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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer Flies. Or is it Summer Has Flies?

Normally Las Vegas is fairly free of flies. I guess the temperatures get up so high it is hard for them to reproduce. But not some.
Q. I can deal with the roaches and of course it’s a never-ending battle with the squash bugs but what is the deal with the flies?  Or is it just my garden? Seems they are everywhere but seem to like to stay in the relative coolness of my garden.  They have green heads and bite!  I’ve been hoping that they do the same job as bees and maybe pollinate the plants.  But I think not.  I can’t really spray for them and my bug-man can’t spray around food.  I’m even thinking about hanging fly paper.  

A.  There are a couple of flies here in the Mojave desert that look kind of similar. This is a blowfly which is quite common but it does not have a green head but a green thorax. Insects have three body parts; head, thorax just below the head and the abdomen. They can bite.

So of course they need water but they also are decomposers of meat, dung and raw organic matter that needs decomposing. Look for compost piles, garbage sources that have meat residues, etc. Might not be in your yard but a neighbors.

from wikipedia


Calliphoridae (commonly known as blow flies, blow-flies, carrion flies, bluebottles, greenbottles, or cluster flies[2]) are a family of insects in the order Diptera...

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Food sources (from Wikipedia)

Adult blow flies are occasional pollinators, being attracted to flowers with strong odors resembling rotting meat, such as the American pawpaw or dead horse arum. There is little doubt that these flies use nectar as a source of carbohydrates to fuel flight, but just how and when this happens is unknown. One study showed the visual stimulus a blow fly receives from its compound eyes is responsible for causing its legs to extend from its flight position and allow it to land on any surface.[10]
Larvae of most species are scavengers of carrion and dung, and most likely constitute the majority of the maggots found in such material, although they are not uncommonly found in close association with other dipterous larvae from the families Sarcophagidae and Muscidae, and many other acalyptrate muscoid flies.

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