Nuisance flies are insects that are annoying or can spread diseases to people and domestic animals by biting or carrying pathogens. All nuisance flies are members of the Insect Order “Diptera” (meaning “two-wings”). The adults can be identified by having only one pair of wings; however these fly species may be quite diverse in appearance. Nuisance flies are found throughout California and cause a variety of problems. The immature (larval) stages of these flies are found in a range of habitats, including water and semi-aquatic sites. Fly larvae found in decaying organic matter are sometimes called maggots.
The close association of many of these insects with dead animals, feces, or garbage and their attraction to humans, animals, and our food allows flies to potentially pick up and spread a variety of bacteria and parasites that may cause disease. Others are capable of delivering painful bites and can spread diseases to humans and animals. Some nuisance flies reproduce rapidly and become annoying simply because of their sheer numbers, but are not medically important.
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