Blow Fly


Actual Size: ⅕”

Characteristics: Metallic; blue, green, gold to shiny black

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Prefer hot, humid weather and gravitate toward decomposing matter.


  • Distinguished by their bright metallic appearance.
  • Adults lay eggs on the carcasses of dead animals.
  • Responsible for carrying the bacteria that can cause dysentery, typhus, and cholera.

Blow Flies in Bristol

Blow flies are known to congregate around dead animals. Because they prefer highly unsanitary habitats, they may be vectors of disease pathogens, such as dysentery. These flies are distinguished by their bright metallic appearance and are abundant around commercial, institutional, industrial, and residential buildings when they are located near recycling centers, garbage dumps, slaughter-houses, and meat processing plants. Blow flies can pick up faint traces of odor of decay and can fly up to 12 miles from their source of origin in search of a suitable carcass to lay their eggs.

Blow Fly Habitat

These flies are most common in warm, humid climates. They normally lay their eggs on meat, fish, or dead animals, but will also lay eggs in decomposing organic matter, like garbage, animal manure, decaying vegetables, grass clippings, and poorly managed compost piles. Under ideal temperatures, blow flies can develop from egg to adult in as little as 7 days. Many homeowners have witnessed this behavior as a mass emergence of maggots crawling from their backyard trash cans when kitchen waste placed in these trash cans was not sealed in a plastic trash bag.

Blow Fly Behaviors & Dangers

As gross as they may be, blow flies do not bite or sting. They are, however, strongly attracted to human foods and garbage, making cooking outdoors difficult when they are present. As with house flies, they may be involved in the transmission of disease agents acquired from garbage or animal feces and subsequently deposited onto human foods. The primary threat from blow flies is the distribution of disease-carrying organisms that affect humans such as salmonella food-poisoning, Dysentery, Cholera, various parasitic worms, and many others.

If you have a blow fly infestation in or outside your Tennessee home, contact your local exterminators for help.