There are different types of flies in the United States, and some are worse than others. The green fly is one such filth feeder, known for its nasty habits of feeding on decay and feces.
Worse, it is a prolific breeder who has been known to carry and transmit bacteria to foods, causing illness and disease in both people and pets.
If you’re dealing with green flies, don’t worry. In today’s article, we are going to cover how to get rid of these nasty pests and prevent them from returning in the future.
Let’s get started.
What Are Green Flies
Green flies are also known as blow flies or green bottle flies.
Also known as blow flies or green bottle flies, green flies are a species of fly common throughout the world. They are prevalent in the United States and feed primarily on filth and decay. For this reason, green flies are beneficial decomposers. However, they are also vectors of disease.
Like most species of fly, green flies, or Lucilia Sericata, have rather short lifespans, though the exact length of their lifespan can vary depending on environmental factors including food quality, local predators, and habitat.
Still, most green flies go through multiple generations in just a year, with a single female green fly able to lay nearly 3,000 eggs in her short lifetime.
Green flies go through four stages including egg, larvae, pupa and then adulthood. Female green flies often lay their eggs in the same decaying organic matter they feed on. Once these eggs hatch, the larvae feed on this same material before maturing and crawling out of this matter to pupate in nearby soil.
Green flies are highly adaptable and can reproduce inside and outside of homes, making them incredibly problematic for homeowners, especially if they are unaware of the type of fly they are dealing with.
Worse still, the presence of numerous green flies could be a symptom of something else going on, like a dead and decaying animal in your walls, chimney or attic.
Unfortunately, the green fly is often confused for a common house fly due to it’s similar size and appearance. However, these flies are completely different species and require two different methods of treatment in order to remedy.
But how do you know for certain if you’re dealing with green flies in or around your home? Keep reading to find out.
How To Identify Green Flies
Green flies are easy to identify by their unique metallic green coloring.
As their name suggests, green flies are a distinctive metallic green or blue color, though some have a copper-like sheen on their backs and abdomins. These pests are just a bit larger than house flies, but their green metallic color is primarily what sets them apart. Green flies also have red eyes, two wings and six black legs.
One of the telltale signs of a green fly infestation is the abundance of them. Because they reproduce so rapidly, you will often find them in clusters near decaying organic matter like garbage and dog feces.
However, it is also not uncommon for one or two green flies who are feeding nearby to accidentally get stuck inside your home after coming in through an open door or window.
You may have a green fly infestation in or around your home if you notice signs of adult green flies or even their larvae, which you’ll notice when they are crawling out of the decaying matter their eggs were originally laid in.
Green fly larvae are around 10 to 14 millimeters in length and are generally grey or tan in color. They feed on the decaying organic matter they were deposited in as eggs for roughly 3 to ten days before crawling out to pupate.
What Attracts Green Flies?
Green flies are attracted to decaying organic matter like garbage, rotting meat and dog feces.
As we mentioned above, green flies can live both inside and outside of homes, and they are generally synonymous with filth because they are attracted to decaying organic matter.
Like many other species of flies, green flies have even been known to lay their eggs in rotting tissue of open wounds in animals.
Green flies are attracted to:
- Wet garbage
- Rotting meat
- Decaying tissue from dead animals
- Dog feces
- Rotting food
- Overly ripe fruits and vegetables
- Food leftovers
- And light
The below video talks more about green flies and what they are attracted to.
When green flies infest homes in large numbers, there is likely a dead animal somewhere nearby. This could include dead rodents in your walls, attic or crawlspace, or even dead birds or bats in your chimney.
When looking to get rid of green flies, it’s important to know your options. While green flies are not as difficult to remedy as plenty of other pests, they can still be quite problematic in large numbers. That said, the methods in which you use to get rid of them will often depend on your lifestyle and the severity of your infestation.
Let’s go over a few different methods you can use to get rid of green flies below.
How To Get Rid Of Green Flies Using Natural Methods
Natural methods to get rid of green flies can be effective when applied correctly.
If you would prefer to get rid of green flies using natural pest control methods, this is the section for you. Natural methods generally use organic ingredients like essential oils, fly traps and other non-toxic products to help remedy and control green flies in and around your home.
These products are often safe for people, pets and the environment and are typically easy to use. However, natural methods may not work for all green fly infestations on their and may need to be used in conjunction with other methods depending on your situation.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the best natural products you can use to help control a green fly infestation.
Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
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First on our list of natural traps to repel green flies is an ultrasonic pest repeller. While this pest repeller may not work primarily against green flies it can help prevent what attracts them, which are rodents, birds, and other small animals that could infest your home and subsequently die inside your walls, chimney, or attic.
