The Common House Fly




The adults are 8–12 mm long with four lines on the back of the thorax. 
The whole body is covered with hair- like projections.


Female house flies have a much larger space between their red compound eyes and are slightly
larger than the males.



Life Cycle


House flies go through what is known as complete metamorphosis which means egg to larvae to pupae to adult. 


Eggs are just over 1 mm long and white in colour. Each female lays around 500 in several batches. Within 24 hours, these hatch into maggots which are the larval stage of the life cycle.

House fly larvae feed on organic material such as decaying vegetation and animal excrement. They live for at least one week, can reach 10 mm in length and are white in colour.

Having found a cool dry place, the larvae transform to the pupae stage changing to a reddish or brown.

The adult flies then emerge and live for up to one month. Females are fertile within 36 hours. Usually mating just once, they store sperm to use to fertilise eggs periodically.



Control in most cases requires the identification of the location of breeding sites and the harbourage of larvae.

Insecticide can be applied to the surface of alighting surfaces ensuring knock down as the flies land although this must be considered closely in food establishments.

The installation of ultraviolet fly killer units to control the adults may also be necessary. Proofing measures can also be considered such as the fly screens and doors.

Both the above may be a requirement of the Environmental Health Office to comply with The Food Safety Act.

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