Phorid flies are very similar to fruit flies, and they are found throughout the world. Phorid flies are also about 1/8 inches in length and are tannish color. They do not have red eyes like the fruit fly but do have a noticeable ‘hump’ on their backs. They feed mainly on decaying organic material and lay eggs in such suitable materials.
Phorid Flies can often be identified by their escape habit of running rapidly across a surface rather than flying, giving them that nickname the scuttle fly. They are a diverse and successful group of insects.
Phorid Flies area also called “coffin flies”, because they are known to be found in mortuaries and mausoleums. Because the female will lay eggs in open wounds, they are a serious threat in hospitals. The female will lay up to 40 eggs in a 12 hour period. And will hatch in about 24 hours. The larvae will feed up to 18 days then crawl to a drier place to pupate. The entire cycle can be done in as little as 14 days but typically takes a month.
Controlling the Phorid Fly can be difficult just like the fruit fly, it requires, patience and persistence to be rid of them. As with the fruit fly you will need to investigate for the source.
Phorid fly larvae can only live in moist organic matter. A favorite spot to check for them is the drains. If adult flies are found in the drains that’s a good sign they are there. If so the drain must be thoroughly cleaned. A good scrubby brush to remove the residue in the drain and some bleach poured into the drain should help but may not be 100% affective unless you remove all the organic matter. Another helpful tip is removing the pea trap and cleaning it.
The Phorid Fly loves the same places as the fruit fly; and the best measure to be rid of them is a thorough cleaning of affected areas. Places that they love to eat are drains, garbage cans, spills under the refrigerator and decaying vegetables. You know that onion that was in the back of the pantry you forgot is probably a culprit. The fruit fly trap is also a good way to eliminate the phorid flies, since the love the same moist organic matter. You will need to put a small amount of red wine or apple cider vinegar into a small dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and then poke a small hole into it. A toothpick size hole is all you need.
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