Blow fly Calliphoridae

Fly Tips: The Blow fly is one of the first in the order of succession of insects to infest a dead body.

Dr. Stuart Mitchell continues the Focus on the Fly series – Blow fly.

Blow fly, Calliphoridae

Blow flies or flying infections are mechanical vectors of disease pathogens, and cause myiasis or maggot infections in human and animal tissues. Medically, Greenbottle fly, Lucilia illustris, sterile maggots are used to treat non-healing wounds in maggot debridement therapy (MDT). Dating back to the 16th century, “Blow” is a suggestion of egg placement. “Bottle” suggests “bot” or “maggot.”

After frequenting carrion or rotting animals, Blow flies can freely move from filth to food. During reproductive source seeking, Blow flies can mistake stored meat products as a suitable “host.”

Blow fly is 0.35” to 0.50” long, a of wingspan of 0.70 to 0.80” and possesses a stout thorax. Thorax and abdomen are dark and shiny. Thorax black with metallic-blue green sheen, and abdomen metallic yellow or blue-green to black. Strong fliers, research suggests flight ranges of 14-28 miles. Vigorous on warm-sunny days, Blow flies are generally at-rest on cool-cloudy days.

Blow flies are scavengers. Adult females place up to 600 eggs in or on carrion or decaying matter of animal origin. In the absence of favorable sites, eggs are placed in or on animal feces and decaying vegetable matter. When gravid females cannot locate nutrient sites, eggs are retained. As a result, eggs hatch in a very short time. Additionally, females are known to place larvae rather than eggs (viviparity).

Notably, Blow fly is one of the first in the order of succession of insects to infest a dead body. During crime investigations, forensic entomologists examine larvae to determine time, place, and characteristics of death (pathology).


  • Identify the species first!
  • Remove sources of fly activity (carrion or rodents and birds, feces, decay vegetation, and garbage)
  • Exclude flies through fly-proofing (fly screens)
  • Install numerous insect light traps (ILTs)

Insect light traps/Fly traps/Fly lights

Back of house efficient and reliable systems, designed for kitchen, storage, receiving area, warehouse, and many other sensitive spaces. Systems include Mantis 1×2, Mantis 2×2, Mantis Vega, and if no wall-space, no problem, the Mantis On Top Pro ES.

Front of house, aesthetically pleasing designs that blend into decor. Stand-alone, wall, or ceiling mounted systems for any front of house lobby, dining room, bar, and many other sensitive spaces. Systems include the Sunburst series, Mantis Vega, Mantis Sirius, Mantis Uplight, and if more power, no problem, the Mantis Uplight Max36.

If wet areas, no problem! For commercial kitchens and bars, the exclusive Mantis 1x2IP, which possesses an IP66 rating (protected against water jets, and no ingress of dust). Optimum filth fly control within wet and dusty environments.

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