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Are Flesh Flies Different From a House Fly?

Growing a garden on a deck has unique challenges. In addition to getting the watering mix and sunlight just right for the variety of desired plants in a confined area, there are plenty of animals that want to eat my plants before I get to them. When we saw flesh flies buzzing around the veggie plants, my son naturally had questions about why they were there. His older siblings wondered, “are flesh flies different from a house fly?”

Celebrating the first zucchini to survive the urban animal threats

Food Preferences

My oldest son chose to plant onions, the youngest zucchini, and my daughter chose lettuce. Just like each child has their preferences, flies of different species have different food preferences that guide their behavior.

House flies prefer to lay their eggs where the larva have nice piles of trash with rotting organic matter. Flesh flies on the other hand are looking for carrion, dung, open mammal wounds, or decaying material to deposit their eggs. Considering their food preferences, it was not surprising to be seeing flesh flies near richly fertilized soil instead of house flies.


House flies have 4 stripes on their thorax, and their abdomen is gray or yellow with a dark midline. Their fourth wing vein has a sharp upward bend in it.

Flesh fly hanging out on the deck near the garden

Flesh flies typically have a lighter body with 3 stripes on the thorax. The abdomen has a light and dark gray checkerboard pattern.

Controlling Flies

The key to controlling flies comes down to eliminating the food source. By identifying the fly correctly, it allows for a targeted search for and removal of the food source allowing the maggots to thrive and develop into adults.

In some cases, the food source may be outside of your control. In these situations, other fly control tools may include:

  • fly lights
  • fly traps
  • baits
  • barrier treatments
  • sanitation

Commercial or Residential

Flies can be issues at home or at work. Fortunately, the fly control experts at Rove Pest Control can solve your fly issues from identification to elimination.