House Fly

Musca domestica

house fly

Adult house fly (Pest and Diseases Image Library,

house fly

House fly life cycle: eggs (top middle), adults (right), larvae (bottom left), pupae (top left) (Clemson University Slide Series,


  • 1/4 inch long
  • four black stripes on the prothorax
  • similar in appearance to the face fly

Nesting Habits

  • eggs laid on animal manure or decaying organic matter (especially garbage and dumpsters)


  • larvae feed on manure and decaying organic material
  • adults feed on manure, decaying organic material and human food products


  • can spread disease from one food source to food preparation areas, other food, etc.
  • nuisance inside buildings

IPM Recommendations

  • Keep exterior doors closed, install screen doors, or install an automatic door closer, especially on doors leading into the kitchen.
  • Keep screens in good repair.
  • Improve sanitation.
  • Keep dumpsters at least 50 feet from the building.
  • Locate breeding susbstrate, if possible, and remove.
  • Keep trash cans, dumpsters and garbage areas clean and free of odor.
  • Close lids on dumpsters and garbage cans.
  • Exclude fly entry via caulking, weather stripping, door sweeps, etc.
  • Properly place light traps to catch flies that come indoors.
  • Use a fly swatter.

Additional Resources

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