Summary: The blowfly is a grouping of flies that includes bluebottle flies, cluster flies, and green bottle flies. The flies usually have a metallic coloration and are among the first insects found feeding on a dead animal.
If blowflies are an urgent problem you can try using fly bait such as Maxforce Fly Spot to kill the flies, sticky traps hanging nearby where they congregate, or pesticide sprays like PT 565 XLO to limit or exterminate populations. However, pesticides should be used as a last resort, with improved sanitation being the primary method for getting rid of blowflies.
The blowfly is a pretty disgusting animal. Anything that feeds primarily on carrion and dung can be categorized in this way by my standards. The blowfly uses dead animal meat not only for food, but also as a haven to lay its eggs. When blowfly eggs hatch the blowfly larvae are referred to as maggots. The maggots use the dead animal or dung for food and they help to decompose it so it doesn't lie on the ground and stink up everything around it forever. That
is a great benefit for mankind. The term blowfly comes from an old English expression that referred to maggot infested meat as “fly blown”.
Although the blowfly is an important decomposer, it can also be a pest to humans. Because its food source is so nasty, the blowfly can spread diseases such as dysentery to people when the fly comes into contact with food that is consumed by humans. Blowflies also sometimes lay their eggs into the living flesh of livestock animals such as cows, goats, and sheep. Blowflies such as sawflies do millions of dollars of damage each year because these infestations can sometimes kill the host animal. Integrated pest management strategies such as introducing sterile males into the environment to reduce reproduction rates have been very successful in limiting the populations of blowflies and preventing damage to livestock.
Blowflies are the flies commonly seen flying around dung or roadkill. They are twelve to fourteen millimeters in length, with only one pair of wings. They are blue, black, or green in color and there is usually a metallic sheen to their exoskeleton. Most have large, bright red eyes. They live in all the contiguous United States.
Blowflies are attracted to food sources where they can lay their eggs. If you are having a problem with the shiny looking flies, then it is likely that they are reproducing somewhere nearby. Check garbage cans to make sure that the lids close securely. You might want to consider moving them further away from the house or giving them a thorough cleaning to reduce the smell of rotting garbage. Some flowers attract blowflies to pollinate them by having a scent like rotting meat. These flowers should not be planted in your garden if you do not want to attract blowflies.
Blowflies have short lives but reproduce very quickly. A single female can lay over 2000 eggs in her lifetime and eggs, under the right temperature conditions, can mature from egg to an adult in as little as ten days. This means that if there is a suitable place for the blowflies to reproduce in their populations can explode. A dead animal in a wall void might attract cockroaches, ants, or blowflies. Removing the blowflies' food source will quickly reduce the blowfly population as adults die off, and the maggots that will soon become adults are no longer present.
Another interesting note about blowflies is that they are often used in forensic science to determine the time of death of a human body. Forensic entomologists use the development of blowfly larvae to determine how long a body has been dead. A gory but very useful method for criminal investigators.
Click here to watch my short video on how to control flies.