flies, and more. Simply using hot water and bleach in a spray bottle will not avert many fly species from using the drains to lay their eggs in.

How Do I Get Rid of Phorid Flies Infestation in My Drain?

Anyone who has ever fought with drain flies knows how annoying it can be. Typically, Phorid flies will enter through the drains in floors; however, they also make their way in via drains with infrequent use. There is good news because you will learn the best way to get rid of drain flies effectively.

Can I use home remedies to get rid of Phorid flies?

If you want to know the simplest method to eradicate Phorid flies, it is to eradicate the source for breeding. This is normally underneath the concrete or tile foundation of a house. Phorid flies are unsanitary and, therefore, extremely harmful to humans.

In order to avert Phorid flies, one must evade any sources of waste. Be mindful that Phorid flies can be ravaged with remedies found right in your kitchen pantry.

Getting rid of drain flies

The first step is pouring some water down the drain. One-half gallon will be sufficient to start with—an indication your drain is properly functioning when the water quickly drains through. To kill any drain fly larvae, you need to pour some extremely hot water down the drains. (Keep in mind, you should never pour boiling water down the drain due to certain materials on the surface that may crack).

Step two involves the use of white vinegar. Any larvae that might be trapped within the drain will be dislodged by the effects of the white vinegar. Some advise the use of bleach to do this. However, it may be harmful because bleach can be abrasive.

Word of caution: Never mix bleach with vinegar! This forms a chlorine gas that can be extremely harmful. To accomplish pouring bleach into a drain, remove the bleach bottle cap and fill it with bleach. Next, pour the bleach in the cap down the drain.  It might not appear like a lot of bleach, but it is plenty needed to kill off any insects and their larvae within the pipe.

Getting rid of drain flies

Other ways to get rid of drain flies

There are many other remedies within your home you can use to get rid of drain flies. Bleach and white vinegar are only one of them. To guard against harming yourself or your family members, never blend any concoctions together. If you want to not only kill the eggs and flies but as well as sanitize them, use this concoction:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar

Pour this mixture down the drain and allow it to work overnight. The next morning, boil some water and pour it into the drain to flush.

Are flies attracted to vinegar?

The common house fly is attracted to the scent of vinegar. Vinegar is a common attractant for most fly species. However, dissimilar to the fruit fly, phorid flies do not find vinegar an attractive source.

They get their name because of how they favor matter that is deteriorating. They get the nickname “coffin fly” because they are often discovered near hospitals.

What Causes Phorid Flies?

The larvae of Phorid flies produce in the rotting tissue of a dead animal or any other organic matter. If you recognize a swarm of phorid flies in your home, it is likely an animal has died within the walls or attic. The first pests to arrive when there is a dead body are the phorid flies after the phorids come other predators, such as parasites, more flies, and mites.

When the body begins to emit an odor, this is when you will see the phorid flies swarm first. Wherever there is decay and rotting organic materials, you will notice the phorids swarming.

Will Phorid Flies Harm Humans?

There is a potential for harm to humans carried by all infestations of flies. Yes, some of the worst diseases are spread by phorid flies. There are also cases of humans coming in contact with these flies that created extreme reactions. Such as, the Phorid fly’s larvae will eat the dying flesh of patients in the hospital.

Phorid flies that have landed on decaying or dying organic material grab onto any bacteria lingering on them. This bacteria is then spread to the animals or people they come in contact with by landing on. What is even worse, when they land on food, they regurgitate digestive fluids on it as part of the consumption process. Just imagine being at an outdoor event, a phorid fly lands on a hamburger. You could be getting a lot more than what you bargained for when you eat that burger!

Will Phorid Flies Harm Humans

Which is Bigger, Phorid Flies or Fruit Flies?

Many people confuse Phorid flies with fruit flies because of their tiny size. Completely mature adult fruit flies range in size from 0.5 to 0.55 millimeters in length. Phorid flies are the nastiest and most invasive of pests a household can have.

Also called the scuttle fly or humpbacked fly, a phorid fly is best known for the problematic ways they eat.

What do Phorid Adult Flies Eat?

It is rather simple. Phorid flies eat anything that is rotting. These flies find anything that has a bad odor attractive. For this reason, a preference for nesting is inside sewage lines and drain pipes. They also find the deteriorating carcasses of animals and other pests quite alluring as well.

Because of this interest in the less fragrant areas of a home, it becomes more likely to become the carriers of bacteria and harmful virus strains. Phorid flies are known for the spread of salmonella and E. coli. They are capable of spreading dangerous diseases to humans and their pets as they crawl along surfaces and walls.

