Flies in Australia

Flies can regularly be found in homes and businesses across Australia.

Some species are more common than others and are attracted to different environments suited to their natural habits and lifecycle.

Knowing about the size, habits, seasonality and lifecycle of different fly species, can help to identify the most effective prevention and fly control methods.

  • Blue bottle - Blowfly

    Blue bottle
    (Calliphora vomitoria)


    • From the blowfly family
    • They are larger than the ordinary house flies, growing about half an inch long
    • Grey in colour with the rear end a bright metallic blue
    • Can be found almost anywhere, including woods, fields, parks and farms, and often enter homes
    • Diet consists of dead animals or meat, living animals with open wounds, animal poop, or some other decaying matter
    • Help organisms are they transport pollen or spores so that they can grow new plants or mushrooms
  • House fly

    House fly
    (Musca domestica linnaeus)


    • The house fly is well known to be a pest of both home and farm
    • Not only can house flies be a nuisance, but they can also transport disease causing organisms
    • Originated from central Asia, but now occurs in all inhabited continents, in all climates from tropical to temperate
    • Female is usually larger then the male
    • The abdomen is gray or yellowish with dark midline and irregular dark markings on the sides
    • Diet consists of human garbage
  • Vinegar fly

    Vinegar fly


    • It is a small, yellowish fly with distinct red eyes and is commonly seen around rotting fruit, it is also called the Ferment fly
    • Can be found throughout Australia in urban areas
    • Vinegar flies are not actually fruit flies as they do not feed on fruit directly, only on the yeast associated with rotting fruit
    • Probably the most studied of all animals (besides humans) and has contributed greatly to our understanding of genetics
    • The larvae can cause great problems for wineries and fruit juice producers
  • Drain (moth) fly

    Drain (moth) fly


    • Are small, dark winged, non biting gnats
    • Can be found resting on walls and ceilings and make short hopping flights if disturbed
    • Finding many flies over several weeks usually means a relatively permanent breeding site that must be found and eliminated
    • They can live almost anywhere that water accumulates for a week or more
    • The most effective control method is to clean pipes and traps thoroughly to remove accumulated slime
  • Flesh fly

    Flesh fly


    • These flies look like house flies but are generally larger
    • They are gray with a checkerboard pattern on top of their abdomen, three black stripes running along the top surface of their thorax just behind the head
    • Are sometimes among the first insects to arrive at a dead animal carcass and are similar to blow flies in biology and habitat
    • Frequently infest industrial buildings like meat processing and packing facilities
  • Sciarid flies

    Sciarid fly


    • Are difficult pests especially in the young plant material
    • Can cause damage to seedlings, rootstock and cuttings of many plant species
    • Can be found in moist organic environments
    • Direct damage can occur to young and weak plants in a moist organic environment
  • Biting midge

    Biting midge


    • Biting midges are small robust insects with piercing and sucking mouthparts
    • These small flies are renowned for their nuisance biting associated with habitats such as coastal lagoons, estuaries, mangrove swamps and tidal flats
    • In Australia these flies are commonly known as sandflies
    • Are responsible for acute discomfort, irritation and severe local reactions
  • Phorid (Humpbacked) fly

    Phorid (Humpbacked) fly


    • Most are black or dull brown in colour, but some are yellowish in colour
    • The adults have a peculiar habit of rapidly running across windows, TV screens, tables, walls and plant foliage
    • Are also known as sewer flies
    • Favours decaying, moist organic material as both a source of food and a prime site for laying eggs