Ultrasonic pest repellents also work against insects like ants, roaches, spiders, flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. They work by emitting ultrasonic sound waves and vibrations that irritate pests but are harmless to people and pets.
Wondercide Outdoor Perimeter Spray
We like Wondercide products because they use natural ingredients like essential oils to kill and repel pests on contact. The above Wondercide outdoor perimeter spray is designed to protect the outside of your home from a number of pests including green flies, mosquitoes, ants, spiders, fleas, roaches, and more.
It is safe to use in yards where children and pets play and can even be used directly on plants and lawns. This order comes in a large gallon container and is simple to apply, offering long lasting protection.
Wondercide Indoor Spray
If you like Wondercide outdoor spray then you may also like Wondercide’s indoor pest control spray. This spray is designed to spot treat certain areas of the home and is safe enough to use inside kitchens where food is stored and prepared.
It uses all natural ingredients and essential oils like lemongrass oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil and cedar oil to repel green flies, ants, spiders, roaches, fleas, and even ticks. It can also be used in dog runs to repel green flies outside without putting your dog at risk.
Sunco Yellow Bug Repellent Lightbulb
While green flies are attracted to light, studies have found that they are actually repelled by yellow light bulbs. The above yellow light bulb by Sunco is designed specifically to repel bugs like green flies, mosquitoes, june bugs, and other pests.
You can install this right into your patio or porch light to repel pests in the evening and keep green flies and other annoying critters away from your home.
Franam Home and Garden Captivator Fly Trap
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The Captivator Fly Trap is an insecticide-free fly trap designed to lure and trap green flies, house flies, horse flies and more. It uses pheromone attractants to attract several different species of fly and can be reused.
You can purchase this fly trap in orders of one or two depending on your needs. While this trap is safe to use around people and pets, it is for outdoor use only. Since it does attract green flies, we suggest placing it away from your home and in areas where people and pets do not frequent often.
Victor Fly Magnet Fly Trap
Last on our list of natural products for green flies is this poison-free fly trap by Victor. Since green flies are common pests, especially in backyards where dogs play and do their doggy business, fly traps like these are often very useful.
These traps are reusable and include non-poisonous bait that is designed to specifically attract green flies, house flies, and many other flying insects. It is safe to use for people, pets and the environment and provides long lasting protecting and relief from green flies.
How To Get Rid Of Green Flies Using Insecticides
Large green fly infestations may require insecticides and chemical fly traps to remedy.
If you’re struggling to keep green flies away from your home and property after using natural methods, you may need to turn to insecticides. Chemical insecticides often offer long-term relief from pests like green flies and can also help reduce other pests when applied correctly.
However, keep in mind that many insecticides contain harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to people and pets. For this reason, it’s best to use insecticides only as directed and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
Ortho Home Defense Flying Bug Killer
If you’re on the fence about using an insecticide to get rid of green flies, you may want to try a product that falls somewhere in between a natural and chemical method. The above fly spray by Ortho is made with a combination of chemical ingredients and essential oils to kill and repel green flies and other pests on contact.
When used correctly, it is safe for people and pets. It is designed to be used indoors as a spot treatment and kills flies, mosquitoes, gnats and more.
Raid Flying Insect Killer
It can be used inside and outside of the home and kills pests on contact. That said, this product does contain a chemical insecticide that can be toxic to people and pets so use it only as directed. This spray can also stain, so keep it at least three feet from fabrics and furniture when using it.
TERRO Garbage Guard
Green flies in particular are notorious for infesting garbage bins, so one of the best ways to get rid of them is to invest in an insecticide like the above Garbage Guard by TERRO. This product is designed to fit into your outdoor garbage bin to prevent green flies, gnats, and other pests attracted to waste.
It is easy to use and replace if needed and will not leave an odor in your garage. It can offer up to four months of protection, however it does contain toxic chemical vapors and should be kept out of reach of children and pets.
Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray
If you’re struggling with a large number of green flies around your property, it’s also a good idea to invest in a perimeter spray like the above spray by Cutter. This insecticide spray eliminates flies, mosquitoes, fleas and other pests that can be problematic and even dangerous to your loved ones.
However, this spray does come in a concentrate and will need to be connected to your garden hose in order to be diluted and used. Still, it is relatively easy to apply and offers up to 12 weeks of protection against pests. It also covers up to 5,000 square feet.
How To Get Rid Of Green Flies Using Home Remedies
Essential oils like lavender oil and peppermint oil can repel green flies and other pests.
Green flies are often referred to as filth feeders, and for good reason. This trait is both beneficial and gross, and you can use it to your advantage when it comes to green fly control.
Oftentimes, you can remedy a green fly problem simply by finding the source of what they are attracted to and removing it. This could include removing a dead animal from your home or property or even simply picking up dog excrement in the backyard.
