How to Get Rid of Phorid Humpbacked Flies

Useful tips on phorid fly control with their identification and prevention measures.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 13, 2023
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Do you see small flies flying around your home? If so, you might believe that they are fruit flies. However, if you look closely at them you may be in for a surprise. They may not look exactly the way that you thought. There’s a good reason for this, and that’s because they are not fruit flies but phorid humpbacked flies.

Today we are going to look at all of the information about these pests and what you need to know about them. This will help you know how to get rid of phorid flies if you ever have a problem with these types of flies.

What Are Phorid Humpbacked Flies?

These are tiny flies that measure around 1/8” in length. They look very similar to fruit flies except they have a humped back. Because they are so small, you may need to use the zoom feature on your phone to see this detail. However, their unusual behavior will usually give them away. When they are disturbed, rather than flying away, a lot of phorid flies will scuttle across a surface to get away.

You should know that not all of these types of flies are a problem, since many of them will take care of invasive pests such as fire ants. Therefore, unless these kinds of flies get into the house, you shouldn’t assume that trouble will follow.

LooksHow to Get Rid of Phorid Humpbacked Flies

Phorid flies are very tiny, measuring only 0.5 mm to 5.5 mm. They often resemble the common fruit fly. They are dull brown or black and color usually, but sometimes they are yellowish. They have an arched thorax as an adult, which gives them their humpbacked appearance. That’s why they are sometimes called phorid humpbacked flies.


How to Get Rid of Phorid Humpbacked FliesLike the majority of flies, their life cycle is four-phase. This includes the egg stage, the larvae stage, the pupal stage, and the adult stage. Depending on the temperatures, the environment’s hospitality and the species, they can take anywhere from 11 – 22 days to become an adult.

Preventing Phorid Flies in Your Home

Keeping these kinds of flies out of the house is sometimes difficult. The reason is because of their small size. Even though it can be hard, caulking around your doors and windows and making sure that your screens don’t have rips or holes in them is a good place to start. You also want to replace worn-out door insulation and sweeps too. Another thing that you can do is to seal the holes around any wires and pipes that are coming into the house with expanding foam or caulk is another essential step that you can take to stop phorid flies from getting in.

Unfortunately, battling these kind of flies isn’t always cut and dry and is very much a two-step process. Even though they likely enter the house in the ways listed above. However, they also come in ways that are unexpected, such as through a broken drain pipe or through a floor drain. Therefore, you want to monitor your drains regularly because this can help you with preventing an infestation. Use tape over the drains when you’re not using them to help with monitoring the movement of phorid flies.

Another way that phorid flies can get in is by hitching rides on things such as rotten potatoes. So you want to carefully check any produce before you bring it inside.

These ways of prevention are similar to ones in our article about how to get rid of moths. So if you are having a problem with these pests, check it out.

Phorid Fly Control

So you have a problem with phorid flies. Now you want to know how to get rid of phorid flies. Below are some things that you can do to control phorid flies.

Locate the infestation source

How to Get Rid of Phorid Humpbacked FliesBefore you can start taking control of the problem, you have to find out where the infestation originated. The common breeding and feeding areas of phorid flies are similar to the ones of fruit flies, including:

  • Food prep areas
  • Laundry rooms and bathrooms
  • In & around plumbing and drains
  • Areas where food is stored, particularly pantry items, vegetables and fruits
  • Beneath appliances or between large appliances and counters
  • Dishwashing areas
  • Garbage disposals
  • Broken tiles
  • Septic line and system
  • Food waste, recycling, and garbage areas
  • Cleaning closets, particularly in mop heads and buckets.

When you are trying to find the source of the infestation, these steps are good ones to take.

  1. Check areas where you are storing food for any rotting and decayed food, particularly in boxed and bagged produce and any dried goods, particularly onions, potatoes and flour. If you had these sitting on the floor or near water, plumbing or drainage, it’s possible they got wet and started decaying.
  2. If you don’t have any luck, you should check for any dead animals in the house.
  3. If you still don’t know where the infestation originated, check your septic tank and line for any leaks and cracks with a plumber. Based on the location of your pipes, it’s possible that you’ll have to cut into your floor or walls. You might need a contractor for that.


