Phorid flies, (family Phoridae) also known as humpbacked flies, are small and very much resemble fruit flies in appearance, however the Phorid fly lacks the red eye colour that is the classic trademark of the Fruit fly (Tephritidae) and Vinegar Fly (Drosophila melanigaster).
Phorid flies are up to 4mm in length, fitting into the â€śsmallâ€ť category of flies.
Color: Black through to tan brown with black eyes; small head; a severely arched (humpbacked) thorax when viewed from the side. Phorid flies are found throughout the world.
Viewed with the naked eye, the most recognisable and a significant characteristic is their tendency to run rapidly across surfaces instead of immediately flying when disturbed. All other species of flies will immediately take flight.
Phorid flies are commonly found in homes and commercial facilities where food is prepared and served. They are also significantly important pests in food storage areas and hospitals. Because these flies frequent unsanitary and filthy conditions, they are a potential health concern when they occur in food facilities and hospitals. The main concern is their ability to spread disease-causing bacteria onto food products.
There have been reports of Phorid fly larvae have been discovered in the open wounds of patients in nursing homes and hospitals.
Several species have the common name of the coffin fly, because they breed in human corpses, and can even continue their life cycle within buried coffins. For this reason they
are important in forensic entomology in determining time of death.
Phorid flies are capable in breeding in more varied types of materials than any other structure-infesting flies. The life cycle of these flies is incredibly rapid, with very large numbers of them capable of appearing within a short time. The adult flies are strong fliers, with the stamina to cover vast distances. They have been noted to travel as far as 10 km within a 24-hour period. In nature and open surroundings, they will typically be associated with carrion and heavily decaying vegetation. In buildings, they be may found breeding in drains, hospital waste, rotting produce, recycle bins, grease traps, garbage disposals trash containers, dumpsters, crawlspaces; in fact, any site where moist organic matter is able to accumulate for more than a few days.
Phorid flies develop by egg, larva, pupa and adult. The female will lay about 20 eggs at a time and will lay about 40 eggs in a 12-hour period. Each adult female Phorid will lay approximately 500 eggs. The tiny eggs are deposited on or near the surface of decaying organic matter. Larvae emerge in 24 hours and feed for 8 to 16 days. The Phorid fly larvae then crawl to a drier spot to pupate. The life cycle from egg to adult can be completed in as little as 14 days (under ideal conditions) but may take as long as 37 days to complete their cycle
As with most other insects, success in controlling Phorid fly infestations is reliant upon locating and eliminating their breeding sources. The infestation cannot be eliminated without eliminating their source.
Once drains used for Phorid breeding grounds have been located, a foaming drain cleaner should be used to destroy the film in which the fly eggs and larvae are developing. A surface spray is not recommended in this situation, unless there are great numbers of flies resting on the surface of trashcans, dumpsters or exterior walls.
Interestingly, Phorid seem to be an important food source for Glow Worms
Contact Rid Pest Control to find out more about professional pest control services in the control of Phorid Flies.