Phorid Fly (Humpback) Fly Control
Both the Phorid Fly and the Fruit Flies are small flies. They come from two different fly families and are often are mistaken for each other. They are about 1/8 in long and somewhat similar looking, but their biology and management are very different. The drain fly/moth fly and the phorid flies are both common in drains, however occasionally the fruit fly may come from a drain area. Understanding the different breeding sources for the different flies will help you in identifying and managing the respective flies. The other flies that are found around drains are: Fruit Flies, Drain Flies and Sphaerocierid Flies.
It is necessary to inspect for breeding sites and remove them. Also look for potential breeding sites and eliminate those. There are many potential areas that serve as a breeding site, so this is the most difficult area of control. It is crucial to regularly clean floor drains. Bleach and hot water will not eliminate fly larvae breeding in a drain. Use Invade Bio products instead to eat the organic matter.
Use Invade Bio Products in the drains. A use of a drain cleaner such as Invade Bio Gel Treatment will remove the organic debris, improving santitation.
If the Phorid flies are breeding in the soil under a concrete slab, the only way to eliminate the infestation is to remove the contaminated soil by breaking through the slab and replacing the soil. Any broken pipes need to repaired. Although this is costly, drilling and treating the infested soil under the slab with residual insecticides does not work.
Remove all organic debris trapped in small cracks and crevices under the legs and bottom edges of kitchen equipment. The debris needs to removed, thoroughly dried and a long lasting caulk applied to seal the crack.
Invade Bio Foam is another another type of Invade Bio product; particulary useful in commercial establishments. It is a concentrated bio liquid with the use of a foamer. Invade Bio Foam contains concentrated scum eating, odor eliminating microbes and foaming agent. Use this a part of an integrated pest management tool. Use 1 oz per quart, 4 oz per gallon. Apply using a B&G VersaFoamer HH or sprayer to cracks, crevices and drains where small flies breed. The foam and citrus combination will digest the organic debris present as part of pest management. Ultra-concentrated InVade Bio Foam is mixed with water at a rate of 4 oz per gallon (1 oz per quart) and applied using Foam Sprayers.
Invade Hot Spot is a Microbial/Citrus Foam in an easy-to-use 16 oz aerosol. Hot Spot is an aerosol can that contains the same premium microbes and ingredients as InVade Bio Foam. The 360 degree valve allows for foam dispensing in any orientation to easily hit hard-to-reach areas.
Use Fly Lights
Another tool you could use would be insect light traps, but they attract mostly male phorid flies. There use involved with this type of fly would be limited except as a tool for monitoring.
If adults do not disappear within a week further treatments or looking for other breeding sources is needed .
Inspection Tips for the Phorid Fly
- Adult Phorid Flies are fairly common in many habitats, but are most abundant about decaying plant and animal matter. When searching for Phorid fly breeding sources, remember that the larva can only survive in decaying organic matter that is moist.
- In structures, Phorid Flies can be found breeding wherever moisture exists around plumbing and drains in bathroom and kitchen areas, garbage containers, garbage disposals, crawl space areas and basements.
- When searching for the breeding sources of phorid flies, keep in mind that the larvae can survive only in moist, decaying organic matter. The first spot that should be checked are the floor drains, if any are present. Fly larvae live in the moist film that develops on the sides of a drain and in debris which may become trapped on the edge of the drain. The presence of numerous adult flies inside a drain is a good sign that the drain is a breeding site. Use a knife or screwdriver to scrape the film off the sides of the drain and examine it for live larvae.
- Occasionally, drain pipes will break under slab floors, and phorid flies can breed in immense numbers in the organic debris deposited through the break in the pipe under the slab.
- To determine if phorid flies are exiting through cracks in a floor or from a drain, place pieces of masking tape over the crack or the drain opening. Leave space between the strips of tape to allow air movement for the flies to follow. If flies are exiting the openings, some of the them will become stuck to the tape.
- Other areas to check are where any fruits or vegetables or stored outside of refrigerators or coolers. Also inspect recycling bins, garbage cans, and underneath refrigerators.
- 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. Restaurants, bakeries and food processing facilities use water hoses to wash the floors. Water under pressure can force food debris and moisture into the cracks and crevices where it ferments and starts breeding sites.These breeding sites can harbor thousands of fly larvae. All small cracks and crevices at floor level need to be inspected and thoroughly cleaned. Use a small spatula or knife to scrape any debris from inside the cracks and crevices for inspection of live larvae.
- Flies are not always breeding near where they are found. Because they can fly, the breeding source can be located in another area.
- Phorid 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; Phorid Flies will wander in from nearby dumpsters, outdoor garbage cans or even damp compost piles where fruits and vegetables are disposed.
- Trash containers, which are not cleaned regularly are another good source for Phorid Flies.
- Other sites where Phorid Flies might be found include garbage disposals, rotting meat and vegetables, the overwatered soil of potted plants, and fresh flowers in vases. They have also been found breeding in dirty mops in janitor closets and laundry rooms, animal feces, faulty septic systems, and human cadavers. Don’t stop looking when one breeding source has been found. In most cases, several breeding sources will be present.
Phorid Fly Identification
The phorids, also known as humpbacked flies, are small flies that resemble Fruit Flies in appearance. They are usually tan to dark brown in color. The Phorid Fly lacks the red eye color that is the classic trademark of the Fruit Fly. Phorid Flies are in the small category of flies, measuring up to 1/8 inch in length, including the wings.
The most prominent feature of this fly is the humpbacked shape of its thorax. The severe arch of the thorax gives it the common nickname of humpbacked fly. A key indentifying trait is that the adult Phorid fly has a distinctive habit of running rapidly across surfaces instead of immediately flying when disturbed. Most flies immediately take flight.
Phorid flies are also know as coffin flies, when found in mortuaries and mausoleums.
Phorid flies have also been found to breed in poorly stored meats, damaged containers of moist foods, and organic-based glues and paints.