Fly Control: Flies

Description

The common housefly (musca domestica) are gray or black, slightly hairy insects with membranous wings and red eyes. These carrion insects both feed on and lay eggs in garbage, excrement, and decaying flesh. Houseflies spawn quickly, and as their young can feed on the same material they were born in, an infestation can occur at an exponential rate. Not only are houseflies an annoyance, they can pose a serious health risk through the spreading of pathogens.

Pest Facts

Color

Black or gray with black stripes on the thorax

Legs

Six

Shape

Oval

Size

6 to 7 mm long

Antennae

Yes

Flying

Yes

Region

World Wide

  • Houseflies can be found in both urban and rural areas.
  • Thrive in warm temperatures, but become sluggish and die in cold weather.
  • Takes refuge indoors in times of cold weather.
  • Any decaying organic matter can potentially become a breeding ground for flies.

Habitat

Flies are found both indoors and outdoors, in both rural and urban locations. They survive best in warmer temperatures, so they tend towards those areas, especially when the weather turns cold. When outdoors, flies tend to rest on trash cans, plant life, or sometimes the ground, while indoors they prefer the wall or ceiling. Furthermore, they will never stray far from a food source/breeding ground.

Reproduction

Once they have completed their metamorphosis, within a short period of time flies will begin to dedicate much of their time to reproducing. Male houseflies seek out a suitable mate, and will mate with multiple partners over their life. Female houseflies, conversely, will only mate once in a mating cycle, and once they do, they will lay up to 150 eggs in decaying organic materials. In their entire lifetime, female houseflies can lay a total of 500 eggs.

Lifespan

Houseflies have short lifespans, living only fifteen to twenty-eight days.

Threats

Houseflies can carry numerous pathogens, leading them to be a substantial health risk. When they feed on feces and carrion and then land on food, they contaminate it. Their hairs pick up these pathogens, meaning merely touching the food can lead to anyone consuming it to obtain food poisoning. Furthermore, houseflies excrete feces onto the food they land on, adding extra risk of disease. Since female flies can lay hundreds of eggs that are nearly impossible to detect, they can quickly cause an infestation, only increasing the chances of spreading illness. In rare cases, some of the illnesses that houseflies carry can be lethal, too.

Prevention

One way to help prevent earwigs is to keep moisture away from cracks and crevices by installing gutters and spouts. Furthermore, fill up the crawlspaces and other cracks with caulking. Removing organic debris from your property also can help eliminate hiding places. Certain insecticides can be useful, but, it is important to do research to make sure the poison will not be harmful to flowers or crops. Certain herbs, such as mint and basil, can repel them, if you need a more natural option.