House Flies

House flies

Description

House flies, scientifically known as Musca domestica, derive their name from being the most common flies found in and around homes. These pests reach a length of about one-quarter of an inch as adults and typically have a lifespan ranging from 15 to 25 days.

Pest Facts

Color
Dark gray

Legs
Six

Shape
Small oval

Size
1/4 inch

Antennae
Yes

Flying
Yes

Region
Throughout the United States

Habits

House flies have unique feeding habits. While they can only feed on liquids, they possess a remarkable ability to transform many solid foods into liquid form for consumption. One interesting characteristic of house flies is that they taste with their feet. In fact, their feet are approximately 10 million times more sensitive to sugar than the human tongue.

Habitat

House flies tend to remain within a radius of one to two miles from their place of birth. However, they have been known to migrate distances of up to 20 miles in search of food. These adaptable insects can thrive in a variety of environments, including residential areas, agricultural settings, and commercial establishments. They are often found near areas where organic matter and waste accumulate, such as garbage dumps, compost piles, or animal feeding areas.

Threats

House flies pose significant threats due to their ability to carry and transmit disease-causing germs. These pests have been associated with over 100 different types of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. When house flies come into contact with contaminated substances, such as feces, decaying organic matter, or food waste, they can pick up disease-causing microorganisms on their bodies and transport them to other surfaces, including food preparation areas, utensils, or uncovered food items. This behavior makes house flies unwelcome and potentially harmful to house guests.

Prevention

House flies can be controlled through vigilant sanitation. Remove trash regularly and use well-sealing garbage receptacles. Clean up pet waste immediately. Use fine mesh screens on doors and windows to prevent fly entry.

All information contained within is sourced directly from the National Pest Management Association.

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