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Blow Fly benefit
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Blow Fly - benefit
See also: adult | larva

Scientific Name: Calliphoridae: several species

Status: beneficial insect, except when an annoyance around homes

Beneficial Stage: maggot

Value: Blow fly adults deposit eggs in and around dead animals and animal refuse. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on decaying flesh, rotting vegetation, or matted hair. Most larvae do not attack healthy tissue. Blow flies are a very valuable insect in the ecosystem because they help break down and recycle animal tissue and manure.  The occurrence and development of blow fly larvae on cadavers has been extensively studied and can assist forensic scientists in determining an approximate time of death when investigating whether a crime has been committed.  In some cases, blow flies may become pests if they enter homes and contaminate foods or people in the same way house flies do.

Management: Removal of breeding sites, including animal carcasses, garbage, and decomposing material, is the best way to eliminate a pesky population.