Cheese skipper biology, identification, image, control tips and
products for eliminating cheese skippers or ham skippers.
Cheese skipper eggs are usually laid on the surface of
overripe or moldy cheese or on meat which is slightly putrid. Cheese skipper (also
known as Ham Skipper) larvae can also be found in grease, feces and human cadavers.
They can move about by peristaltic movements of the body as do other fly larvae,
and also by sudden, snapping movements of the body which may cause them to jump or skip as
much as 10 inches, thus the common name "skipper."
Adult Cheese Skippers are black with bronze tints on the thorax. The
eyes of this small fly are reddish-brown and the slightly iridescent wings are held flat
over the body when at rest. The entire body is only about half the size of that of
the common house fly.
Click to enlarge Cheese
The adult fly feeds on juices found in areas where they prefer to breed,
living just long enough to mate and lay eggs. The female cheese skipper will lay
approximately 140 eggs on her food source. The small larvae tend to gather together
and feed in one place, burrowing into their food source to avoid light. When mature,
larvae leave the food material and seek a dark, dry place to pupate. Under normal to
ideal conditions, the cheese skipper larvae complete their development in about five days.
It takes as little as 15 days for this fly to develop from egg to mature adult.
Space sprays and
are used to knock down existing populations of adult flies, but sanitation is the most
important aspect in the control of cheese skippers. All surfaces in storage areas
should be thoroughly cleaned to remove all meat or cheese scraps, crumbs or grease.
Surface sprays are not recommended for the control and elimination of Cheese Skippers.
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Cheese Skipper Elimination
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