There are a few types of flies commonly referred to as filth flies. That’s because, as you may have guessed, they’re attracted to general uncleanliness-and house flies are among them.
And house flies aren’t just an annoyance when you have to deal with them; according to the CDC, they can cause serious health risks by spreading germs and diseases like Salmonella and E.coli causing diarrhea. In fact, house flies can carry and transmit many diseases to humans. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help prevent and manage house flies.
Identifying house fliesHouse flies are often the most common fly found in homes. Let’s first go over how to identify them before we talk about how to prevent house flies. The following are common physical traits and behaviors exhibited by house flies:
- Size: ⅛ of an inch to ¼ of an inch (males are commonly smaller than females)
- Wings: Only one pair
- Color: A dull gray. The thorax also has four narrow stripes though because house flies are so small, this trait can sometimes be hard to spot.
- Do house flies bite? No. House flies have sponge-like mouthparts for ingesting liquids, not for biting.
- Other factors: House flies, like all filth flies, lay eggs on animal feces and garbage, which will eventually hatch into small, white, legless maggots.
How to prevent houseflies
Now that you know how to identify house flies, let’s talk about the steps you can take to help prevent them in your house and your yard.
Keep things clean inside
Considering that house flies are commonly considered to be filth flies, this tip is probably no surprise. But, it is important to get specific. The most useful things to keep clean are the kitchen and the garbage containers. It’s helpful to take garbage out frequently, as well as keep your garbage can clean to prevent food decay or odors. If you are not taking the garbage out right away, you should always be sure to tie garbage bags tightly to reduce the amount of odor that might escape.
Clean your yard of manure and dead animals
House flies don’t just feed on human garbage. They also feed on animal waste and deceased animals. With this in mind, it’s important to keep your yard clean. Properly dispose of animal waste and/or dead animals, so that flies aren’t attracted to make a meal out of either. If you have compost piles, they should be covered with black sheeting.
Keep garbage cans away from the house
If you have larger garbage cans outdoors, keep them covered and consider moving them as far away from your doors as is feasible. Since garb age is a commonplace for house flies to lay their eggs in, this tip is doubly important. The less that house flies are able to access your garbage to feed on, the less likely they’ll be to lay eggs that beget new house flies.
Use screens on your windows and doors
House flies can sometimes find their way indoors trailing behind a person through a door or by sneaking in through an open window. To help prevent house flies from making their way indoors, you can use mesh screens on doors and windows. These screens should be tight-fitting, without any gaps or holes that flies could enter through.