As spring approaches, West Des Moines residents will likely notice an increase in phorid fly activity. Considered members of the Platypezoidea Super Family, the diminutive creatures are normally smaller than an inch long. As such, they may be overlooked until conditions are right for reproduction.

Mating Behavior Rises Along with West Des Moines’ Temperatures

Phorid flies generally start breeding when temperatures reach 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Each fertile female is capable of producing 450 viable offspring or more throughout her adult life, which typically ends after a month’s time. However, she may be able to live a bit beyond that time frame if the conditions are right.

Like other members of the Phoridae Family, offspring begin life as tiny, fertilized eggs. The 1.2 millimeter long eggs are normally deposited near food and water. But again, since they are no bigger than a poppy-seed, the eggs may be too tiny for a building’s occupants to notice with the naked eye. This is particularly true when the eggs are deposited in dark, unobtrusive areas (e.g. drain interiors).

Plus, if environmental conditions are favorable, the eggs will hatch in a full day’s time. The resulting, 12.7 millimeter long, phorid fly larvae will then go through the pupal stage. Unless there is something genetically wrong with the larvae or environmental conditions are poor, the pupal stage should cumulate in two weeks.

Opening Up One’s Eyes to Find a Nasty, Winged Surprise

At that time, the female phorid flies will be physically capable of reproduction. So the beginning stages of a phorid fly infestation often go by without human interference. However, once established, fly populations may be managed and eventually eradicated with professional help. The location, depth and breadth of the problem will determine which extermination methods should be used first.

For example, imagine a leaky, laundry room sink that is sitting in a partially finished, particle board base. As the water drips on to the particle board, it mixes with organic materials that may have fallen off of dirty clothing or been deposited there by the family’s pets. As a result, rot forms. In turn, it attracts female flies ready to lay their eggs.

Once the eggs are in place, the family doesn’t open up the sink base’s doors until a week later. By that time, the cabinet’s interior should be teaming with phorid flies. Of course after the doors are open, all of those phorid flies will likely exit the cabinet and seek living quarters of their own. These alternative living quarters may turn out to be the bathroom drain or even a basement sump pump

Regardless, it won’t take long for all of the damp, dark areas of a building to become infested. Also, the flies may periodically leave the safety of their out-of-the-way hiding spaces in search of additional food, water, mates or nesting sites. Consequently, they may be temporarily found in other areas of a home or business too.

Best Defenses Against Phorid Flies Start with Solid Plans

The process of successfully eradicating them begins with an initial inspection to identify all breeding sites. Once the breeding sites are professionally treated, it is vital to take control efforts further. By taking it further, we are referring to removing all potential food and water sources from the affected areas. As such, this may mean calling in someone to complete home repairs or deep cleaning services.

Because the phorid fly’s life cycle tends to run for roughly a month’s time, a second or third pest control visit may be needed. The subsequent visits are normally designed to remove any eggs and larvae that may have escaped the pest control expert’s products during the first sweep through the building.

Want to learn more about a West Des Moines phorid fly treatment and how they are professionally exterminated? If so, please contact Miller Pest & Termite today. Inspections are free to families and businesses located within our greater Des Moines service area.