Green Bottle Flies

There are several species of green bottle fly. Two of the more common ones are Lucilia illustris (Meigen) and Phaenicia sericata (Meigen). They are found throughout the United States.

Appearance / Identification

Green bottle flies are larger than houseflies. They are almost 0.5″ long.

The abdomen and mid-section are shiny and green.

green bottle fly
green bottle fly
click to enlarge

Noise & Activity

Homeowners usually notice green bottle flies when they are buzzing at a window during the day. They seem to buzz loudly all day without getting tired.

Carry Disease

These flies can be more than nuisances, however. They can transport disease organisms on their legs and bodies. If they walk on food or food surfaces, they can easily contaminate them.


Deposit eggs in decay or filth

Green bottle flies deposit their eggs in decaying material. They often find rats or mice that have been poisoned or left in traps. They may find a dead bird in a rain gutter or a squirrel in the attic. They also deposit their eggs in garbage cans and animal droppings.

bottle fly pupa
bottle fly pupa

The female fly can deposit more than 2,000 eggs. The larvae, or maggots, feed on the decaying material where they hatch. When they are ready to change to adult flies, homeowners often find the maggots moving around.

In the Home

If there are a few flies inside the house, they might come inside from an infestation outside. However, if there are a large number of flies indoors, it could mean that there is a dead mouse or bird in the attic or inside of a wall.

Getting Rid of Them

Solving a green bottle fly problem begins with an inspection. Finding the breeding site is the critical step.

If there is an animal carcass, it should not be handled barehanded. A trash bag can be inverted over the carcass and used to remove it. After the carcass has been removed, it may be necessary to apply aerosol or dust insecticide for fleas, bed bugs, beetles, or scavenging insects.

A vacuum cleaner is an efficient way to remove maggots inside the house. It will also remove the buzzing flies at the windows.

DIY help for green bottle fly infestations.