What Does a Fly Look Like?
Several different types of flies make their home in the Mid-Atlantic states. While all flies share certain characteristics, size and appearance differ among each species. Some of the most common flies in the region are the house fly, cluster fly, fruit fly, filth fly, and gnat.
Browse the photos on this page to see several different types of flies. You’ll learn information about what the pests look like from these fly images, so you can correctly identify the insects if you see one in your home or business.
Larger than common houseflies, the bottle fly possesses large, red compound eyes and clear, brown-veined wings.
Side and top view sketches of a bottle fly
As seen in these two pest pictures, a bottle fly has large red eyes and a pair of veined wings. The pests can be metallic blue, green, or bronze in color.
Rear, side, and top views of bottle flies
A group of bottle flies in a pile of droppings
Often spotted in groups around rotting organic matter and pet waste in yards, these pests are slightly larger and rounder than the common house fly.
Close up photo of a cluster fly
Sometimes mistaken for a house fly, cluster flies are less than half an inch in length. This pest has a checkered back, and its yellowish hairs can give off a golden sheen which helps with cluster fly identification.
Top view cluster fly images
Cluster fly pictured on a plant
Cluster flies have a dark gray, non-metallic torso and are just under a half-inch long. Size and speed distinguish this species from a common house fly. Cluster flies are larger, and these sluggish fliers are slow movers compared to house flies.
Photos of cluster flies from various angles
Side profile sketch of a common house fly
In this house fly photo, you can see the four narrow black stripes on the abdomen that differentiate this pest from other species. House flies vary from one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch in length.
Close-up, top-view house fly photos
Both male and female adult house flies have gray or yellow abdomens with black lines, with males having a yellow underside as well.
A house fly next to a penny for reference
A close-up front-view image of a house fly
A house fly has red eyes, but the spacing can show the difference between the sexes. A female’s eyes are wide-set, while the male’s eyes are so close together that they’re almost touching.
Rear-view photograph of a house fly
Close-up view of a filth fly
Filth flies are distinguishable by their large red eyes. Female filth flies have two distinct eyes, while male filth flies have a single conjoined eye.
Fruit flies in side-view
Fruit flies are light yellowish-brown to dark brown in color and measure about an eighth of an inch in length. While some may differ in color to some degree, most fruit flies also have red eyes.
Fruit flies in the wild
A gnat in flight
These small, slender insects range from gray to black in color. Gnats in the Mid-Atlantic region have long mosquito-like legs and antennae, which can make identification difficult.
The Importance of Proper Fly Identification
Since many different kinds of flies can infest your home or business, accurate pest identification can help save you time and money. Certain species of flies can bite, and high populations can indicate more serious issues, so it’s important to identify insects and get help when you need it from the experts at Western Pest Services.