Flies

Common pest species found in New York:

House Fly

Musca domestica

Size: 1/4 inch long (6–7 mm); about the width of a pencil eraser

Color: Dull gray and black with red eyes

Shape: Small, oval-shaped body with large eyes, 6 legs, and 1 pair of wings

Legs: 6 legs; often seen rubbing the front two together for cleaning

Antennae: Tiny antennae that are barely visible to the naked eye

Head: Large, red compound eyes that cover most of its head

Body: Look for 4 dark, longitudinal bands on the thorax (running from its head to the base of its wings); abdomen has striped or checkered markings with a yellowish underside

Wings: One pair of membranous wings; slightly yellow near the body

Fruit Fly

Drosophila melanogaster

Size: 1/8 inch long (3–4 mm); about the thickness of a phone charging cable

Color: Tan or brownish-yellow with red eyes

Shape: Small, oval-shaped body with large eyes, 6 legs, and 1 pair of wings

Legs: 6 legs; often seen rubbing the front two together for cleaning

Antennae: Tiny antennae that are barely visible to the naked eye

Head: Large compound eyes that are most often bright red (but can sometimes be dark-colored)

Body: Look for transverse black stripes across the rear portion of its abdomen

Wings: One pair of membranous wings; transparent and colorless

Drain Flies / Moth Flies

Multiple species (Psychoda spp.)

Size: Some species are as small as 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) while others are as big as 1/5 inch long (5 mm)

Color: Light tan to dark grayish-brown with a mottled appearance

Shape: Small, hairy, moth-shaped body with furry antennae, 6 legs, and 1 pair of wings

Legs: 6 legs; brown with white rings at the tips

Antennae: Furry-looking antennae with 13 segments; about the same length as its abdomen; covered in long white hairs

Body: Covered entirely with a dense coat of fine hairs

Wings: Broad, oval-shaped wings covered in grayish-brown hairs; look for white spots at the edges

Phorid Flies

Multiple species (Phoridae spp.)

Size: Some species are as small as 1/64 inch (0.5 mm) while others are as big as 1/4 inch (6 mm)

Color: Brown, black, or yellow

Shape: Small, hump-backed body with a small head, 6 legs, and 1 pair of wings

Legs: 6 legs; back legs are noticeably longer; sometimes called as “scuttle flies” because they like to run and hop in jerky, erratic manner

Antennae: Tiny antennae that are barely visible to the naked eye

Head: Small, bristly head tucked under its thorax; large, black compound eyes

Body: Look for a strongly arched thorax that gives it a pronounced hump-back appearance when viewed from the side

Wings: One pair of membranous wings; transparent and colorless

Biting Midges / No-See-Ums

Multiple species (Culicoides spp.)

Size: 1/25–1/8 inch long (1–3 mm); smaller than the thickness of a phone charging cable

Color: Gray or black

Shape: Small, oval-shaped body with a tiny head, thin antennae, 6 legs, and 1 pair of wings

Legs: 6 legs

Antennae: Thin antennae with 15 segments; about half the length of its body

Head: Tiny head with large, compound eyes; long mandibles and sharp teeth for biting; females suck blood but males do not

Body: Relatively large abdomen that’s tapered at the end; turns red and swollen after sucking blood

Wings: One pair of clear or grayish-colored wings with patterns of light and dark markings (difficult to see with the naked eye due to their size)

Fungus Gnats

Multiple species (Sciaridae, Diadocidiidae, Ditomyiidae, Keroplatidae, Bolitophilidae, and Mycetophilidae spp.)

Size: 1/16–1/8 inch long (1.5–3 mm); smaller than the thickness of a phone charging cable

Color: Most are gray or black; some species are yellow, orange, or brown

Shape: Tiny, mosquito-like body with a long, slender abdomen, thread-like antennae, 6 long legs, and 1 pair of wings

Legs: 6 legs that are long and slender

Antennae: Long, thread-like antennae

Head: Small head with moderately prominent compound eyes

Body: Thin, delicate-looking body with a long, slender abdomen; resembles a tiny mosquito

Wings: One pair of membranous wings; color ranges from clear to smoky gray