House Fly – Identification and Treatments
Common housefly, lesser housefly, blue housefly, red housefly
How to Identify:
House flies are small, winged insects that are typically 4-7.5mm long. They are usually grey or black and sometimes have stripes on their body. They have six legs, large red eyes, and are covered in small hairs. Signs of a housefly infestation include finding larvae in rotting organic material, finding pupae nearby the larvae, and seeing the adult flies themselves.
House flies are capable of living both inside or outside and can be found resting on walls, ceilings, and plants. They prefer to stay close to food sources so will be found near uncovered trash cans, kitchens, and anywhere else food is left out. They will eat human food, carcasses, garbage, and excrement. Female house flies can lay 75-150 eggs and typically lay them in warm, moist environments. These eggs resemble grains of rice and can hatch within a day in favorable environments. House fly larvae, or maggots, are white and look similar to small worms. They will molt several times before pupating into fully grown adults. The lifespan of a housefly is only about a month.
Are They Dangerous?:
House flies carry over 100 different pathogens including typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera, and dysentery. They collect these pathogens when feeding on feces, garbage, or other unclean materials. They can transfer these diseases to any food or surfaces that they touch. House flies can even transmit the eggs of parasitic worms.
How to Stop Them:
One prevention method is to inspect the perimeter of your home for any torn screens, weather stripping, or any other holes which flies could use to enter your home. It is important to identify what type of fly is infesting your home because different species require different treatment methods. For this reason, it is important to contact a pest control professional who can identify the type of fly and set up a specific treatment plan for it. It is also important to identify and remove any breeding sites the flies may be using as this is the root of the problem. Adult flies can be treated with a combination of fly traps, bait, and insecticide.