face fly on a piece of fruit in tucson home

What is a face fly?

Face flies are a type of agricultural pest that attack the faces of cattle and, to a lesser extent, horses.  They attack the face in order to feed on the mucus and watery secretions that are found around the eyes of their victim.  The face flies use their abrasive spongy mouthparts to stimulate tears from around the eyes.

Face flies have a very similar appearance to house flies; they are gray and have four dark stripes running longitudinally down their thorax.  Adults grow to be about ½ an inch in length; males and females do vary slightly in appearance.  The female’s abdomen is black except for the front portion which is orange; the male’s abdomen is more orange-brown with a black dorsal strip, the front portion is black.

face fly on a pen

Why do I have them?

Face flies generally attack cattle during the warm weather months; they are at their peak numbers in July and August.  When the weather cools down in the fall they move inside barns, sheds, garages, and homes in order to overwinter.  Face flies overwinter behind walls, in crawl spaces, and above ceilings.  When the weather warms back up in the spring, the flies become active once again and can be a nuisance inside homes as they try to make their way back outside.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, face flies can be dangerous to both animals and people.  Face flies can irritate cattle and cause them to reduce their food consumption, and they can also transmit diseases to them.

Face flies lay their eggs in manure and feed by secreting their saliva into a food source and then “sponging” the liquid back up.  Both of these habits can lead to face flies contaminating human food and transmitting pathogens to people.

Can I do it myself?

Do-it-yourself face fly control is not recommended.  Flies, in general, are difficult to control, and face flies especially can be extremely difficult to control. This is because they spend much of their time either on the faces of cattle or in hard to reach areas of your home.  Also DIY pest control does not do anything to treat the root of your face fly problem-the how and why they are entering your home.

How soon can you get here?

We are dedicated to making sure that we get help to you as quickly as possible because we understand how stressful pest problems can be for you and your family.  In most instances, Schendel will respond the same day or the very next day.

Is the treatment safe?

Yes, our treatment methods are safe for use around people, pets, and plants.  We use the least amount of material possible to solve your pest problem whether that is using natural products, baits, mechanical means, or conventional products.  We follow very strict guidelines, and all of our conventional products are EPA registered. Our trained and experienced service technicians will also inform you of any specific safety measures that may need to be taken before treatment begins.

How much does it cost?

We have standard pricing for all of our pest services, based on average sized homes under 3500 square feet and where the infestation does not require more than the standard number of services. We will always make you aware of any price changes before we start your service. Sign up for your FREE quote today and see how much you can save with Schendel.

How can I prevent this in the future?

Preventing issues with face flies, and most other pest problems, can be very difficult.  The best way to stop pest infestations is to have a year-round home pest control plan in place.

Along with professional pest control there are a few things that you can do around your home to stop face flies from entering:

  • Make sure to place door sweeps underneath all exterior doors.
  • Caulk gaps found around windows and doors.
  • Make sure that all screens found in doors and windows are completely intact.
  • Seal cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation and exterior walls.
  • If livestock live on your property, regularly remove and/or properly store organic waste- manure



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