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Fly Control

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Little House Fly

Little House Fly

Color

The brown-grey thorax has three black longitudinal stripes in the males. These are much more indistinct in the female. The first two segments of the abdomen are translucently yellow with a dark-brown basal color.

Characteristics

The little house fly is somewhat smaller (3.5-6 mm or 0.14-0.24 inch) than the common housefly, which certainly helps explain the name. It is slender, and the median vein in the wing is straight. Fannia at rest hold their wings over the back more than the house fly does, creating a narrower V-shape to the wing outline.

Where Found

Little house flies are found world-wide and have a life expectancy from two to five weeks.

Habitat

More of an outdoor type. Little house flies are more reluctant to enter homes than house flies. They tend to congregate in outdoor areas such as patios, entryways, and garages. As temperatures decline, they seek cover in buildings or protective vegetation.

They seldom land on human foods and are not considered a significant carrier of human disease agents. However, their habit of hovering at face height makes them annoying.

Food

What'll it be tonight? Poultry, cow or dog feces? They do not have 5-star taste buds. Little house flies are commonly found in garbage depots and other places where food waste is stored. They prefer to dine on liquid and semi-liquid decaying organic matter, especially poultry, cow, and dog feces, kitchen wastes, such as the end of putrid potatoes or carrots, silage, and compost.

Biology

It's the circle of life. And it moves us all. The life cycle of the little house fly basically starts in very damp, putrid excrement or liquid manure. The females lay their eggs in batches of up to 50 and may lay altogether up to 2,000 eggs. The eggs hatch after only 2 days (24-48 hours at 75-81 degrees Fahrenheit) and the larvae require 6 more days to reach pupation, which lasts 7 days. They develop into adults in 2-4 weeks, depending on temperature.

Damage

Flies spit out both ends when they land. In addition to excreting and regurgitating, they also have sticky pads on their legs that help transmit disease organisms; especially the ones that spend most of their days hanging around filth.

Good Riddance

As with all nuisance flies, eliminating breeding sites is the preferred method of controlling Fannia. Accumulations of manure (especially from poultry) or other decaying organic matter are ideal developmental sites. These developmental sites must be removed or spread thin to fully dry. Fannia are not attracted to the same fly baits or traps that collect house flies. Some relief can be obtained by placing fans in areas where male Fannia tend to swarm, as the increased air movement will make the site less attractive to them. It might help take the stink away, too.


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