Updated: May 18, 2023

Flies are a common pest that we encounter in our daily lives. They are incredibly adaptable and can live in almost any environment. There are over one million species of flies, and identifying them can be a challenging task. However, by learning about the common fly species, you can easily identify them and take appropriate measures to control their population. Here are some of the most common fly species and how you can identify them.

House Fly

The house fly is one of the most common types of flies that you will encounter. They are attracted to garbage, rotting food, and animal feces. The house fly is about 6-7 mm long with gray stripes on its back. They have four stripes on their thorax and a yellowish underside. The house fly has large compound eyes that cover most of its head.

Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are tiny flies that are attracted to ripe or rotting fruits and vegetables. They are about 1/8 inch long and have bright red eyes. Fruit flies have tan or brown bodies with black markings on their abdomen. They also have a small head and short antennae.

Drain Fly

Drain flies are small, moth-like flies that are commonly found around drains or stagnant water. They have a fuzzy appearance due to the presence of hairs on their wings and bodies. Drain flies are about 1/8 inch long with a light tan or gray coloration.

Cluster Fly

Cluster flies are larger than most other types of houseflies, about 8-10mm long. They are usually dark gray or black in color with golden hairs on the thorax. Cluster flies get their name from the fact that they tend to cluster in large numbers during the cooler months of the year, often in attics or other warm spaces.

Blow Fly

Blow flies are also known as carrion flies because they are attracted to decaying organic matter. They are about 8-10mm long and have metallic blue or green bodies. Blow flies have large, red compound eyes and are often seen around dead animals.

Horse Fly

Horse flies are larger than most other types of flies and can grow up to 1 inch long. They are usually brown or black in color with transparent wings. Horse flies have large eyes and a stout body. They are known for their painful bites and are commonly found near bodies of water.

Deer Fly

Deer flies are similar in size to horse flies, but they are usually darker in color with dark bands on their wings. They have large eyes that are often brightly colored. Deer flies are known for their painful bites, which can cause swelling and itching.


Mosquitoes are small, slender flies that are known for their itchy bites. They are about 3-6mm long and have long, thin legs. Mosquitoes have a slender body with a pointed abdomen. They also have a long, thin proboscis that they use to suck blood from their victims.

Black Fly

Black flies are small, biting flies that are commonly found near running water such as rivers and streams. They have a humpbacked appearance with short antennae and broad wings. Black flies are usually black or dark brown in color and can be very aggressive biters.

Stable Fly

Stable flies look similar to the house fly but have a distinctive proboscis that protrudes from their head. They are commonly found around livestock facilities and can be a significant nuisance to both animals and humans. Stable flies are about 6-8mm long with a gray body and four dark stripes on their thorax.

In conclusion, identifying common fly species is essential in controlling their population and preventing infestations. By knowing the physical characteristics of each fly species, you can quickly identify them and take appropriate measures to control their population. Regular cleaning and proper sanitation practices are also vital in preventing fly infestations. With these tips, you can keep your home or business free of pesky flies.