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Phorid Flies


Adult phorid flies have an arched thorax that gives them a humpbacked appearance. This feature earned phorid flies the nickname "humpbacked flies." They’re also known by other nicknames such as coffin flies and scuttle flies. The nickname “coffin flies” is because they favor decaying, moist organic material as both a source of food and for laying eggs. They are found near corpses and are sometimes used by the forensic community to help estimate a person’s time of death or when a burial occurred. The name “scuttle flies” comes from their habit of running rapidly across a surface when disturbed, rather than taking flight. Phorid flies may be easily mistaken for fruit flies or drain flies. Certain species of phorid flies are also used as biological control agents of fire ants.

Phorid Flies
Color Usually black or dull brown, but sometimes yellowish in color
Legs 6
Size Length of 0.5 - 6 mm (1⁄64 - 1⁄4 in)
Antennae True

How Long Do Phorid Flies Live?

The entire phorid fly life cycle varies from 14 days to 37 days, but adult phorid flies only live one week. The length of the generation varies with temperature and food availability.

What Do Phorid Flies Eat?

Phorid flies eat a variety of decaying matter, especially organic material that gathers in drains or other plumbing. This includes decomposing food, fungi, and insects.

How Do I Get Rid of Phorid Flies?

Clean around all drains thoroughly and use a biological drain cleaner every two weeks. Catch remaining adult phorid flies with flypaper, light traps, or a bug zapper. If your phorid fly infestation continues, contact Arrow Exterminators for a professional pest control plan.

Where Do Phorid Flies Come From?

Phorid flies breed wherever moisture exists, so they’re often found around plumbing and drains in rooms like bathrooms and kitchens. They can also be spotted in garbage containers, crawl spaces, and basements. Adult phorid flies are most active during the warmer months of the year, but can still be found during the winter months.

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