Pest Detective: Flies

Comprehensive Guide to Fly Infestations in the Southern United States

Fly infestations in the Southern United States, particularly in Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, are a significant concern due to the region's climate. These infestations are especially problematic for commercial businesses, where they pose health risks and can affect business operations. This guide delves into the types of flies commonly found in these states, their behavior, lifecycle, signs of infestation, health risks, and effective management strategies.

Understanding Flies in the Southern States

Common Types of Flies

  • House Flies (Musca domestica): Common in both residential and commercial settings.
  • Fruit Flies (Drosophila spp.): Frequently found in kitchens, restaurants, and anywhere food is processed or stored.
  • Drain Flies (Psychodidae family): Often breed in drains and damp areas.
  • Blowflies (Calliphoridae family): Known for their metallic coloring, commonly found around waste and decaying material.

Lifecycle and Reproduction

  • Rapid Development: Flies have a quick lifecycle, going from egg to adult in just a week under ideal conditions.
  • Breeding Sites: Vary by species; common sites include food waste, overripe fruit, animal waste, and stagnant water.

Behavior and Habitat

  • Feeding Habits: Flies are attracted to a wide range of substances, from food waste to fecal matter.
  • Habitat Preferences: Prefer warm, moist environments; often enter buildings through open windows and doors.

Signs of Fly Infestations

  • Increased Fly Activity: Visible increase in the number of flies around food sources, waste areas, and water sources.
  • Larvae Presence: Finding fly larvae (maggots) in potential breeding sites.
  • Auditory and Visual Disturbances: The persistent buzzing sound and flies landing on surfaces, especially in food preparation areas.

Health Risks and Concerns for Commercial Businesses

  • Disease Transmission: Flies are known carriers of diseases like Salmonella, E. coli, and Shigella. They can contaminate food and surfaces in commercial settings.
  • Food Contamination: A major concern in restaurants, grocery stores, and food processing facilities, leading to spoilage and waste.
  • Reputation Damage: Fly infestations can harm the reputation of a business, leading to decreased customer trust and potential closures by health inspectors.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategies

  • Sanitation: Regular cleaning and waste management are crucial in controlling fly populations.
  • Exclusion: Installing screens on windows and doors, using air curtains, and sealing cracks to prevent entry.
  • Trapping: Use of UV light traps, sticky traps, and baited traps to monitor and reduce fly populations.
  • Chemical Control: Insecticides should be used as a last resort and applied by professionals, especially in sensitive areas like kitchens.

Preventive Measures for Businesses

  • Regular Inspection: Check for and address potential breeding sites.
  • Employee Training: Staff should be trained on proper sanitation and waste handling to prevent infestations.
  • Food Storage: Store food in sealed containers and refrigerate perishables promptly.

Professional Pest Control Services

  • Customized Solutions: Businesses should seek pest control providers that offer tailored solutions for their specific type of operation.
  • Regular Maintenance and Monitoring: Ongoing services to ensure a fly-free environment.
  • Compliance with Health Regulations: Ensure that pest control measures comply with local health and safety standards.


Managing fly infestations in the Southern United States, particularly in commercial settings, requires a comprehensive understanding of fly behavior and proactive pest management strategies. Businesses must prioritize sanitation, exclusion, and proper waste management to prevent health risks and protect their reputation.

Stay informed about the latest in fly control and management by visiting our blog. Engage with our community in the comments section of our social media sites to share your experiences or seek advice on managing fly infestations in commercial settings. Your insights can significantly benefit others facing similar challenges.

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