House Flies

( Musca domestica )

Characteristics

SIZE: The common house fly (or housefly) is usually one-quarter of an inch long.

COLOR: House flies have gray bodies and dark stripes running the length of the thorax.

BEHAVIOR: Depending on the season and temperature, a house fly can live anywhere from two and a half weeks in hot climates to three months in cooler areas. It’s eggs will hatch into maggots after seven to eight hours, depending on the temperature, and then go into the pupal or cocoon stage before turning into an adult house fly. The house fly then flies up to two miles in search of suitable egg-laying sites. The life cycle from egg to adult ranges from one to three weeks.

House flies are notorious for spreading disease. It’s been shown that each fly is capable of carrying more than a million bacteria. House flies can spread diarrhea, typhoid fever and cholera.

House flies spread bacteria that contaminate your food and the surfaces where you prepare your food just by landing on them. After a house fly lands on your food, it regurgitates its stomach contents onto the food to liquefy it before ingesting your food. During feeding, house flies can also defecate on food. And remember that these flies are coming from their “homes” in garbage and animal waste.

Habitats

Usually found where humans reside, the house fly develops its larvae in or around garbage, horse manure or other types of decaying matter.

Tips for Control

Limit the house flies’ food source by keeping your garbage tightly covered. When eating outside, keep all food covered. Make sure your windows and doors have screens and that there are no openings for the house fly to enter. Sticky fly traps and swatters can eliminate many house flies inside your home. You can also contact the experts at Terminix® to remove house flies for good.

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