Face Fly

Musca autumnalis

face fly

Face fly (Clemson University, USDA, Bugwood.org)

Face fly:(Janet Graham, Wikimedia Commons)

Face fly (Janet Graham, Wikimedia Commons)

face fly

Face flies (Clemson University, USDA, Bugwood.org)


  • nearly identical in appearance to the house fly
  • dull gray color
  • four dark stripes behind head
  • tuft of bristles at the base of the calypter

Nesting Habits

  • lay eggs in fresh undisturbed cow manure
  • seek indoor overwintering sites in late August – early September


  • larvae: cow manure
  • adults: watery secretions around eyes, nose and mouth of cattle; flower nectar


  • come from farm/ranch areas with fresh cow manure
  • congregate on south/southwest- facing walls in late summer – early fall
  • large numbers will congregate within wall voids during winter (similar to cluster flies)
  • frequently seen in windowsills and light fixtures during unseasonably warm days during winter

IPM Recommendations

  • Verify identification to determine appropriate management.
  • Seal exterior building cracks throughout summer in areas where flies have been problematic in previous years.
  • Tolerate occasional face flies during overwintering months; use a fly swatter; vacuum.
  • Search for overwintering flies in voids and mezzanines and vacuum them.
  • Use an appropriately labeled insecticidal dust in voids and cracks and crevices where flies overwinter.

Additional Resources

IPM for Flies: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)