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House Flies

Facts, Identification & Control

Latin Name

Musca domestica

Appearance

Usually gray, less than 4 to 7.5 mm long with four black stripes on the thorax.

image of house fly

House Fly Sound

Click here to listen to a house fly’s wings hum when they flap.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits

They prefer corners and edges or thin objects to rest on. Indoors, they rest on floors, walls and ceilings during the day. Outdoors, they will rest on plants, the ground, fence wires, garbage cans, etc. Night resting places are usually near sources of food and 5 to 15 feet off the ground.

Wide variety of food, including human food, animal food and carcasses, garbage and excrement.

Reproduction

House fly eggs are laid in almost any warm, moist material that will supply suitable food for the larvae. The female may lay a total of five to six batches of 75 to 100 eggs. In warm weather, eggs hatch in 12 to 24 hours.

Signs of a House Fly Infestation

The adult flies are the most common sign of activity. Larvae also may be seen as they crawl out the breeding material to pupate. Lastly, the pupae themselves may sometimes be observed nearby the breeding material.

More Information

House Fly Facts

The average life span for a house fly in the wild is less than one month. Houseflies pass through the egg, larval and pupal stages in approximately 10 days, after which adult flies emerge. House flies cease growth after emerging from their pupae.

House flies are covered with small hairs that serve as taste organs. Their compound eyes are extremely complex: thousands of individual lenses allow them a wide field of vision.

House flies are major carriers of disease. They are known to transfer over 100 pathogens resulting in ailments, including typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera and dysentery. House flies collect these pathogens on their legs and mouths when feeding on feces, trash and other decaying material.

House Fly Control

House flies can be a real nuisance when they are flying around. But they can also transmit diseases, so it is important to get rid of them. House fly control is not always as easy as it sounds. There is often more involved than a fly swatter. House fly control involves several steps, and The Orkin Man™ can help.

The first step is identification. It is easy to confuse house flies with several other fly species, including cluster flies. The different types of flies may look similar, but they require different control methods. The Orkin Man™ can help with the identification.

It is very important to identify the places where the flies have been depositing their eggs. It may be something simple like an uncovered trash can or a bowl of pet food on the patio. However the house fly breeding site could be something that is not obvious. The breeding site must be cleaned up or removed. If the breeding site is not removed, the flies will continue to be a problem.

The Orkin Man™ is trained to spot these breeding sites during the inspection. He or she will also point out any structural issues, like torn screens or damaged weather stripping that the flies could use to get inside your home.

The next step is to eliminate the adult flies. Depending on the situation, it may be necessary to use fly bait, traps or an insecticide application. The Orkin Man™ will have all of these tools available. He or she is trained to make the application correctly.

Most homeowners find that it saves time and energy to call the local Orkin branch office for help with house fly control.

Life Cycle

Life Cycle of House Flies

Life Expectancy of House Flies

House Fly Larvae

Gestation of a House Fly

Facts

House Fly Eyes

Sounds of a House Fly

House Fly Problem

House Fly and Disease

Dichotomous Key for a House Fly

Different House Fly Species

Lesser House Flies

Red House Flies

Blue House Flies