Flesh Flies

Sarcophaga spp.

Flesh Fly

Adult flesh fly (Johnny N. Dell, Bugwood.org)

flesh fly

Adult flesh fly (Muhammad Mahdi Karim, Wikimedia Commons)


Flesh fly larva (Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org)


  • large and gray with a checkerboard pattern on abdomen
  • three dark stripes on top of thorax (house fly has four)

Nesting Habits

  • eggs may be laid on dead animals, in or around garbage/ dumpster receptacles, and decaying organic material
  • many flies indoors may indicate that an animal has died in a wall void or somewhere within the building


  • larvae feed mostly on animal carcasses, garbage and decaying organic material


  • can spread disease through contact
  • nuisance inside buildings; infrequent indoor pest

IPM Recommendations

  • Keep exterior doors closed, install screen doors or install an automatic door closer, especially on doors leading into the kitchen.
  • Keep screens in good repair.
  • Improve sanitation.
  • Keep dumpsters at least 50 feet from the building.
  • Locate breeding susbstrate, if possible, and remove.
  • Keep trash cans, dumpsters and garbage areas clean and free of odor.
  • Close lids on dumpsters and garbage cans.
  • Exclude fly entry via caulking, weather stripping, door sweeps, screens, etc.
  • Properly place light traps to catch flies that come indoors.
  • Use a fly swatter.