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Sphaerocerid Fly Information

Sphaerocerid Flies

  Flies    Fly Breeding Sites   Fly Index


Identification of Sphaerocerid Flies

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sphrdfly.jpg (43618 bytes)Click to enlarge image.

These small flies have dark colored bodies and are about 1/8 inch in length, making proper identification difficult without magnification.  The tarsi (last 5 segments of the hind leg) is the key to identifying the Sphaerocerid fly.  On this particular fly, the first segment of the tarsi is greatly enlarged.


Sphaerocerid Fly Biology and Life History

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The Sphaerocerid fly belongs to a large family of flies known as Sphaeroceridae which contains 241 species in North America.   Most flies of this family generally breed in animal manure and can also be known as small dung flies.  There are a few species that feed in any decaying organic matter, meaning that they can be found in the same areas as Phorid flies and Fruit flies.  The life history is much the same as these other small flies.


Inspecting for Sphaerocerid Flies

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When searching for Sphaerocerid fly breeding sources, remember that the larva can only survive in decaying organic matter that is moist.  The first obvious place to check is where any fruits or vegetables or stored outside of refrigerators or coolers.   Other areas to inspect would be dumpsters, recycling bins, seldom used (or cleaned) garbage cans, underneath and behind large appliances.  Do not overlook drains where small flies are often found breeding in the super thin layer or film of debris that naturally accumulates in pipes, traps and drains.

In commercial and residential structures, tiny amounts of organic debris are often found where the legs or feet of appliances, tables or cabinets touch the floor.   These tiny spaces can harbor thousands of fly larvae.  All small cracks and crevices at floor level need to be inspected and thoroughly cleaned.  Floor and sink drains can then be treated with Invade Bio Drain Gel.
Restaurants and commercial buildings with on-going problems with any type of odors, "drain fly", gnats or other pests associated with organic scum in drains and other areas:  First treatment, mix Invade Bio Foam and Nyguard in a Poly Foamer.  Follow-up treatments or regular scheduled maintenance need only use Invade Bio Foam.  Nyguard can be used every 3 to 6 months.

Once one source has been located, continue with your inspection.  Sphaerocerid flies easily follow air currents and usually have several breeding places in any structure.  Do not assume that all of your breeding sources are indoors; Sphaerocerid flies will wander in from nearby dumpsters, outdoor garbage cans or even damp compost piles where fruits and vegetables are disposed.


Sphaerocerid Fly Elimination

As in any Small Fly elimination program, identifying and eliminating all possible breeding sites is the key to success.

In a few isolated cases (where moisture was an on-going problem) Talstar liquid concentrate has been used to spray the soil in crawl spaces beneath older buildings.   Talstar gave immediate and long term (2 months) control in killing flies and fly larvae.  Best results: combine Talstar with Nyguard or Nylar for initial application.  Two ounces Nylar or 4 mil. Nyguard per gallon or per 1,000 sq. ft. for best coverage outdoors or beneath structures.
Talstar products cannot be shipped to MA, NY, NJ, CT, VT, HI, CA, AK

Cyper WP, Demon or Cypermethrin 4 Ounce are alternative products for various states.

Although there are several sprays and traps used to kill flies in a home, restaurant or other structure, the infestation cannot be eliminated without eliminating their source.  A space spray (Pyrethrin spray) can be used as a quick kill, reducing populations of flying insects.  Pyrethrin spray is also a crack and crevice tool that is used to spray the tiny areas where flies breed.  To monitor the area, use a Gold Stick trap.  These traps use a fly sex lure to attract flies to their doom.  Every Sphaerocerid fly caught is one less breeding adult!  If you locate a drain that is a breeding ground for small flies, use Drain Gel to destroy the film in which the fly eggs and larvae are developing.  A surface spray is not recommended in this situation, unless there are great numbers of flies resting on the surface of trash cans, dumpsters or exterior walls.  Fruit Fly Traps are also an excellent tool for capturing small flies.  Attach the trap to the inside lid of garbage cans, dumpsters or compost bins to capture adult flies before they breed.   Dispose of traps when full of flies or after 3 months.  Fly elimination products.


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