Types of Flies found in South Africa

Posted on: October 1, 2020, in Blog

There are a staggering 120,000 types of flies documented by scientists, but there might be a lot more. On the surface, most flies are harmless, even though extremely irritating, but due to their unsanitary nature, they can spread various dangerous diseases, including malaria, salmonella, tuberculosis, cholera and even anthrax!

Flies target kitchens, restaurants, shops like butcheries, deli’s, canteens at factories, office buildings – anywhere there may be any food prep or handling. 

We had a look at the main types of flies found in South Africa, how to identify them and their habitat.

House Fly

Physical features: Dark grey | Oval shaped | Grows up to 5mm

House flies don’t have teeth and absorb food by vomiting on it to liquify the matter and then suck up with their tongues shaped like straws. They can travel up to 30km to find food, but are usually found breeding in garbage cans, compost heaps and pet areas, particularly in cat litter boxes or any area you will find pet waste.

Bottle Fly

Physical features: Metallic green or blue | Oval shaped | Grows up to 10mm

The common bottle fly is a type of blowfly found in most areas of the world. Bottle flies are classified as filth feeders that develop in and feed on dead animals, feces, garbage and decomposing plant materials and are known to lay eggs in cadaver tissue in the wild within hours after death.

Fruit Fly

Physical features: Tan | Oval shaped | Grows up to 3mm

Fruit flies get their name due to their fondness of fruit. They only live for a short space of time (8-10days) and use rotting fruit or vegetables as their nest where the female can lay around 500 eggs at a time. Fruit flies are commonly found in any area where food is being prepared like restaurants or your kitchen at home.

Drain Fly

Physical features:Black or brown | Short body with leaf shaped wings | Grows up to 5mm

Drain Flies are typically nocturnal insects and are associated with damp habitats such as drains, sewers, septic tanks and soil that has been contaminated with sewage. In small numbers, these flies can also be considered beneficial as their larvae can break down the materials that clog drains.

Horse Fly

Physical features:Grey or black | Stout-bodied | Grows up to 30mm

Horse flies are commonly found in both suburban and rural areas near bodies of water, which serve as breeding sites, and where mammal hosts are most abundant. Unlike some other species of flies, Horse flies aren’t known as disease carriers, but they do have painful bites that can cause an allergic reaction.

The most effective method of preventing flies in your home is by being vigilant with sanitation and keeping all inside and outside areas clean including removing trash daily, ensuring all counter surfaces are kept clean, checking that all windows and screens are properly screened, and any decaying food matter is properly disposed of.

Even if you do take extra precaution, flies can still become a problem in your home or business, especially in summer. If you are struggling with a fly infestation, give Service Master a call to administer the best fly control solution for your office or home.

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