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house fly

Introduction

As their name suggests the house fly is the most common species of fly that people have buzzing through their homes. House flies are found throughout North America and the rest of world as well. They are a huge nuisance for homeowners, and can carry and spread a variety of serious diseases.

Recognition

House flies are dull gray in color and are about 1/8th-1/4 of an inch in length. They have black vertical lines on the top of their bodies. Adults have two stripes on their face, one is silver, and one is gold in color. House flies produce tiny white eggs in clusters of about 100. Their larvae are off-white in color and have a pointed head and no appendages. The pupa is dark brown, round in shape and tapers from front to back.

Biology

The life cycle of the house fly begins when the female lays 100-150 eggs in any warm, moist food source that she can find. This usually includes garbage, manure, compost piles, or grass piles. Depending on the temperature (the warmer the faster) the eggs will hatch in as little as 7-½ hours or as long as two days.

The newly hatched larvae then begin feeding on the food source that they were hatched on and go through a series of three molts. After three molts they burrow themselves into the ground and pupate emerging as adults and are ready to breed 1-2 days later. The entire life cycle of the house fly generally take from 1-3 weeks depending on the weather conditions.

House flies can only ingest liquids not solid food. In order to consume solid foods they regurgitate their saliva onto the food and then suck up the liquid with their specialized mouthparts.

Habits

House flies enter into homes and other buildings while they are looking for food and water- garbage, animal feces, leaky pipes or fixtures, and compost piles are all things that attract house flies to properties. They commonly enter into your home through torn screens, gaps around windows and doors, and any other small openings.

House flies are usually landing and feeding on garbage, feces and other less than desirable items before entering into your home. Because of this house flies can introduce a lot of dangerous diseases into your home and contaminate your food sources very quickly. Diseases that they transmit include but are not limited to typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, tularemia, and tuberculosis.

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Prevention

The best way to prevent problems with house flies is to remove the things around your home and property that may attract them. If animals are living on your property clean up their waste daily, keep tight fitting lids on garbage cans, store compost away from the exterior or your home, and fix leaky outdoor fixtures. It is also helpful to use screens, caulk gaps around windows and doors, and seal cracks in the foundation of your home to keep house flies from entering into it. Inside of your home try to store food in sealed containers or the refrigerator instead of out in the open on counters or tables.

Control

Getting help from a professional with a house fly infestation can be the best course of action. At Rottler, we safely treat for and control house flies as part of our residential pest control program. A Rottler technician will apply an appropriately labeled pesticide outdoors in areas that house flies are commonly found. If necessary, we can safely spot treat for flies using residual insecticides and/or baits on typical fly resting surfaces within your home as long as they are located away from food sources.

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