Blow Fly


Actual Size: ⅕”

Characteristics: Metallic coloration that is usually blue, green, or black.

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Drawn to hot and humid environments where there is decomposing organic matter for them to feed on.


  • Easily identified by their bright, metallic appearance.
  • Females lay eggs on the carcasses of dead animals to provide larva with food.
  • Can carry and spread bacteria, leading to dysentery, typhus, cholera, and more.

Blow Flies in Memphis TN Metro Area

Blow flies are frequently encountered in the vicinity of deceased animals, making them one of the most common fly species in such environments. They exhibit a preference for highly unsanitary habitats, which consequently makes them potential carriers of disease-causing pathogens, including dysentery. These flies are characterized by their vibrant metallic appearance and are notably abundant around various types of establishments, such as commercial, institutional, industrial, and residential buildings that are situated in close proximity to recycling centers, garbage dumps, slaughterhouses, and meat processing plants. With their remarkable ability to detect even faint traces of decaying odor, blow flies are capable of flying up to 12 miles in search of a suitable carcass upon which they can lay their eggs.

Blow Fly Habitat

Blow flies exhibit optimal thriving conditions in warm and humid weather. Their typical egg-laying habitats include meat, fish, or deceased animals. However, they are adaptable and will also deposit eggs in decomposing organic substances such as garbage, animal manure, decaying vegetables, grass clippings, and poorly maintained compost piles. In favorable temperatures, blow flies can undergo the complete life cycle from egg to adult within as little as 7 days. This behavior has often been observed by homeowners, particularly when kitchen waste is not securely sealed in plastic trash bags and results in a mass emergence of maggots crawling out of backyard trash cans.

Blow Fly Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Blow flies do not possess the ability to bite or sting. Nevertheless, they are highly attracted to human food and garbage, which can pose challenges when cooking outdoors. Similar to house flies, blow flies have the potential to transmit disease-causing agents acquired from garbage or animal feces, which can then be deposited onto human food sources. The main concern associated with blow flies is their role in the dissemination of disease-carrying organisms that can adversely affect human health. Examples of such organisms include salmonella, which causes food poisoning, as well as dysentery, cholera, various parasitic worms, and other pathogens that can lead to significant illnesses.

If you are dealing with a blow fly problem on your property, contact your local fly exterminators.