Shore Flies—Scatella stagnalis

Shore flies are about 1/12 inch long, with reddish eyes and gray wings with clear spots. They resemble fruit flies, but are sometimes confused with fungus gnats, which are about the same size and color. Unlike fungus gnats, shore flies do not feed on ornamental plants and are harmless, except that they can be very numerous and leave behind their excrement as specks on plants foliage. Proper sanitation is the best control and they are very difficult to control with pesticides.

shore fly adult shore flies shore fly on flower Adult shore flies have reddish eyes and gray wings with clear spots. Shore flies, about 1/12 inch long, can be very numerous, but are harmless and do not feed on ornamental plants. In center photo, note "fly specks."    

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Identification and Control Information

[Photos, left to right: David Cappaert, Michigan State University,; Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,; Jim Baker, North Carolina State University,;]