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House Fly Musca Domestica

Color of house fly

Larvae are cream-colored and greasy-looking. Pupae are brown and egg-shaped. Adults are dull gray.


Larva is an eyeless, legless maggot, tapered from rear to end, and with a pair of dark hooks. Adult faces have two velvety strips, silver above and gold below. Thorax has four narrow stripes. Sides of abdomen are usually pale, and mouthparts are spongy.

Where found

Is there any place on Earth you can escape to without being pestered by flies?


Females will lay eggs on almost any warm, moist material with a food supply. Most house flies stray only 1-2 miles from their larval habitat. During the day they rest on surfaces 5 feet from the ground or below; at night they rest above the 5 foot level, but always near food.


Flies are the ultimate garbage disposal. They love human food, but also think excrement is pretty tasty. For the record, I wouldn't trust any fly's recommendation about food.


The female lays oval, white eggs in clusters of 20-50, which hatch in 8-20 hours. She can lay 350-900 eggs in her lifetime. Larvae go through 3 instars (stages) in 3-7 days at 70-90 degrees F. Full grown larvae travel up to 150 feet in 3-4 days to pupate in a cool, dry place. Depending on the temperature and humidity, the pupa goes from yellowish to black during a period of a few days to a month. After emerging, the body then hardens and the wings dry within about an hour. Life is fast and short-lived; development from egg to adult can occur within a week, and total lifespan is 15-25 days, depending on temperature.


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

Sanitation is key to reducing these pests, as well as identifying breeding sites. Use tight-fitting closures for garbage receptacles and make sure to empty, clean, and dry them regularly. Cleaning up after pests will help curb their attraction to your property. Pesticides will help reduce the population, but cannot stand alone without sanitation. Applications of residual pesticides can help when placed on fly resting areas. If reduction is not achieved after following the above steps, look for other sources in neighboring properties. If flies have entered interior areas, they can be knocked down with a non-residual flying insect material. Check window screens and door seals to help keep flies from entering the structure. Finding and eliminating the source is the best way to achieve long-term control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.

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