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House Fly

(Musca domestica)

Appearance

The common house fly is a pest all over the world. The adult has the fourth wing vein sharply angled and four length-wise dark stripes on the top of the thorax. Its face has two velvety stripes which are silver above and gold below, and the body is gray in color.

Size

Approximately 1/4-inch in length.

Behavior

House flies are the most common fly in the world. They are a possible health risk since they are often found in garbage and manure. They have sponging mouthparts so they cannot eat solid food. House flies regurgitate digestive fluids onto food and then sponge up the digested liquid meal.

Each adult female begins laying eggs a few days after hatching, laying a total of five to six batches of 75 to 100 small white oval eggs. In warm weather these hatch in 12 to 24 hours into cream-colored larvae (maggots) which burrow into the food material on which they hatched. These larvae grow and pupate in 4 to 7 days in warm weather. The mature larva contracts until its skin forms a case about 1/4 inch long. Inside this case, the true pupa forms. When fully formed, the adult fly breaks open the end of the pupal case and emerges. It is ready to mate within in a few hours after merging.

Habitat

Dog manure on lawns that has been left out for days can become a significant breeding site for house flies. Indoors house flies have been seen breeding in trash containers that have not been cleaned for a while and also in rotting vegetables. House flies will rest on floors, walls, and ceilings during the day. Night resting places are usually near sources of food.

Health Concerns

Pathogens carried by house flies can cause disease in humans and animals, including: typhoid fever, cholera, bacillary dysentery, hepatitis, polio, and tuberculosis.

Control

Do you live in South Florida and think that this pest may be invading your home? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty pest control treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!

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