House flies are one of the most commonly recognized and widespread insects in all of the world. Like all other flies, they develop through a process called complete metamorphosis.

The fly life cycle has four stages. These stages move from eggs to larvae and pupae to adult. House flies have an incredible ability to reproduce, however, the fly lifespan is typically short.

The life cycle of a fly begins with the egg. The female house fly can lay anywhere from 75 to 150 eggs in a batch. She can lay an estimated five or six batches of eggs during her lifetime, starting on average, about 12 days after reaching full maturity.

Eggs take eight to 20 hours to hatch and reach the first of three larval stages. During this part of the fly life cycle, larvae are also referred to as maggots. Maggots grow rapidly and must molt, or shed a layer of skin, before each larval stage. Each stage takes anywhere from three days (in temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit) to eight weeks (in cooler climates).

The larval stage is followed by the pupal stage. It is during this stage that the white, characterless maggot begins to take the form of an adult fly. The pupal stage lasts four to six days in warm temperatures.

How long does a fly live? Most flies live between 15 and 25 days. However, flies have a different perception of time than humans do. They have the ability to see objects up to four times faster than humans, meaning that a newspaper swat from their view happens in slow motion.

How long do flies live from their own viewpoint, if their world is in slow motion? That question remains unanswered, but if you have a fly infestation in your home, speed the process of elimination and call Terminix®.

Fly Life Cycle Resources