Along with general home cleaning, there are also some household ingredients and do it yourself pest control methods you can use to repel and prevent green flies. Take a look.
- Peppermint Oil
- Clove Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Garlic Oil
- Citronella Oil
- Basil Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Pennyroyal Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
- And Lavender Oil
To make your own essential oil fly repellent spray, combine 10 to 20 drops of the essential of your choice into 2 cups of water and pour it in a spray bottle. Spray this solution inside your home near entry points, around garbage bins, and outside in dog runs to repel green flies and other pests.
Vinegar and Dish Soap Fly Killer
- 4 Cups of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp of Dish Soap
- 10 to 20 Drops of An Essential Oil of Your Choice
- 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil or Canola Oil
- 1 Large Spray Bottle
Mix the above ingredients into a large spray bottle and shake it so it is combined thoroughly. Then you can use this spray to kill green flies on contact as well as prevent them from returning in the future. Spray it around the perimeter of your home as often as needed and repeat the process as necessary and in conjunction with other fly repellent methods.
Other DIY Method You Can Use For Green Flies
- Make a DIY fly trap using apple cider vinegar, a jar, and a paper funnel. The flies will be lured into the funnel by the apple cider vinegar and then get stuck in the jar.
- Use freshly sliced lemons and place them around entry and exit points of your home like windows, doors, garages and attics.
- Soak cotton balls in the essential oil of your choice and place them in areas you have noticed green fly activity. Replace these cotton balls every two days with fresh ones.
Are Green Flies Dangerous To People And Pets?
Green flies are very unsanitary and vectors of bacteria and disease.
Green flies do not bite or sting, and they don’t cause any structural damage to homes. However, they spend their days landing on animal feces, dead carcass, and other rotting and decaying organic matter.
Because of their lifestyle, habitat and diet, green flies are especially dangerous to people and animals when they get inside homes or swarm barns, restaurants or hospitals.
In fact, green flies in particular are known for carrying bacterium on their bodies and legs, thus transferring a number of dangerous diseases including the plague, tularemia, E.coli, cholera, anthrax, and tuberculosis.
Green flies have also been known to lay their eggs in the open wounds on animals like livestock and horses, where their larvae can cause a serious blood infection known as myiasis.
If you cannot seem to find and remedy the source of your green fly infestation, it’s important to contact a professional pest control expert to remove these pests for good. Most pest control experts charge around $100 to $500 for green fly removal, but this cost could vary depending on your region and the severity of your infestation.
Once you have managed to eradicate green flies from your property, your next focus should be on prevention.
How To Prevent Green Flies In the Future
Prevent future green flies by keeping your home and yard clean and free of decay, dog feces, garbage and waste.
Due to the health risks that come along with a green fly infestation, it’s best to use preventative measures all year round to ensure you reduce your chances of encountering them again.
Let’s go over some of the best and most effective ways you can prevent future green flies from becoming a problem on your property or in your home.
Seal Potential Entry Points Around Your Home
Green flies will have trouble infesting your home if they cannot get in. One of the easiest ways to avoid a major pest problem is to ensure the perimeter of your home is secure. Start by caulking and sealing any cracks or crevices around your home that could serve as potential entry points for pests.
We also recommend making sure screens are properly fitted and free of tears or rips, and ensuring there are not any gaps in doorways.
Keep Your Home Clean And Tidy
While it’s true that green flies have a diverse diet, they prefer rotting foods and smelly, wet garbage. You can reduce your chances of dealing with green flies and a potential infestation by keeping your home free of clutter and debris that could lead to rot, removing excess moisture, and wiping down surfaces with a quality cleaner. Also, try to sweep and vacuum regularly,
Store Food Properly
Store perishable foods in refrigerators when you’re not eating or cooking. Pantry foods should be stored in airtight containers, and any crumbs or leftovers should be put away promptly after use. Refrain from leaving fruits and vegetables on the counter to get overly ripe, and store pet food and bird seed in airtight containers outside of the kitchen.
Remove Waste Properly
Many experts recommend investing in a sealed garbage bin. You should also avoid leaving rotting meats or food in trash bins for days at a time.
Routinely Clean Up Dog Feces In The Yard
Green flies are notorious for congregating around dog feces, so it’s very important to stay on top of this chore and ensure it’s completed each and every day.
Use A Routine Form Of Pest Control Year Round
Last on our list of ways to prevent green flies is to ensure you keep up with routine pest control. Implementing a pest control regime year round can help reduce a number of pests, not just green flies, and help keep your home and loved ones safe.
So, what do you think about green flies? Did you realize they could be so hazardous to your health? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.