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Adult House FlyHouse Fly HeadFly Eggs


  • House flies can be found world-wide.
  • They prefer to feed and lay their eggs on moist, decaying organic matter (i.e. animal waste and spoiled food).
  • Based on their feeding behavior, house flies have been known to transmit hundreds of pathogens, including parasitic worms, typhoid, salmonella, E. coli, etc.
  • They can build to large numbers quickly. If one pair of flies mated in April and all of their descendants lived and mated, scientists say that by August there would be 191,000,000,000,000,000,000 flies - Enough to cover the Earth 47 feet deep!


  • House flies belong to the scientific order Diptera, which means “two wings”. House flies along with other members of this group (mosquitoes, lovebugs, gnats, etc.) only have one pair of wings.
  • House flies have two compound eyes that allow them to detect the smallest movements. A compound eye is basically an eye made up of many smaller eyes or lenses. In the case of the house fly, they have about 4,000 lenses that compose each eye. Remember that the next time you try to hit one with a flyswatter!
  • House flies have a complete metamorphosis (another insect that has this type of metamorphosis is the butterfly). The life stages are: Egg, larva (commonly called a maggot), pupa (similar to the butterfly’s cocoon) and adult.
  • The life cycle from egg to adult can be completed in as little as one week during ideal summertime conditions. House fly adults normally live about 15 to 25 days.
  • An adult house fly’s feet (tarsi) perform multiple functions. They have structures that help the fly stick and grab onto smooth surfaces. They have other structures that allow the fly to taste with its feet!


  • House flies are only active during the day. At night, they will rest in locations such as ceiling corners, rafters, trees, shrubs, etc.
  • Adults are attracted to bright lights, and will fly towards the brightest light in an area.
  • Research has shown that house flies are attracted to the colors blue and black. These colors can be used in control strategies.
  • Sanitation and exclusion will assist in house fly control efforts. Remove breeding and feeding sites as much as possible, such as spoiled food, garbage and animal waste. Keep garbage lids closed. Seal entry points to the structure by using window screens, keeping doors closed, etc.
  • House flies are attracted to pheromones (scents) of other house flies. This attraction can be used in reducing local populations.


  • In what key does a housefly hum? The key of “F”.
  • House flies carry an estimated 1,941,000 bacteria or more on their bodies.
  • A fly’s wings beat 200 times per second.
  • Flies jump up and backwards when taking off.
  • The average flight speed of a fly is 4.5 mph.