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Bottle Fly

Danger/Damage

Bottle or blowflies thrive on organic compounds and are associated with dead or rotting flesh which makes them a hazard through cross contamination. They can transmit several disease organisms to human and animals.


Did you know?

Bottle flies and blow flies are metallic green to green-golden, and since they are associated with dead or rotting flesh, they can be a hazard through cross-contamination.


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Bottle and blowflies have only one pair of wings, short antennae, and large compound eyes. Bottle flies are often shiny, metallic, blue, green, or black, with hairlike bristles. Bottle flies range from 8-10 mm (0.3-0.4 inch) in length.

The larvae are conical-shaped maggots that are tan or whitish.


Bottle and blow flies are found near dumpsters, in/on dead animals, rotting meat or fish as they lay eggs almost always in dead or rotting flesh. They will also use animal excrement and decaying vegetable. They are mostly located in the outdoors and farm environments. Indoors, their presence is mostly associated with a dead animal such as a mouse or rat.


The life cycle of the bottle fly consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

Female bottle and blow flies can lay up to 2,400 eggs in their lifetime—typically 600 to 2000 in batches of 100 to 180 eggs. They lay their eggs in cavities or crevices within a dead or dying organism.

Larvae or maggots will emerge and feed on the decomposing entity before pupating after about ten days.

Most maggots in a dead animal are bottle or blowfly larvae. Outdoors, mature larvae usually leave their food source and burrow into the ground to pupate.

Larvae and pupae can survive the cold, but adults die in the winter. The development time can be as short as ten days or as long as 25 days depending on fly species and environmental factors such as temperature and humidity as well as food availability.


  1. The larvae, hatching from bottle fly eggs laid on or near their food items, eat carrion or dung.
  2. Some bottle fly species are parasitic and eat tissues or blood from living hosts.
  3. Detectives use the predictable sequence of maggot growth to determine time of death in crimes. Surgeons sometimes use blow fly larvae to clean infected tissues in rare cases.

Are Bottle Flies hazardous to humans?

Bottle flies thrive on organic compounds and are associated with dead or rotting flesh making them a hazard through cross-contamination. They can transmit several disease organisms to human and animals.

What causes a Bottle Fly infestation?

Small dead animals like rodents and birds can attract bottle flies. Dog excrement, garbage, and compost piles are all outdoor sources.

How can I prevent a Bottle Fly infestation?

The proper maintenance and removal of all garbage and animal feces, as well as the proper refrigeration of stored meats, assists in keeping the bottle flies at bay.

Furthermore, any decaying animal organism found near homes should be properly removed to eliminate breeding grounds for the flies.

How do I remove a Bottle Fly infestation?

Bottle flies breed near decaying meat and decomposed matter, so place all trash in receptacles with a tight-fitting lid. If there is any rotting material, dispose of it immediately. Then cleanse with a cleansing solution to remove all traces of the flies and their eggs.

If the bottle fly infestation returns or worsens, contact Abell Pest Control, we have the expertise to eliminate bottle fly infestations.


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