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  • Writer's pictureMichael Zawadzki

Flies: Why Nobody Likes Them

House flies hangout at places like dumps, sewers, and garbage heaps. They feed on fecal matter, discharges from wounds and sores, sputum, and all sorts of moist decaying matter such as spoiled fish, eggs and meat. But House Flies do have one use. House Flies affinity for corpses makes them quite useful to Forensic Entomologists. Forensic Scientists use the knowledge of the flies’ life cycle to gauge the amount of time a corpse has been decomposing.


  • House Flies cannot bite.

  • House Flies are generally 3/16 to 1/4 inches in length

  • Males are slightly smaller than the females

  • Females have more space between eyes than the males

  • The body of a House Fly is covered with hair like projections

  • There are approximately 100,000 species of flies in the world

  • House Flies have two translucent wings and a gray thorax marked with four dark stripes

  • House Flies eat rotting organic matter, such as decaying food and flesh, feces, and mucus

  • House Flies are the most common species found on hog and poultry farms, horse stables and ranches


  • House Fly eggs are laid near food source for larvae

  • House Fly eggs are laid in just about any warm, moist material, manure or fermenting vegetation

  • Hatchings take place, in warm weather, within 12 to 24 hours

  • The young maggots become fully grown in 3-7 days

  • When adults emerge they begin mating immediately

  • Female house flies can lay as many as 500 eggs in a lifetime

  • An entire life cycle; egg, larva, pupa to winged adult may occur in 6-10 days

  • Adults may live an average of 30 days in the wild


  • Fly swatter

  • Good sanitation

  • Fly paper and fly traps

  • Seal garbage cans and bags thoroughly

  • Serious infestations may require a licensed professional

  • Seal all cracks and small spaces around the home preventing flies from enter the home

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