House Flies

Protect Your Home Or Business From House Flies

House flies are pest insects capable of reproducing rapidly and spreading disease. They are a common nuisance in homes, farms, and businesses across the New England states due to this region’s mild climate.

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Appearance & Identification

What Do House Flies Look Like?

About a quarter-inch long and dark gray in color, house flies are easy to mistake for other fly species. What sets this pest apart is the narrow stripes on its midsection and its buff abdomen.

Habits/Habitat

Because they mate and reproduce in garbage or feces, many people associate these pests with filth. House flies thrive near humans. Access to trash and pet or livestock waste provides them with regular meals. When they aren't feeding, the insects rest in large numbers in tall grasses and hedges. When disturbed, house flies simply swarm and resettle.

Diet

The house fly diet consists of almost anything these pests can find. They will eat pet and human food as well as excrement and rotting meats or plants. The insects use saliva to moisten solids to make them easier to eat.

Reproduction

Even among insects, house flies have a fast reproductive cycle. Females deposit their eggs in decaying organic materials such as sewage or compost. Eggs hatch quickly in warm conditions to reveal worm-like larvae called maggots. After three molts, larvae pupate. Adults emerge and are ready to reproduce after 16 to 24 hours.

A female fly lays between 75 and 100 eggs at a time on several occasions during its short two- to three-day adult lifespan. The entire house fly life cycle revolves around breeding near and feeding on dead and decomposing matter. Flies mature to adulthood within nine to 12 days after quickly moving through the larval and pupal stages.

Problems Caused by House Flies

In addition to creating a nuisance, house flies may carry health concerns. Since they frequent dirty areas, the pests often transport harmful bacteria on their bodies. When they land on food, the pests transfer these pathogens. Researchers suspect house flies may spread cholera, dysentery, and other illnesses. Thankfully, the pests do not bite humans.

Signs of Infestation

Sightings are the best indicators of a problem. However, property owners sometimes notice buzzing sounds before seeing the pests themselves. This noise comes from a house fly's wings beating together in flight.

House fly infestations begin as flies inhabit, mate, and lay eggs in and around feeding grounds. Large numbers of clustering or swarming flies typically indicates an infestation, which can only be eradicated by removing feeding and breeding grounds. Due to the many eggs female flies lay at once, large populations of flies seem to develop overnight, especially when decaying matter goes unnoticed by humans for weeks at a time.

After hatching, house fly larvae feed on their immediate environment, which typically consists of moist feces, rotting animal corpses, or decaying organic materials. New England residents routinely find that flies invade their dumpsters, garbage cans, and compost piles.

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Prevention

Eliminating breeding sites is the first step in dealing with house flies. Once the pests begin to reproduce, a few flies can quickly turn into an infestation.

Emptying trash regularly and installing well-fitting screens can aid in prevention. However, these steps alone may be insufficient. For professional control, contact Waltham Pest Services.

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