How to Get Rid of Phorid Humpbacked FliesRegular preventive steps and sanitation will be needed to help you with getting rid of the phorid flies. They also will help you with preventing future problems. Below are some tips to use for sanitation.

  • Daily sanitize your countertops, sinks, and drains
  • Use products with bacterial digesters in them inside drains for helping to prevent the accumulation of common organic materials as well as eliminate common feeding and breeding sources.
  • Clean up liquid and food spills immediately from sinks, floors and countertops.
  • Move your appliances regularly to clean up any liquid and food that has dripped down or fallen on the sides. If you can’t move your appliances and cabinets, steam cleaners can be rented to properly sanitize and clean those tight spaces in between them.
  • Frequently wash kitchen sponges, towels and washcloths.
  • Empty and sanitize interior and exterior compost, garbage and recycling bins
  • Repair plumbing drips and leaks immediately.
  • Make sure that you maintain your septic tank and line.
  • Pay close attention to the things that you are buying and avoid buying damaged, decaying, or overripe produce.
  • Inspect produce regularly and get rid of any rotten items.
  • Store pantry and food items properly, in appropriate containers or temperatures.
  • Don’t buy huge quantities of meats, pantry items or produce unless you’re going to quickly use them or you have enough storage space in your dry storage area and fridge.
  • Clean your food containers prior to putting them in your recycling can, particularly if it’s inside.
  • Store compost, recycling, and garbage cans away from the entry points of your home.

Aerosols and Gels

How to Get Rid of Phorid Humpbacked FliesNow that you know where the phorid flies are coming in, you are ready to take care of the problem. Pyrid aerosol can be used both for space spray and contact spray. For space spray use, make sure that there aren’t any people or pets inside the room where you are applying the pyrid. You also should turn off the air conditioner and close doors and windows. Apply pyrid at 1-3 seconds / 1,000 cubic feet. If you’re using it in your kitchen, be sure that there isn’t any plates, pots, bowls or utensils exposed.

If you suspect that you have phorid flies in your drains and you want to know how to get rid of phorid-humpbacked flies with drain gel, you will be happy to know that there are also gel options for your drains.

Fly traps

How to Get Rid of Phorid Humpbacked FliesAnother way that you can get rid of the phorid flies is by using fly traps. These kinds of traps will attract the flies with pheromones and help you with getting rid of the problem. Generally, any fly killers or traps will suit. More so, you can check out our guide on the best electric fly swatters.


Where do phorid humpbacked flies nest?

They will need anything organic so that they can survive. Garbage foodstuff or meat is usually what is going to help them prosper. Like the majority of small flies, they are simple to control. We have listed a few things that you can do to help you with controlling the problem of phorid flies.

Are there any natural ways to deal with phorid flies?

If you are worried about the environment, chances are you want to know how to get rid of phorid flies naturally. The one thing to know is that pesticides won’t work on phorid flies. The best way that you can deal with them is to guard against infestations. However, sometimes they sneak into the house.

One of the ways that you can detect having a phorid fly problem is through using glue traps. This is particularly helpful if you believe they are inside your drains or other areas that are hard to observe. When you use this along with fly taped, they can help with catching the adults. There are some good options in our article about the best moth traps, too.

Something else to note about phorid flies is that, unlike fruit flies, vinegar will not work with them.

Do phorid flies carry disease?

Because they come into contact with food and garbage, they can carry diseases into your house. This may include E. Coli, salmonella, and other types of food borne pathogens to your house.

Do phorid flies go in plants?

Phorid flies usually aren’t interested in plants unless they are decaying, such as rotten potatoes and other kinds of produce. So chances are that you don’t have to worry about how to get rid of phorid flies in your plants unless your plants are in really bad shape.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you found this article helpful, and you now know how to get rid of phorid flies in your house. Keep in mind that the best defense against phorid humpbacked flies is a good offense.

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