House Flies


House flies are typically 6 mm in length and are grey with four dark stripes on top of the thorax or middle body region. Houseflies are covered with small hairs and their red compound eyes are extremely complex, consisting of thousands of individual lenses allowing them to see 360-degrees.

Habits & Behaviours

House flies are one of the most common and prevalent nuisance insect pests that invade our residential, recreational/cottage, and commercial properties. Their troublesome infestations occur mainly in the spring, summer and fall, however, they may live year round in heated buildings on farms. Starting each spring, house fly populations are low, gradually increasing throughout the summer months until they peak in the fall just before the frost. They are active only during the daytime, resting at night. Some are able to hibernate, suriving the coldest winters and when spring arrives adult flies are seen only a few days after the first thaw.

Complaints & Destruction

Houseflies carry and transmit a number of serious and potentially fatal diseases. They feed on and reproduce in garbage, decaying organic matter, feces, and rotting flesh. House flies can only ingest liquid or semi-liquid substances, but they can soften solid matter with their saliva or vomit. After collecting millions of microorganisms through feeding, regurgitating and defecating, they invade residential, recreational, and commercial properties. They land on food, people, and personal belongings, leaving behind the bacteria they have collected along the way. Because of their high intake of food, they deposit feces constantly. It is for this reason house flies are dangerous carriers of pathogens.

Major Risks & Dangers

Health risks

House flies are suspected of transmitting at least 65 serious and potentially fatal diseases,0 including: typhoid fever, salmonella, tuberculosis, conjunctivitis, leprosy and cholera, intestinal worms, and the bacteria responsible for dysentery.

Business risks

Flies buzzing around a business, regurgitating and defecating on food, surfaces, and clients can compromise your clients’ health seriously tarnish a business’ reputation.

Reproduction & Lifecycle

Female house flies deposit their eggs in decaying organic matter such as garbage and human and animal excrement. Flies typically mate during the spring and summer. Normally, the female will mate only once and store the sperm to use it repeatedly for laying several sets of eggs. Each female deposits about 100-150 eggs that hatch in a day or two into worm-like creatures called maggots. Following a larvae stage and a pupa stage, the house fly changes into an adult. Adult house flies can mate within one to two days after emerging from their pupal cases. Under ideal summer conditions, house flies can go from egg to adult in as little as seven days, but they typically take three weeks.

Eating Habits

Flies can only ingest liquids but they can turn many solid foods into liquid matter by spitting or vomiting on it. Their mouths and tongues absorb and suck up their food. They feed on any wet or decaying matter, but they are particularly attracted to animal waste because the odour is strong and it is easy for them to find

Treatment & Prevention

To eliminate and reduce the risk of house flies invading your residential, recreational/cottage, or commercial properties, treatment and exclusion is the best prevention.

Greenshield Pest Control Inc. can provide you with many treatment, exclusion, and prevention solutions.

If you are experiencing a serious house fly infestation within your residential, recreational/cottage, or commercial properties, it is best to let the professionals do the job of safely removing the insects. Please contact us today or see our Pest Control Services section for further information on the types of services and insect pest solutions we can provide.

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