House Flies

Family Muscidae


1/8-1/4 inch. Gray with 4 black lengthwise stripes on thorax. Abdomen is grey or yellowish with dark midline and irregular dark markings on sides. The eyes are reddish. The mouthparts are of the sponging type, suitable for sponging up food.

Near animal manure, garbage, or exposed food.


Adults suck liquids containing sweet or decaying substances. Larva feeds on moist food rich in organic matter. Although they are attracted to a variety of food material, house flies have mouthparts which enable them to ingest only liquid materials. Solid food materials are liquefied by means of regurgitated saliva. This liquefied food is then drawn up by the mouthparts and passed into the digestive tract.

Life Cycle:

Female lays 5-6 batches of 75-120 oval, white eggs on moist manure or garbage. Eggs hatch in 10-24 hours. Larvae reach full size in 5 days emerging as adults about 5 days latter. They are ready to mate within a few hours after emerging. During warm weather two or more generations may be completed in a month. Males live for 15 days, females up to 26 if they have access to milk, sugar, and water.

General Information:

98 percent or more of the flies caught in houses are house flies. Because they can transmit typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, pinworm, hookworms, and some tapeworms, house flies are regarded as a grater threat to human health than most other insects. Pathogenic organisms are picked up by flies from garbage, sewage and other sources of filth, and then transferred on their mouthparts and other body parts, through their vomitus or through their feces to human and animal food. The larger and darker face fly (M. Autumnalis), 1/4-3/8 inch resembles the house fly but settles on cows rather than manure from other animals. It creeps into the nostrils and eyes of cattle and into horse fly wounds.

Fly Management:

UV light attractant fly stations can be purchased or leased and then maintained by the field rep. Sanitation plays a large part in controlling this insect. Inspecting the building for any entry points would also be done.