How does Phorid flies Pose a Health Hazard to Humans?

The larvae of a phorid fly will likely locate a nearby habitat, which includes decayed, moist organic matter. Sometimes their source for breeding is not sanitary (in the case of leaky sewer lines). While flying, pathological microorganisms are transported to food and facilities that process food.

Patients in the hospital are subject to their wounds being infested by the larvae of these flies. Because the phorid fly breeds inside the tissue that is decomposing, it makes them an acute danger to public health. Phorid flies pose this acute harm in food processing sites, hospitals, medical centers, and any place else with sanitation and hygiene are imperative.

How do I keep Phorid Flies away?

The first thing to do if you're wondering 'why so many flies in my house' and have phorid flies coming up through the drains is to verify your sewer is working properly. Ensure all fixtures and floor drains are flushed on a regular basis to eliminate any waste products.

In addition, make sure all garbage disposals are washed as well. If you want to destroy the larvae, use bleach to clean the drains. Keep the bathroom and kitchen floors clean, particularly beneath fittings and appliances.

If you have an animal pet, ensure to clean up after him or her. When setting out traps or bait for animal pests, make sure you remove the deceased bodies immediately.

  • Setting a trap

Another way to get rid of phorid and/or fruit flies is to set up some traps. You can use some fruit or vinegar to draw them in. Put a rotting banana or some apple cider vinegar into an unused jar. Next, cover it with a piece of plastic wrap and use a rubber band to secure it.

Now, take a pin or needle and poke tiny holes into the plastic wrap. The holes are small enough to release the scent of rotting fruit and act as bait to attract pests. They will be able to get inside the jar via the tiny holes, but once inside unable to get out!

  • Using sticky fly traps

If you find adult phorid flies, you can use a contact spray or sticky fly trap to kill adult phorid flies. These fly traps attract phorid flies and identify phorid flies and the habits adult phorid flies have for seeking breeding sites.

Sticky fly traps to get rid of phorid flies

Can Bleach Kill Phorid Flies?

Because bleach will not put a coating onto the pipes, it is not a good method for killing phorid flies. In addition, it is not eco-friendly, and it is not good for the plumbing to use undiluted bleach.

Using chemicals or insecticides for eradicating phorid flies

Because phorid flies like areas that have a wealth of decay and moisture,  using insecticides is normally ineffective. However, there are some that work well in battling a phorid fly infestation, and those contain pyrethrins. You can also use a space spray that is used as a multipurpose insect killer.

If you want to get rid of phorid flies in the drain, some drain cleaners and chemical pours work well. These products are effective at ridding decaying matter and organic material built up within the plumbing and drains.

How Long does it Take to Get Rid of Phorid Flies?

How long it takes to get rid of phorid flies depends on the amount of organic matter that has accumulated. This can be anywhere from a couple of days or two weeks. Once you have gotten rid of the flies, ensure every 30 days, you continue to treat your drains.

Eradicating the larvae sites where they develop is the primary goal of phorid fly control. In addition to eliminating the places, adult females deposit their eggs. There are a number of habitats that adult phorid flies will use to lay eggs. The most common areas are animal and plant matter that is decaying.

Phorid fly larvae will dig in the soil, flourishing on human corpses that have been buried there.  It has been conclusive that Phorid flies are constructive as various species of Pseudacteon Phorid flies.

Adult phorid flies' breeding site is in sink drains, and they deposit their eggs, which later become Phorid fly larvae. This larva is identifiable by its cylinder shape and dirty white hue.

What Causes Phorid Fly Infestations?

Decaying plant matter, poor hygiene of pets, and dead animals are common causes of a phorid fly infestation. Any of these things can be breeding sources for these pests. If there is a recognizable bad odor lingering, there might be a dead bat or other rodent trapped within the walls.

When it’s Time to Call a Pest Control Professional?

When you have tried all the home remedies, and you still have a problem with phorid flies, it's time to call a pest control professional. A.N.T. Pest Control knows how to get rid of phorid flies and other flies. We will set a fly trap that stops the life cycle of sewer flies and will kill larvae before it begins to spread disease-causing bacteria. Give the pest control professionals at A.N.T. Pest Control a call today.

A.N.T. pest control expert to get rid of phorid flies

Contact Us

1200 S Cedar Rd #2D/E
New Lenox, IL 60451


Email Us

to top