The Musca domestica, also known as the Housefly, is by its name suggests, the most common fly found in or around homes. House flies believed to be nuisance pests flying around and making buzzing noises on your windows are actually transporters of many different diseases. Many of these diseases come from the house flies’ unhygienic habits, diet, and breeding. With millions of infestations a year and being one of the most common nuisance pests out there, many look for easy tricks on dealing with their fly problem. These tips and tricks are not fixes but small help and sometimes the only thing needed to eliminate flies in the home. But what are the steps you can take to promote a more long-term solution to this pest problem?
The house fly is easily identified by their size, color, and eyes as they are grey with four black stripes on their thorax right below the head and red eyes. The greenish flies you will also typically find are not houseflies but another breed called the bottle fly that is commonly misidentified as house flies by homeowners. As for the eggs, their appearance is compared closely to that of grains of rice. A housefly larva is a creamy white color, often described as a “pale worm.” Pupae will begin as a light brown color. They progress becoming a dark brown before emerging as the grey housefly.
House flies are not big travelers and typically stay around one to two miles from where they hatched. Although, they may travel upwards of 20 miles in search of food. House flies do stick around homes and farms as they provide food and areas to lay their eggs. Their eggs are laid in decaying material such as trash, grass clippings, or animal feces. Once a housefly has reached full adulthood, they look for food and their ideal temperature of roughly 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Homes provide the perfect conditions for the house fly, food is abundant, and the temperature is usually to their liking. When not inside plants, dead grass and trash cans are the preferred areas as those can provide cooler temperatures on hot days.
House flies do not pose a bite threat because they are unable to bite at all. A housefly has lapping mouthparts leaving it unable to bite anything. Due to that fact, a fly transfers diseases differently than many other pests do. They instead transport those germs from spot to spot on their bodies. There are over 100 different pathogens for E. coli, cholera, and typhoid fever. Disease from a fly is transported rather than transmitted. Disease; will be carried by the hairs on the flys’ body. Or when they consume their food that contains germs. These will then pass on where flies land or defecate, contaminating that area.
A house fly’s mouth, described as two sponges and a straw, limits their diet to a liquid-only diet. Flies are attracted to the odors of overripe fruits, and animal feces are some of the main things they go after. But being solid, they are unable to eat those as-is. To rectify, the flies will regurgitate stomach acid to liquefy their food for consumption. Crumbs left from most foods are also a potential food source due to being easily attainable in most homes. The larvae will eat the decaying organic material in which they are laid, being predominantly animal feces.
House flies are attracted to air currents from buildings that are running heat or A/C, depending on the season. When it is a hot day, they prefer cool flows of air and warmer currents on cooler days. These currents attract them because their preferred temperature is 83 degrees. Flies feel these currents come from structural damages in which they can use to enter a building. Air flows come from weather stripping, ripped screen doors, and even holes in the home’s structure. Fixing structural damages, constantly cleaning countertops, removing old food from pantries, and emptying trash cans promptly, are the top methods for preventing flies.
House flies are on the list of most common residential pests in Kansas City and surrounding areas. When Spring rolls around, flies will begin to breed and take advantage of any damages the winter has done to homes. If you are constantly dealing with flies, call a pest control expert and devise a plan to end this problem. House flies date back almost 50 million years so killing them off isn’t easy. Prevention mixed with a pest management plan is key in making your home is safe from house flies and any diseases that they carry with them.