Larvae of Psychoda and Telmatoscopus occur in filter beds and settling tanks of sewage-treatment and water-treatment plants, where they feed on algae, fungi, bacteria, and protozoa. The adults are often annoying pests in the neighborhood of the treatment facilities. Similar nuisance problems have been reported in connection with turf production in Florida and greenhouse operations in California. Psychoda and Telmatoscopus also may be pests in and around homes and buildings, where they emerge from sumps, sink and floor drains, sewers, cesspools, septic tanks, aquariums, and other breeding sites. Outbreaks of moth flies have been associated with bronchial asthma in susceptible individuals. A case of urinary myiasis due to Psychoda albipennis has been reported from Scotland, and a case of enteric myiasis due to P. alternata has been reported from Japan.

P. alternata is widely distributed in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia and is the most common species associated with sewage treatment plants worldwide. P. albipennis and P. severini also are common in sewage treatment plants in Europe. Telmato-scopus albipunctatus is widely distributed in the United States and Canada. P. cinerea and P. pacifica occur in the eastern and western United States, respectively.

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