Pest Away Tips

10 Surprising Things You Need to Know About House Flies

The Importance of Understanding House Flies

Few animals are as commonly found and as universally despised as the house fly. These small, fast-moving insects have made their way into our homes, businesses, and public spaces in droves.

And while they may seem harmless, house flies can pose significant health risks to humans. Here’s what you need to know about the types of house flies, their life cycles, what they eat, and where they come from.

Types of House Flies

There are several species of house flies, but the most common are the common house fly, the blow fly, the fungus gnat, the fruit fly, and the vinegar fly. Each of these flies has its unique characteristics and behaviors that set them apart.

Common House Fly: This brownish-grey fly is between 6 and 7 mm long and has red eyes. It’s a frequent indoor invader that reproduces in feces, garbage, and other wet, moist organic matter.

Blow Fly: These flies are larger than the common house fly, at about twice their size. Blow flies are metallic-like and have a blue, green or black appearance.

They’re attracted to decaying matter, including animal carcasses, and they’re often used by forensic experts to estimate the time elapsed since death. Fungus Gnat: At just 2-3 mm long, these tiny flies are common house plant pests.

They’re attracted to damp, organic matter, such as the soil of houseplants. Fruit Fly: Small, yellowish-brown fruit flies can be found hovering around overripe fruit.

They lay their eggs in fruit, and the larvae feed on its sugary flesh. Vinegar Fly: Also known as the cider fly, these small flies are attracted to vinegar and fruit juice.

Life Cycle of House Flies

Like all flies, house flies go through a four-stage life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult fly. The length of time that each stage takes depends on temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors.

Eggs: House flies lay their eggs in rotting organic matter, such as food waste or animal feces. The eggs hatch within 24 hours of being laid.

Larva: After hatching, the fly’s larva feeds on the organic matter where it was laid, growing quickly and shedding its skin several times. Pupa: The larva eventually migrates away from the food source and burrows into nearby soil.

This is where it develops into a pupa, wrapping itself in a cocoon-like casing. Fly: After seven to ten days, an adult house fly emerges from the pupal case.

What House Flies Eat

House flies are opportunistic feeders, meaning they’ll eat pretty much anything they can get their feet on. Here are some of the things house flies are attracted to:

Sugar: House flies are heavily attracted to sugary substances, from fruits and sodas to sweetened baked goods.

Animal Waste: Flies are notorious for breeding in and feeding on animal feces, including dog poop, which is a common complaint among pet owners. Decomposing Food: House flies are attracted to rotten food, from spoiled meat to overripe fruit.

Fungus: Some types of house flies, particularly fungus gnats, are attracted to rotting plant matter and areas with moisture.

Where House Flies Come From

House flies can come from both indoor and outdoor sources. Outside, they lay their eggs in organic matter found in soil, garbage, and animal feces.

Indoors, house flies can enter from open doors and windows or reproduce in areas with poor sanitation and food handling practices.

Health Risks Associated with House Flies

House flies are known carriers of dangerous bacteria and viruses. Here are some of the ways house flies can put human health at risk:

Diseases House Flies Can Transmit

Food Poisoning: House flies have been implicated in a number of food poisoning outbreaks. They transmit bacteria such as Salmonella and E.

coli by landing on contaminated food and transferring bacteria from their legs or mouthparts to the food. Dysentery: This is a bacterial infection that causes severe diarrhea containing blood and mucus.

It can be transmitted by flies that have come into contact with human feces. Cholera: Cholera is a severe diarrheal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which is transmitted by flies that have contaminated water or food.

E. coli: House flies can carry and transmit E.

coli bacteria, which can cause severe food poisoning and other serious health problems. Typhoid Fever: This bacterial infection is transmitted via contaminated food and water, including when flies land on and deposit bacteria on these items.

Tuberculosis: Researchers have identified house flies as a possible transmission vector for tuberculosis. Eye Infections: House flies can carry bacteria and viruses that cause conjunctivitis and other eye infections.

Harm Caused by House Flies

Aside from the health risks posed by the diseases they carry, house flies can cause harm in other ways. Food Contamination: House flies can contaminate food by landing on it with dirty feet and depositing bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Bacteria, Virus, and Fungus: House flies, particularly those that thrive in moist environments, may carry and transmit harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Fecal Matter: Many types of flies breed and feed on animal feces, which can be dangerous because the feces can harbor disease-causing bacteria and parasites.


House flies may seem like harmless pests, but they pose significant health risks to humans. Understanding their life cycle, what they eat, and where they come from are important steps in reducing populations.

And taking steps to prevent flies from entering homes, businesses, and public spaces is critical in reducing the spread of disease. By keeping a clean and sanitary home, proper storing of food, and managing waste properly, you can protect yourself and loved ones from the dangers of house flies.

