THE CLUSTER FLY
In the Plymouth Area
Cluster flies, also known as loft flies and they are classed as household pests. Adults measure 8 to 10 millimeters in length and have light and dark grey checkered abdomens. The thorax of an adult cluster fly is covered in short, golden hairs and the wings overlap when at rests. Cluster flies are slightly larger and darker than the common housefly and move more sluggishly.
They appear on the sunny side of the building in heaviest concentrations usually around the first frost and early winter, as they seek warm locations in which to live during cold months. Although cluster flies areobserved buzzing and congregating at windows, screens may prove ineffective in preventing their entrance. Cluster flies are capable of crawling through small openings in the walls of a structure. They hibernate in secluded parts of houses like attics and wall voids. On sunny winter days, the wall voids become warm and the cluster flies try to move toward light. Very often they find themselves in the inhabited parts of the house and the move to the windows. They cluster around the windows and they leave stains on walls and curtains if crushed.
The cluster fly life cycle begins when a female lays her eggs in the soil in late summer or early fall. These eggs hatch within a few days, after which larvae seek to enter the body cavities of. earthworms. Cluster fly larvae feed on earthworm hosts for several days, at which time they molt and pupate in the soil. Cluster flies’ development time from egg to adult is about 27 to 39 days
THE BLOW FLY
In the Plymouth Area
Blow flies are often metallic in appearance, with feathery hairs on the terminal antennal segments of the males. Adult blow flies have sponge-like mouth parts, while maggots have hook-like mouth parts. Blow fly maggots are generally seen near dead animals. Blow fly eggs are laid in rotting meat, where maggots feed and complete their development before seeking a dry location within which to pupate. After maturing, larvae create outer skins, known as puparia, that look like rat droppings or cockroach egg cases. Pupae develop within the puparium, maturing into adult blowflies. Female blow flies typically lay their eggs on decaying meat, where maggots hatch within a few hours to a few days depending on species. These maggots undergo three stages within several days, after which they leave their food source and pupate in soil. Within a few days, the pupation will be complete, at which point they emerge as adults.