We’re guessing you’re pretty familiar with house flies. While these flies are mainly a nuisance pest, they’re known as “filth flies” for a reason. They’re capable of being ‘mechanical vectors’, meaning they can transfer human pathogens from one location to another. Plus, they tend to feed on not-so-appetizing things like decaying garbage and pet waste. At Sunday, we’ll help you keep these insects away from your next BBQ and hopefully, out of your home too.
Beyond flying around you and crawling on your food, a house fly is a pest for two major reasons:
Getting familiar with house flies and being able to properly ID them is the first step to Sunday’s integrated pest management approach. They have two very similar lookalikes, so take notice of their habitat preferences, physical characteristics, and behavior to know whether you are dealing with a house fly or a close relative.
Quick Adult House Fly ID
Quick Larva (maggot) ID Info
P.S. Unsure if what you’re looking at is really a housefly? Here are some common lookalikes:
House flies are most active and abundant in the summer months. Larvae are called maggots and they develop in decaying organic matter.
Sunday Funday Fact: House flies only live for a short time – and it all depends on temperature. At 60°F, a house fly goes through its life cycle in 45 days, but at 95°F the life cycle is shortened to just 7 days.
These flying insects are the most common fly species in and around structures and are found in every region in the US (actually found worldwide!). They’re fully capable of living both indoors and outdoors too. And while they can travel long distances, house flies prefer to stay within 2 miles of their larval food site.
If at all possible, we recommend incorporating Integrated Pest Management practices prior to reaching for chemicals. Here are a few methods to help you deal with house flies this summer:
Sanitize and clean. Keep trash can/garbage lids closed and secure and remove trash regularly (especially during summer).
Remove food sources. Reduce breeding opportunities by removing food sources, including manure, garbage, grass clippings, weed piles, or other decaying organic matter where maggots develop.
Seal entryways. Properly seal window and door screens, and caulk or plug any openings or cracks into the home.
Trap and remove. Incorporate light traps, sticky traps (fly paper), container fly traps and fly swatters before reaching for chemicals.
Sunday ProTip: Reduce house fly presence by reducing or removing potential outdoor breeding sites. Remove moist decaying plant material and animal waste from your yard, plus cover and aerate your compost piles regularly.
Here’s how to use it:
Sunday Application Tips:
Entomology and Nematology. house fly – Musca domestica. University of Florida.
Hahn, J. and V. Cervenka. Flies. University of Minnesota Extension.
Jacobs, S. House Flies. PennState University Extension.
Kaufman, P.E. and E.N.I. Weeks. Stable Fly. University of Florida.
Utah State University. Flesh Flies.