How to deal with bluebottles

Updated April 17, 2017

The fly known as the bluebottle has a shiny metallic, blue back, distinguishing it from the smaller housefly. Bluebottles grow exclusively in the rotting carcases of animals and food, and as well as being an annoyance, they pose a risk to household health and hygiene. Following some simple advice can help prevent or deal with the problem of these flying pests.

Keep your house clean and store food appropriately. Flies such as bluebottles come inside in search of something to eat. Keep food in a fridge, cupboard or containers.

Seal garbage bags and remove them from the house as often as possible. Maggots quickly breed in food left to rot, and they soon become bluebottles. A forgotten apple core or a mouldy piece of cheese can trigger an unpleasant infestation.

Place outdoor waste sites, such as garbage cans and compost heaps, away from the home.

Find the source of an infestation, remove it and clean the area. In a house, causes may include dead animals, such as mice, under floorboards and in areas usually invisible.

Purchase and use a fly spray, available from most supermarkets and hardware stores. Cover food before spraying across an area and leaving to settle. Clean food preparation surfaces after use.

Purchase and use alternative pest-control methods, such as ultraviolet fly-killers and flypaper. You can find these in most supermarkets and hardware stores.

Use a flyswatter, a hand or another implement to kill bluebottles directly, washing the surface and your hands afterward. Bluebottles can see side-to-side movements, but do not perceive movements directly toward them. You can easily kill individual flies by approaching them head-on.


When using insecticides, such as fly sprays, always avoid contact with food, skin and surfaces used for food preparation and always wash afterward.

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About the Author

Dave Koenig has written professionally since 2005. His writing interests include the arts, film, religion and language. Koenig holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical-theological studies from Manchester University and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education in religious studies from Lancaster University.