Getting Rid of House Flies: Tips and Tricks

Dealing with a house fly infestation can be a frustrating and unhygienic experience. House flies are annoying pests that can carry dangerous bacteria and disease, making it essential to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get rid of house flies both inside and outside your home.

Cleaning to Get Rid of House Flies

The first step in getting rid of house flies is to clean your home thoroughly. Flies are attracted to garbage, food debris, and other organic matter that often accumulates in kitchens and bathrooms.

To prevent flies from breeding and feeding in these areas, it’s essential to clean your home regularly and keep it tidy. Start by focusing on your kitchen, where flies are most likely to breed and feed.

Take the garbage out daily and keep your surfaces clean and dry. Be sure to wipe up any spills and crumbs immediately, as they can attract flies looking for a meal.

Clean dishes promptly, and ensure that there’s no food residue remaining on them. Also, keep your bathroom clean and dry.

Flies are attracted to moisture, so be sure to dry any wet towels and mats promptly.

Trapping House Flies

Trapping house flies is another effective way to control their populations. There are several types of traps available, including:

Flypaper: Flypaper is a sticky strip that attracts and traps flies.

This option is easy to use and can be placed anywhere you notice flies congregating. Bug Zapper: A bug zapper uses ultraviolet light to attract flies, which are then electrocuted by a wire grid.

Bug zappers are excellent for outdoor use but may not be effective indoors due to their loud noise. Homemade Fly Traps: You can make a homemade fly trap by filling a jar halfway with sugar water and adding a few drops of dish soap.

The soap will break the surface tension of the water, causing the flies to sink and drown. Outdoor Fly Traps: Outdoor fly traps are designed to lure and trap flies before they enter your home.

These traps use chemicals to attract flies and can be hung near doorways and windows. Liquid Fly Repellants: Liquid fly repellants are chemicals that are sprayed on surfaces to discourage flies from landing there.

These repellents can be used both indoors and outdoors, but it’s important to be careful when using them as they can be toxic to humans and pets.

Repelling House Flies

Preventing flies from entering your home in the first place is one of the most effective ways to control their population. Here are some natural ways to repel flies:

Fan: Set up a fan in areas where flies are most prominent.

Flies are weak and find it challenging to navigate around a strong breeze. Carnivorous Plants: Carnivorous plants such as the Venus Flytrap and the Pitcher Plant are great for catching flies.

These plants trap the flies and digest them, effectively reducing the fly population. Herbs: Certain herbs, such as basil and mint, are known to repel flies.

Plant these herbs in areas where flies are prominent, or use essential oils made from these plants to repel flies. Essential Oils: Essential oils, such as citronella, eucalyptus, and lavender, can be used to repel flies.

Mix a few drops of your preferred oil with water and spray it in areas where flies are present. Cayenne Pepper Spray: Mix a tablespoon of cayenne pepper with a cup of water and spray it in areas where flies are present.

The spicy scent of the pepper will repel flies. Vinegar and Dish Soap Spray: Mix equal parts of water and vinegar with a few drops of dish soap and spray it in areas where flies are common.

The vinegar smell will repel flies, and the dish soap will trap them.

Sealing Home to Keep Out House Flies

Preventing flies from entering your home is crucial in controlling their population. Here are some tips to seal your home against house flies:

Window Screens: Install window screens to keep flies from entering your home through open windows.

Doors: Install door sweeps on the bottom of exterior doors to prevent flies from entering your home through gaps.

Getting Rid of House Flies Outside

If you’re experiencing a house fly infestation outside your home, here are some tips to reduce their populations:

Clean up: Pick up any pet waste or dead animals in your yard, and keep any garbage cans tightly closed. Cover compost: Cover compost bins to prevent flies from breeding in decaying organic matter.

Plant Herbs: Plant herbs such as basil, mint, and lavender in areas where flies are present to repel them. Use Citronella Candles: Light citronella candles when spending time outside to repel flies.

Final Thoughts

Getting rid of house flies requires a combination of cleaning, trapping, repelling, and sealing your home. Be sure to keep your home dry and clean, set up traps in areas where flies are prominent, and use natural methods to repel flies.

Consider covering compost bins, picking up pet waste and dead animals in your yard, and planting herbs such as basil, mint, and lavender outside your home to reduce the fly population. By being proactive and taking steps to prevent flies from entering your home, you can enjoy a fly-free environment.

In summary, understanding house flies, their life cycle, what they eat, and where they come from is essential in reducing their populations and the health risks they pose. Regular cleaning and tidying, trapping, repelling, and sealing your home can help you get rid of house flies both inside and outside your home.

By taking these steps and being proactive in preventing fly infestations, you can keep your environment clean, hygienic, and free from the dangers of house flies. Don’t overlook the importance of dealing with house fly infestations and giving them attention they deserve can protect you and your loved ones from flies’ harmful effects.

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