House flies are usually gray in appearance and display four black stripes on their thorax. Adult house flies are about 1/8-1/4” (4 to 7.5 mm) long. They have slightly hairy bodies, a single pair of wings and compound red eyes, which contain thousands of individual lenses that allow them to have wider vision. Female house flies are usually larger than males. House flies do not have teeth or a stinger.
House fly eggs resemble small grains of rice. The eggs hatch into larvae, also known as maggots, which range in size from about ¼-3/8” (7-10 mm) long. Maggots are cream colored with a greasy appearance. When entering the pupal stage, maggots develop dark, hard outer shells, legs and wings, ultimately emerging as full-grown adult flies.
The most common sign of a house fly infestation is the presence of the flies, themselves. Larvae may also be seen crawling out of their breeding material as they pupate. Along with seeing house flies, people may hear them around the home. House flies produce a buzzing sounds which is a result of their two wings beating together.
House flies take advantage of structural issues, such as damaged weather stripping or torn screens, in order to enter a household. These pests are attracted to buildings by air currents and odors. Due to the fact that their preferred temperature is 83 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius), house flies are attracted to warm air currents coming from buildings on cooler days and vice versa on warmer days.
If you suspect a house fly infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest control professional to conduct an inspection, specifically looking for any places where house fly eggs may have been deposited. Since house flies enter from outside, internal breeding sites are not common. However, interior garbage rooms and compactors provide a suitable environment for house fly breeding sites and should be checked. If the breeding site is not thoroughly cleaned or removed, these pests will continue to be a problem.
Once the breeding site has been disposed of, eliminating the existing adult flies is the next step. A pest control professional will develop a house fly treatment plan based on the circumstances of the infestation, which may include the use of fly bait, applications or traps.
In order to prevent a house fly infestation from happening in the first place, vigilant sanitation is a must. Regularly removing trash and using well-sealed garbage receptacles can help to deter any house flies from residing around waste bins. Additionally, pet waste must be cleaned up immediately in order to prevent the development of any house fly breeding sites. Finally, fine mesh screens should be applied to doors and windows in order to prevent house fly entry into the home. If window screens are already present, make sure there are no visible rips or tears.
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