Phorid Fly Control: Protect Your Home


What Do Phorid Flies Look Like?
Size: These tiny flies are no larger than a quarter of an inch.

Color: Typical coloration includes dark brown, black, and beige.

Characteristics: Phorid flies have characteristic hunched backs and tend to scurry across the ground to escape danger rather than immediately taking flight.


  • Phorid flies are tiny flying insects similar to fruit flies in many regards.
  • Common throughout much of the world, these flies thrive in unsanitary conditions with plentiful decaying organic matter.
  • They are prolific breeders and can establish large-scale infestations within short periods of time.
  • Their presence in homes makes residents more susceptible to the harmful diseases picked up in their breeding environments.


What Do Phorid Flies Eat?
Nearly any moist, decaying organic matter is suitable food for phorid flies. As such, their diet includes:

  • Spoiled food
  • Rotten plants
  • Animal carcasses
  • Compost
  • Raw sewage
  • Drain scum


Female phorid flies lay about 20 eggs at a time. Deposited on suitable organic matter in a moist environment, the eggs hatch into larvae within a day and begin feeding.

After one or two weeks, the larvae pupate and emerge shortly thereafter as adults ready to mate. The entire lifespan of a phorid fly lasts barely two months, yet the population increases exponentially with each generation.


  • Sighting: Look for tiny, dark-colored flies flying or running about in an erratic fashion.
  • Moisture: Be alert for flies congregating near moist organic materials throughout the home, including the soil of potted plants, drain pipes, over-ripe fruit, and garbage bins.
  • Larva: May notice larvae in similar collections of organic materials.

Problems Caused by Phorid Flies

Although they do not bite, phorid flies are persistent nuisances. They breed in unsanitary environments, like garbage cans and drainage pipes, and spread harmful bacteria and diseases throughout the home.

Infestations tend to point to other existing problems in the home, such as:

  • Unregulated moisture levels
  • Leaking pipes
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • The presence of a dead animal somewhere in the structure

Signs of Infestation

Infestations are revealed when adult flies are spotted around homes. Their eggs are too tiny to be seen and are laid in inaccessible places.

As they are prolific breeders, phorid flies can explode in population seemingly overnight, causing residents of infested households to suddenly encounter large numbers of the insect in the home.

Prevention Tips

Preventing phorid flies requires periodic inspections of houses to ensure there are no leaky septic pipes or unregulated moisture levels. Sanitary habits can decrease the likelihood of an infestation, such as:

  • Cleaning sinks and drains
  • Promptly disposing of spoiled food
  • Keeping garbage cans tightly sealed

Tips for Removal from Home

  • Sanitation: Phorid flies are a frustrating nuisance to deal with because they can be incredibly persistent. Once homeowners have identified the breeding sites or places of high fly activity, the areas should be sanitized and allowed to dry out as much as possible.
  • Call an expert: In many cases, once flies are established in a home, they quickly spread to multiple breeding sites. Contacting a professional pest control firm is often necessary to completely eliminate troublesome phorid fly infestations.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

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