The Lesser House Fly

 
  

Appearance

 

The adults are 5-6 mm long with three brown lines on the back of the yellowish thorax and are more slender than the common house fly.

 

The white bordered eyes of the male lesser house fly meet at the top unlike the eyes of the female.  The stripes on their back are much more pronounced on the males.
 
 

Life Cycle

 

Lesser 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 with wing like protrusions. These provide the ability to float in liquid and moist decaying organic matter, especially poultry excrement.  Each female can lay up to 2000 in her lifetime in batches of around 50 which hatch in to larvae within 48 hours. 
Lesser house fly larvae feed on organic material such as decaying vegetation and animal excrement. They live for at 1 -2 weeks prior to pupation therefore egg to adult can take up to a month.
The adult flies usually live for 2-3 weeks depending on conditions.
 
Treatment
 

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

The treatment of poultry sheds is often done using insecticidal smoke or fogging.
In homes, oil based insecticide can be applied to alighting surfaces ensuring knock down as the flies land although this must be considered closely in food establishments.
Ultraviolet fly killer units are less effective against lesser house flies as they are not attracted to UV light as much as other fly species.
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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