HouseflyYou've probably seen them during those hot summer days laying around the house or have encountered several throughout the day if you live on a farm. A very common and well-known insect among millions, the housefly is the most recognized out of all domestic species. 91 percent of those flies inhabit human environments, being a highly distributed insect and a pest that's capable of carrying serious diseases.

Want to know a little more about the common housefly? Here is everything you need to know from identification to life cycle to prevention.

Housefly Characteristics

Adult houseflies can measure up to 8 millimeters in length. Their thorax is gray in color and can even sometimes be black, having four long, dark lines on their back. The body of a housefly is covered in entirely in black projections that are similar to tiny hairs.

Female houseflies are slightly bigger than the males, possessing a much larger space between the red compound eyes. Their pupae can range from 8 to 20 milligrams, depending on the current conditions.

Houseflies only have one pair of wings. Their hind wings aid their stability during flight.

Species that are very similar to the housefly include the lesser house fly (a much smaller and slender insect) and the stable fly (a fly with piercing mouth parts).

A Housefly's Life Cycle

An adult female housefly can lay as many as 9,000 eggs during their lifetime. They're laid in batches of approximately 75 to 150 eggs. Houseflies live and feed off of organic material, which can include dead and decaying matter like carrion or feces.

Houseflies, when young, are a pale/white color and are 3 to 9 millimeters long, with a thinner mouth and no legs.

The lifecycle of a housefly can range from 14 to 36 hours. When the third instar has finished, the maggots will precede to crawl to a dry and cool place. This is to help them transform into pupae, which are a red/brown color and around 8 millimeters long.

Adult houseflies will then emerge from pupae. This stage of their life cycle is known as a complete metamorphosis. Adults will live from two weeks to an entire month if in the wild. If living in laboratory conditions, much longer.

When houseflies emerge from pupae, they will no longer grow. Therefore, small flies aren't necessarily ones that are young, as they may have not been getting sufficient food during their larval life stage.

The Housefly's Relationship with Humans

Housefly on a blade of grassHouseflies can only survive in colder climates if they live with humans. They tend to aggregate and can be very difficult to get rid of. Houseflies are capable of carrying over 100 different pathogens. These pathogens can potentially cause typhoid, dysentery, parasitic rooms and cholera. There are some strains, however, that have managed to become immune to most insecticides.

Houseflies also feed on liquids and semi liquids. These substances can be consumed since houseflies can soften those solid materials using either saliva or vomit.

Due to their large intake of food, houseflies deposit feces on a consistent basis. This is what makes them a dangerous pathogen carrier.

Houseflies may be a domestic species, usually confined to a human habitat, they're capable of flying long distances from their original breeding ground. They are very active during the daytime, resting at night. They will normally reside at the corners of your rooms and barns. This is where they can survive cold winters through hibernation. When spring arrives, you'll only see adult houseflies during the first few days of that first thaw.

Waste Management

The larvae's ability to feed and develop in a vast range of different organic matter creates an important phase of recycling nutrients. Harvested maggots can even be used as nutritional animal feed.

Housefly Prevention

Because of their diet of decaying organic matter, houseflies will often feed and lay their eggs on garbage and will contaminate human foods and even its preparation surfaces if they manage to land on them. When cooking, clean up food scraps and add sawdust to your garbage bin to help absorb any remaining moisture. If you happen to have fruit trees on your property, pick up the fruit that lands on the ground. The moisture and sweetness combination can attract these pests.

You need to first locate the material that's been attracting the houseflies in the first place. You also need to exclude them from the premises. You can do this by keeping your windows, doors and vents closed often. If you need to have them open, invest in some screen material. This is to keep any fly entry points inaccessible. You can also install automatic closing doors or air curtains to better prevent houseflies from coming into your home.

The key to managing and preventing houseflies is sanitation. Eliminate the material used to create breeding sites, such as material they're attracted to. Keep trash in sealed containers, like garbage bags and or any cans with a tight-fitting lid. Keep dumpsters as clean as possible and empty them regularly, keeping them away from buildings as much as possible. You should also be removing manure and decaying plants, as well as decaying animal material. Finally, eliminate any areas that have extensive moisture.

Controlling Houseflies

If you feel like a housefly invasion has gotten way out of control at your residence, don't hesitate to seek help and services from Alliance Pest Services. We will ensure that your home is completely rid of those annoying houseflies.