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These flies have a brilliant finish. They boast the latest metallic colors – blue, green, dull brass and sometimes black – easily standing out at any party. Larvae are pale yellow to white.
Despite the name, originated in North Africa, but have left the nest to explore the world.
Any place damp. Found outdoors under stones, in leaf litter and other debris. Found indoors in spaces between walls, crawl spaces, basements and floor drains. May crawl up water pipes. Usually found in lower kitchen cabinets.
Anything lying around, even if it's got a little dirt on it. This includes starches and organic matter in the process of decaying. In other words: filth.
The deader the better – indoor flies dine on the delicacies of dead rodents, birds and other small animals. Outdoors holds animal excrement and garbage. Yum-o.
Step one – purchase meat. Step two – let rot in the sun. Blow flies should appear in no time. Females lay eggs in their food, like rotting meat. Larvae feed on the surface and then burrow into the less-decayed part underneath. They go through 3 instars (stages) and leave the food to pupate into an adult, usually within the top 2 inches of soil. They usually emerge over winter as mature larvae or pupae. Development time varies, but is usually 10-25 days.
Disease transmitters – to be expected after playing in garbage.
Most active on warm, sunny days – perfect for all matter of decay. They rest on cool or cloudy days. They are attracted to light from windows. Some species have Superman-like flying abilities; the black blow flies can fly from 4 up to 28 miles from their starting point (N.P.M.A. Field Guide to Structural Pests).
Hit them where it hurts – with a bar of soap. Sanitation is key, and it is important to identify breeding sites. Use tight-fitting closures for garbage receptacles and empty, clean and dry on a regular basis. Pesticides can help reduce the population, but cannot stand alone without sanitation. Residual pesticides can help when placed on fly resting areas. If the above steps are ineffective, look for other sources on neighboring property. Large numbers or regular sightings of blow flies indoors can indicate a dead animal or a gas leak, both of which are unpleasant. (Call the Gas Co. to check for a possible leak.) Mercaptan is added to natural gas to give it an odor and can attract flies. Finding and eliminating the source is the best way to achieve long-term control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.CB
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