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Five W’s and an H About House Flies

October 19, 2016

house fly on kitchen countertop

Do you often find house flies in your South Florida home? The bad news is that these flies may have touched down on manure before landing on your counter. The good news is that you can reduce their numbers. Learn more about house flies in this blog post.


What do house flies eat?
House flies’ diet consists of all kinds of food including human’s and animal’s food either in the trash or on your plate, decaying carcasses, animal feces, etc.  House flies are known disease carriers, and they collect pathogens when they feed from soiled sources such as decomposing road kill, rotting garbage, or poultry manure.


Who is most at risk of a house fly infestation?
Nowadays, house flies have adapted to the ever-developing human race, they are thriving almost everywhere, inhabiting climates from tropical to temperate, found across rural as well as urban areas, feeding on anything from the food on our table to fecal matter left on the ground.  Even with their widespread abundance, farmers seem to be the most at risk of house fly infestations.  Houseflies are the most common fly species found on livestock farms and cattle ranches.  The plentiful amount of animal excrement found on these farms and ranches attracts the house flies, with their seemingly endless supply of the house fly’s favorite kind of feces, the house flies feel as if they found their dream home.  


When are house flies most active?  
House flies are most active in the spring and summer, and house fly infestations are more common during spring and summer as well.  House flies are inactive in the nighttime; they tend to find high-up places to settle in where for the night such as beams, ceilings, shrubs and wires.


Where did the nickname “filth fly” come from?  
House flies are commonly referred to as the “filth flies” because they contaminant every single surface that they land on with the pathogens that they carry.  If they land on the edge of your glass, then you probably shouldn’t keep drinking from it; who knows what other nasty places they’ve visited!

Where do house flies like to hang out?  
During the daytime, houseflies enjoying landing on sunny surfaces: if they are hanging out inside you can find them resting on floors, walls, and ceilings; but if they are outside, they are usually posted up on plants, fences, or trashcan lids.  During the night, house flies to settle in closer to their food supply and are usually found resting higher up, often on a beam or a tree branch.

Where are the breeding sites of house flies most commonly found?  
When female house flies lay their eggs, they look for materials that are warm and moist with an adequate supply of food for their babies.  Breeding sites can be found in any kind of decaying organic material including lawn clippings, trash, or even animal excrement.


Why is it important to know the difference between house and cluster flies?
House flies and cluster flies are two totally unique species that require two totally different methods of treatment in order to be removed.  Using the cluster fly treatment on a house fly infestation is just a waste of time and money, and you can save yourself the trouble by learning how to identify both types of flies.  House flies’ most identifying features are their compound eyes that have a complex structure that gives them an incredibly wide field of vision.  It is very difficult to kill a housefly with a fly swatter because their advanced vision capabilities make it easy for the house fly to evade those cumbersome swatters.

Why should you be concerned about house flies?
The biggest concern with house flies is that they are disease-carriers known to transmit over one hundred serious, or even fatal, pathogens that infect humans with a myriad of awful diseases including typhoid, dysentery, and tuberculosis.  Another lesser concern is how annoying they can be when buzzing around your home; indeed, many homeowners consider a house fly infestation to be an unbearable nuisance.


How should you deal with a house fly infestation?
Dealing with a house fly infestation is a multi-step process, and it is much easier to simply hire a professional who will help you get rid of the house flies efficiently and effectively.  However, if you want to try doing it yourself, you can start with exclusion and sanitation.  For exclusion, seal any cracks in the walls or tears in the window screens that flies could use to enter your house.  For sanitation, remove their food sources by keeping your kitchen clean, putting away leftovers in tightly sealed containers, and by disposing of your garbage properly and frequently. The next step is to remove any potential breeding sites around your home such as dirty diapers, forgotten bowls of pet food, or rotting fruit and vegetables; this is more difficult for people in rural areas to do on their own and usually requires help from an experienced professional.  The last step is to focus on killing as many of the adults house flies as you possibly can; there are a number of products to help you with this step including fly baits and traps, foggers, aerosols, insecticides, etc.   

If you have questions about house flies or would like to learn more about Nozzle's fly control services in West Palm Beach or elsewhere in our South Florida service area, please contact us today!


"House Fly Control & Facts: Get Rid of House Flies." Orkin. Orkin, LLC, 2016. Web. <>.

"How To Get Rid Of House Flies." Do It Yourself Pest Control. Do It Yourself, 2016. Web. <>.

Lupo Pest Control Expert, Lisa Jo. "Why Are House Flies Called "filth Flies"?" Home. About, Inc., 27 Sept. 2016. Web. <>.

Sanchez-Arroyo, Hussein, and John L. Capinera. "House Fly - Musca Domestica Linnaeus." Featured Creatures. University of Florida, Oct. 2008. Web. <>.


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