Scientific Name - Musca domestica

Length - Adults are about 1/8-1/4” (4-7.5 mm) long

Colour - Dark gray

What is a House Fly?

The most popular fly in and around homes is the house fly. It has a presence worldwide, and is popular in the United States. House flies, while buzzing around houses, are not only nuisance pests but possible carriers of disease. House flies have limited lifespans but they can reproduce rapidly in large numbers, leading to large house fly populations if not detected and managed effectively.

Threats Posed by House Flies

House flies do not bite but can transmit over 100 different pathogens including salmonellosis, typhoid and tuberculosis. House flies contaminate food surfaces by transmitting disease species that are picked up on their legs and mouths as they feed on garbage, feces and other rotting materials. And they are also defecating.


How Do House Flies Get in the House?

House flies take advantage of structural problems to reach a home, such as damaged weather stripping or broken windows. Those pests are drawn by air currents and odors to buildings. Since their ideal temperature is 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius), house flies are attracted on cooler days by warm air currents coming from houses, and vice versa on colder days.

House Fly Habits and Habitat

The house fly encounters, like many other rodents, a four-phase life cycle. Depending on the circumstances, it can take as little as six days to develop a house fly from egg to adult. The life cycle starts when a fertilized female house fly finds an acceptable place to lay its eggs, often on waste, carrion or garbage. She can reproduce around 5-6 times during each round, laying batches of about 100 eggs. Female house flies normally mate only once, but can produce between 350-900 eggs in their lifetime. The eggs, which are white and approximately 1.2 mm long, will hatch in warm weather in 12-24 hours. Sometimes referred to as maggots, pale-white larvae emerge from the nests. Around 3-9 mm in length, these legless larvae feed three to five days at the egg-laying site. At the end of this time, larvae search for a dark, dry, and cool pupate environment. The pupae develop legs and wings over a period of three to six days, and mature into fully grown adult house flies. The adult female house flies are completely ready and able to reproduce after two or three days, restarting the life cycle. Usually adult house flies live for 15-25 days.

House flies are typically only active throughout the day when they congregate on floors, walls, and ceilings indoors. Inside, house flies tend to stay around trees, fence posts, garbage cans and dirt. House flies can usually be found at night resting 5 to 15 feet off the ground and near to food sources. They will withstand cold winters by hibernating, positioning themselves in the indoor corners and edges. House flies appear to remain within 1-2 miles from where they were born, but are known to migrate up to 20 miles to find food. Since house flies have no teeth they can only feed on liquids. Nevertheless, they use their sponging mouth-parts to spit or regurgitate several solid foods. Their tongues are designed to suck up the food like straws. House flies feed on a wide variety of items, including human food, carcasses of animals, and garbage. Because of their strong odour, they are especially drawn to pet waste.