Phorid flies are small flies that can be found both indoors and outdoors. They can cause health issues and are considered as pests. They are mostly active in warm weather which is why you see them a lot during summer.
Also known as humpbacked flies, scuttle flies, or coffin flies, phorid flies are found wherever decaying organic matter is present. Knowing a few facts about phorid flies can help you in identifying and controlling them.
15 Facts About Phorid Flies
1. What is a phorid fly?
Phorid flies are tiny insects belonging to the family Phoridae. They are also called humpbacked flies, scuttle flies or coffin flies.
Their humpbacked appearance sets them apart from other tiny flies. Phorid flies are found in warm weather hovering near their food source which consists of rotting organic matter.
They like to live in breed in moist areas. They are found both indoors and outdoors. Phorid flies can be carriers of harmful bacteria which is why it is necessary to get rid of them.
2. How to identify phorid flies?
Phorid flies are extremely tiny. They don’t measure more than 1/8th of an inch and some species can be even smaller.
They are usually dark brown in color with dark eyes. Phorid flies can be identified by their small head and large thorax giving it a humpbacked appearance which is why they are also called humpbacked flies.
When sensing danger, their first instinct is to scuttle along surfaces instead of flying away like other flies.
Consequently, phorid flies are also called scuttle flies. They are attracted to rotting organic matter and can be found near garbage cans, decaying plants and animal carcasses or moist areas.
3. How long do phorid flies live?
The lifespan of an adult phorid fly ranges from a few days to a week. It takes 2-5 weeks to develop from egg to adult.
Temperature plays a key role in determining the lifespan of phorid flies. They thrive in warm conditions. Availability of food also plays a major role in determining how long they live.
4. What is a phorid fly gnat?
Fungus gnats are often mistaken for phorid flies. They belong to the families Mycetophilidae and Sciaridae while phorid flies belong to the family Phoridae.
They are both tiny and feed on organic matter. Fungus gnats are dark grey or black in color while phorid flies are mostly brown.
Both phorid flies and fungus gnats are found near decaying vegetation and animal tissue.
5. How long do phorid flies live without food?
Adult phorid flies have a shot lifespan of up to a week. They do most of their feeding in the larval stage.
Adults are concerned mainly about reproducing and hence can live without food for the rest of their life, which is a few days.
Larva on the other hand need food and will die quickly if their food source is removed.
6. Do Phorid Flies bite?
Phorid Flies do not bite humans. But since they come from highly unhygienic places such as drains, dead animals, and rotting food waste, they can transmit several diseases, especially parasitic diseases.
Some of the problems caused by phorid flies bites are food poisoning, gastroenteritis, diarrhea, and skin infections etc.,
7. At what temperature can phorid flies survive?
Phorid flies like to live in warm places. They are more active in summer than winter. Temperature plays a key part in the development of the phorid flies.
High or room temperature helps to shorten the development time from egg to pupae.
Phorid flies remain dormant at temperatures between 57°F and 32°F. Below freezing point, they don’t survive.
8. Where do phorid flies roost?
Phorid flies are daytime pests. At night they roost under leaves, on branches or even indoors.
Being cold-blooded creatures, they are dormant at night when the temperature is colder. To avoid predators, they choose to roost in sheltered places which could be anywhere.
9. How to find the source of phorid flies?
When you see phorid flies at home it becomes imperative to identify their food source so it can be removed.
Decomposing soil can be one reason. Check the soil under your potted plants to see if it contains rotting organic matter.
Phorid flies can also breed inside drains and sinks where the organic matter may be trapped. Phorid flies can be found near garbage cans, so check to see if the rotting matter is present inside them.
Cracks in the walls and floor may also contain organic matter which attracts phorid flies.
Rotting vegetables and fruits in the house will also attract phorid flies. Identifying and destroying their food source is key to removing phorid flies.
10. What do phorid flies eat?
Phorid flies normally eat decaying organic matter. This includes animal carcasses or carrion, decaying vegetation and even feces. Indoor, phorid flies like to seek out and eat rotting vegetables or fruits.
They can be found in drains or sinks because of the presence of organic matter trapped inside which they eat.
Leftover food is thrown in the garbage also attracts phorid flies once they start to decay.
11. What are phorid flies attracted to?
Phorid flies are attracted to decomposing organic matter. They are frequently found near carcasses, decaying vegetation, feces and drain sludge. Phorid flies are also found near soil containing decomposing organic matter.
This is the reason they are frequently seen near potted plants. Rotting vegetables and fruits in the house are a major attraction for the phorid flies.
So are garbage cans and dumpsters. Phorid flies are also attracted to moist places where organic matter is often found trapped. This becomes a good place to breed.
12. Where does the phorid fly originate from?
Phorid flies are found everywhere. In case of an infestation, it would be a good idea to check out drains and sewers which is where they mostly come from. Phorid flies tend to breed in such moist areas.
They lay eggs in organic matter present there which acts as the food for the larvae. Any moist area can be a breeding place for phorid flies.
13. How to tell difference between phorid flies and fruit flies? (Phorid Flies Vs Fruit Flies)
Phorid flies and fruit flies are both tiny insects and look similar except for a few differences. They have an elongated thorax that resembles a hump. This is absent in fruit flies.
Phorid flies have black eyes while fruit flies have red ones. Phorid flies are attracted to rotting organic matter and can be seen near decaying vegetation, animal carcasses and garbage.
Fruit flies on the other hand are mainly attracted to rotting fruits and vegetables. Phorid flies tend to run along surfaces when disturbed while fruit flies tend to fly away.
14. Difference between phorid flies and house flies (Phorid Flies Vs House Flies)
The main difference between house flies and phorid flies is their size. The common house fly is about 1/4th of an inch while the phorid fly does not measure more than 1/8th of an inch.
House flies are short-legged while phorid flies have long legs. House flies are dull grey in color while phorid flies are dark colored, mostly brown.
Another difference is the hump-shaped thorax area in phorid flies which is missing in house flies.
Both have different reactions when sensing danger. House flies tend to take flight while the first instinct of phorid flies is to run along the surface.
15, How to know if I have phorid flies or drain flies? (Phorid Flies Vs Drain Flies)
The most common among the drain flies are the moth flies. They are slightly bigger than phorid flies.
Moth flies have hair on their bodies which gives them a fuzzy moth-like appearance. Phorid flies are hairless.
Phorid flies have a hump-shaped thorax which are absent in drain flies. Phorid flies tend to run along surfaces when disturbed while drain flies take flight.
Drain flies are mostly found in drains while phorid flies are found anywhere rotting organic matter is present.
Drain flies can be brown or grey in color while phorid flies are normally brown.
Phorid flies are tiny but can pose hazards to human health. This is due to the fact that they thrive in unsanitary places and carry harmful bacteria. Identifying and eliminating phorid flies is necessary for a healthy environment. We have striven to bring as much information as possible to help you achieve that objective. We hope you find it helpful.