Bottle Fly

The Bottle Fly

The bottle fly is one of the most common flies around the world. They do not bite, but their irritable buzzing can create a nuisance for people. These metallic blue or green flies are also known as bluebottle flies and green bottle flies. These scavengers often infest households in large numbers and can spread diseases as well. There are more than 1000 species of bottle flies known by scientists and biologists at the moment. Bottle flies are also known as blowflies.


A bottle fly is usually striking because of its bluish or greenish sheen and the annoying buzzing sound it makes. However, you can look for the following physical characteristics to confirm that it indeed is a bottle fly.

  • Green or blue metallic body
  • Slightly larger than house flies
  • Body size is from 6mm to 4mm
  • Six Legs
  • Body is covered with tiny hairs
  • Large red compound eyes
  • Maggots look like grains of white rice
  • Blunt sponge-like mouth parts in adults

Appearance, Behavior, and Flies

How to identify bottle flies

How to identify bottle flies. By Azim Khan Ronnie – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Bottle flies belong to the family Calliphoridae and are larger than common house flies. They are attracted to rotting and decayed organic matter, mostly meat. Bottle flies are the first insects that settle on a dead body. These flies also lay eggs (that become maggots) into live wounds of animals and humans. Bottle flies also sometimes feed on flowers and plants.

Bottle flies require meat (as it contains particular proteins) to lay eggs. They are also attracted to garbage and decomposing food. These poikilothermic pests breed usually in the summer but can withstand all climates and conditions.  

To know whether or not you have a bottle fly infestation in your house, count for how many flies you see. Bottle flies often travel in groups. The more the number of flies, the higher the chance there is of an infestation. Look out for their maggots as well. Check areas that are moist or filthy – if there are bottle flies in your house, they will flock there.


Dense vegetation around the house, improper disposal of garbage, open drainages and a lack of hygiene within the house can attract bottle flies. They are attracted to all kinds of filth, so a dirty kitchen can definitely fall prey to the invasion of the bottle flies. Frequent visits by outside animals in and around the house may also bring in bottle flies (who might be present as maggots on the skin of the dead animal).

Bottle flies are known to cause diseases like dysentery, so it always good to be on the lookout for them. A female bottle fly can lay 2000 eggs during her lifetime, and bottle flies are known for their fast reproductive cycle. If maggots of bottle flies settle in a wound for too long, it can lead to blood poisoning. They are highly adaptive creatures that have flawlessly adjusted to the modern world.

A cracked window, a damaged pipe, a torn window screen – a bottle fly can easily invade your house through these entry pipes.


You can prevent bottle flies by keeping the house clean. Dispose of meat in tightly closed trash bags. Kitchen and washroom should not have stagnant water anywhere, and the kitchen should not have leftover food lying around. If possible, cover any open drainage near your house. Treat your pet’s wounds and your own wounds on time. Take care of children and pets when they go outside. If any dead animal is found near your house, immediately try to dispose of its body.

Fly traps, poultry dust, and chemical sprays are most commonly used to get rid of bottle flies. If the infestation grows out of hand (often happens when bottle flies create a permanent egg-laying space in the house) it is necessary to call a pest control service.

Bottle Fly Facts

  • The pupation period of bottle flies is less than a 1 week
  • Adult bottle flies cannot easily survive harsh winters unlike the larva and pupae
  • They are also known as carrion flies
  • Bottle flies (mostly maggots) are also used in laboratories for wound cleaning and intensive research

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