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House Fly Facts & Identification

Protect your home or business from house flies by learning techniques for identification and control.

House fly illustration
Musca domestica
4 to 7.5 mm
4 black stripes on thorax
Gray, gair-covered body
Compound eyes


How do I get rid of house flies?

What Orkin Does

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 Orkin 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. Your Orkin Pro 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.

Orkin Pros are trained to spot these breeding sites during the inspection. They 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. Your Orkin Pro 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. Scheduling a home inspection may help you get rid of house flies.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding House Flies


  • Size: 4 to 7.5 mm long

  • Color: Usually gray

  • Body: Four black stripes on the thorax. House flies are covered with small hairs that serve as taste organs.

  • Eyes: Their compound eyes are extremely complex: thousands of individual lenses allow them a wide field of vision.


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.


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. Read more about the house fly life cycle or gestation of a house fly.

Life Span

The average life span for a house fly in the wild is less than one month. Read more.


House flies are major carriers of disease. They are known to transfer over 100 pathogens resulting in ailments, including typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera and dysentery.

More Information

House Fly Eyes

Sounds of a House Fly

House Fly Problems

House Flies and Disease

Different House Fly Species

Lesser House Flies

Red House Flies

Blue House Flies

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