Everything You Need to Know about House Flies

House flies are among the most annoying and disgusting insects on Earth. They can be found just about anywhere where there is food, including your home. They are commonly found near sources of putrefying organic material such as animal manure and food waste where they lay eggs. Flies are not only a nuisance. They can also transmit many diseases to humans, including typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, and anthrax.

House flies have brief lifespans; however, they can fast reproduce in huge numbers. Houseflies have been on Earth for about 250 million years and will likely continue to exist for many more centuries because of their high reproductive rates and ability to adapt quickly. For these reasons, housefly control is difficult but necessary to keep them from becoming too much of a problem.

What does House fly Look Like?

The house fly is the most common species of fly. House flies are most abundant in the subfamily of Muscinae, which contains about 2,000 described species. The larvae prefer to live in stagnant or slowly running fresh water with decaying organic matter present for them to feed on.

House flies have a shiny, black body with either gray or yellowish stripes. These stripes are on its thorax, which lies between the head and abdomen of the fly. This is where the wings are attached. The wings are gray, and the whole body is covered with hair-like bristles that give it a fuzzy appearance; it possesses halteres that allow it to maintain balance during flight. These flies are capable of flying at an average speed of four miles per hour.

Macro shot of common house fly

The house fly has compound eyes that are reddish-brown with facets; it can barely make out details but is acutely sensitive to motion. House flies range from 5-12 millimeters (0.2-0.5 inches) and have an average life span of 21 days. The house fly’s mouth is made up of two parts. One part is used to suck up liquid, and the other part chews. Their saliva contains enzymes that can dissolve food, making it easier for them to eat.

Female residence flies are typically larger than males. House flies no longer have a tooth or a stinger. House Fly eggs resemble small grains of rice. The eggs hatch into larvae, also called maggots, varying in length from approximately ¼-3/8″ (7-10 mm) long. Grubs are cream-colored with a greasy look. When getting into the pupal stage, maggots expand dark, intricate outer shells, legs, and wings, in the long run rising as full-grown grownup flies.  

Where does House fly can be found?

House flies live in different environments worldwide, anywhere that is warm and has a lot of food.

House flies feed on decaying organic materials such as plants and animals. They spend most of their time near food sources, such as garbage and compost piles, which explains why they are often seen in outdoor locations like parks or rural fields. House flies are also attracted to moisture, which means they can be found near water sources such as puddles, rivers, and animal waste.

House flies have a lifespan of about 30 days during warm weather. In colder temperatures, their life spans decrease significantly. House flies often defecate on the surfaces that they land on to help regulate temperature and humidity levels inside their bodies,

Housefly eating sweet

House flies have four stages in their life cycle, including egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Adult house flies lay eggs near sources of food or moisture. The eggs are small white spheres with a shiny coating. In about two days, the eggs hatch into larvae or maggots.

Larvae are voracious eaters and have a soft, transparent body with a yellow-headed region. These larvae feed on food sources such as animal waste or decaying plants for four to six days, after which time they become pupae, also known as “tumblers” because of their ability to roll themselves. House flies in the pupa stage have a hard casing with a breathing tube at the rear end of their bodies. After an additional ten days, depending on temperature, pupae transform into adult house flies and emerge from the casing.

Are Houseflies Harmful?

Many people often ask, “are houseflies harmful?” and the answer is yes. They are harmful to the human body and the environment. Houseflies provide a breeding ground for organisms that cause disease. Houseflies can carry germs from animal droppings from various locations from their house to the food you eat with them on their feet.

Houseflies have been known to carry pathogens from feces that could cause diarrhea or vomiting, which is a dangerous to human. In addition, houseflies feed on food eaten by either human or animal which is harmful because of the saliva present in their mouths.

Another common disease spread by houseflies is dysentery, which causes bloody stool and stomach pain. A collection of germs called Shigella causes it. The germs are transferred to someone else when they touch something with the germs on it (like food or toys), then touching their mouth.

Houseflies are also one of the most common carriers of salmonella, which gives people diarrhea and stomach cramps. It spread by touching something with germs or eating food with germs on it, especially raw meat or eggs. These kinds of diseases can make children very sick and can even cause death.

How to Get Rid of House Flies

Flies are one of the most irritating creatures to deal with. They are constantly flying around you, landing on surfaces that are not sanitary and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Thankfully there are some simple ways in which you can get rid of these unwelcome pests for good! Here is what you need to do:

Set up a fly trap. One of the most effective ways to get rid of flies is setting up a simple homemade flytrap. A jelly jar with some sugar, vinegar, and fruit juice in it will attract and kill around 20 flies if put out in an area where they are likely to congregate.

Flies are eating rotten fruit on the ground.

Place sticky tape near windows and doors. Another way to get rid of flies is by placing sticky flypaper near any doorways or windows that let the flies in. It’s simple, cheap, and effective!

Make sure that your rubbish bin has a tight-fitting lid. Putting a lid on your refuse or recycling bin will not only keep the flies out but also prevent the spread of fruit flies around your home!

Use chemical sprays with caution. When considering what chemicals you are trying to use to get rid of flies, always ensure that they are all under current safety and environmental legislation. You should also remember that some chemical sprays will only kill the flies and not prevent them from coming back.

Use natural disinfectants. One of the best ways to get rid of flies is using natural disinfectants such as essential oils, vinegar, or even ketchup mixed with brown sugar. Not only are they less harmful to you and your family, but they are also much better for the environment!

Clean regularly. Keeping your home clean is one of the best ways to deal with flies. By cleaning up regularly, you can minimize their access to food sources and prevent them from coming back! 

  • Clean all spills immediately: Houseflies can be very persistent in searching for food, especially sugar and protein substances. Therefore, spills should be cleaned immediately to avoid attracting more houseflies into your home. 


  • Clean houseplants & remove pet feces daily: Pet wastes are major reasons for fly infestations. Cats and dogs often use planters as litter boxes, easily turning into ideal breeding grounds for flies if not cleaned regularly. Houseflies also lay eggs in the soil of potted plants.

House flies can lay up to several hundred eggs in a lifetime, and the female fly only needs the protein from a small amount of food to produce this many eggs. Because of this, it is best to take action before infestations take place. Again, a pest control professional can be a big help. 

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