6 to 14 mm in length


The body of the green-bottle fly, Phaenicia sericata, is primarily a coppery green with yellowish mouthparts.

Blow flies lay eggs in decomposing organic matter, like garbage, animal manure, decaying vegetables, grass clippings and poorly managed compost piles

Blow flies and bottle flies are important scavengers in nature as they are one of the first insects to reach a dead animal. These flies are part of the decomposition process that recycles nutrients back into the soil.

Most blow fly larvae feed in carrion or other decaying organic matter. They often infest wounds of sheep, goats, cattle, and other animals. Unkempt sheep are particularly subject to attack. Adult blow flies are attracted to nectar, carrion, garbage, and other refuse and soggy, bloody or soiled hair, fur, or wool.

Blow flies deposit eggs in castration and dehorning wounds or on dirty, wet wool. The larvae which soon hatch feed on decaying flesh or matted hair. Infested wounds often become inflamed and the hair or wool falls out. Blood poisoning may result. Because blow flies routinely move between dead animals or dung and human habitats, they may transmit disease organisms to people, including the bacteria that cause dysentery, typhus, and cholera.

Blow Fly Prevention Tips

Exclusion and Sanitation:

  • Garbage cans and dumpsters should have tight-fitting lids and be cleaned regularly.
  • Drainage will often aid control, getting rid of extra moisture.
  • Openings of buildings should be tightly screened with screen.
  • Exclude Blow/Bottle Flies from a structure with proper screening and maintenance of doors and windows.
  • Proper sanitation measures must be taken with dumpsters
  • A dead animal carcass will produce a flush of flies. One common source is a mouse in a forgotten mouse trap or dead inside the walls after eating mouse poison. (This is one reason why we don’t recommend using rodenticides for mice inside the home.) A squirrel, bird or raccoon that dies in the chimney or attic can be fodder for flies. The bigger the animal, the more flies will be produced.

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