These flies receive the common name of “house” from being the most common fly found in and around homes. It is not only a nuisance pest but of greater concern is its potential as a carrier of disease organisms, having been found to harbour over 100 different pathogenic organisms.
Adults are 1/8-1/4” long, with female usually being larger than male. Their colour is usually dull grey and their faces usually have 2 velvety stripes. Their eggs are laid in moist materials and hatch in about 8-20 hours. House flies are general feeders, being attracted to a wide variety of substances from excrement to human foods.
Because of their sponging mouthparts, they can feed only on liquids. However, through regurgitation, they are able to liquefy many desirable solid foods. Also, a house fly excretes and regurgitates whenever it comes to rest. This habit coupled with its many body hairs and bristles and the sticky pads at the base of the claws on each leg make house flies well adapted for transporting disease organisms. House flies have been shown to harbour over 100 different kinds of disease-causing pathogens, many of which are associated with filth.
Although house flies have been shown to migrate up to 20 miles, most stay within 1-2 miles of their release point if sufficient food is available. Females seek almost any warm, moist material with sufficient food for larval development for egg-laying purposes. House flies are attracted to buildings by air current and odours.