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House Flies: More Than Just A Pest

House Flies: More Than Just A Pest

The common house fly belongs to the Diptera family, meaning they have only one set of wings. There are over 125,000 species in this order, and are broken down into two classifications:

Large Filth Flies

· House Fly

· Blow Flies (larvae develop inside the bodies of dead animals)

· Flesh Flies

· Stable Flies (often bite around the ankles)

· Cluster Fly

Small Filth Flies

· Fruit Flies

· Phorid Flies

· Drain (Sewer) flies

· Fungus Gnats

Life Cycle

· Egg: laid in organic material, such as manure or garbage, and hatch within hours

· Larva: slender white, legless maggots that need oxygen for survival

· Pupa: migrate to a drier place and form a capsule-like case, where the change from larva to adult takes place

· Adult: mate within one to two days after emerging

Depending on the temperature, it takes 6 to 42 days for the egg to develop into the adult fly.

· Life span is 2–3 weeks but may be as long as 3 months in cooler conditions

· Adult female rarely lays eggs more than five times, and seldom lays more than 120–130 eggs on each occasion


· Feed on all kinds of human food, garbage, and fecal matter

· Liquid food is sucked up. Solid food is wetted with saliva and dissolved before ingestion

· Usually don’t live more than 48 hours without water

Diseases transmission

· Picks up disease-causing organisms while crawling and feeding on garbage, manure, and dead carcasses

· Organisms that stick to the outside surfaces of the fly may survive for only a few hours, but those that are ingested with the food may survive in the fly’s gut for several days

· Contaminate foods and food preparation surfaces by vomiting the partially digested food and stool droppings

· Carry diseases on their legs and the small hairs that cover their bodies. It takes only a matter of seconds for them to transfer these pathogens to food or touched surfaces

Diseases transferable by flies include: Typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, salmonella, anthrax, tuberculosis, eggs of parasitic worms, poliomyelitis, yaws, tularemia, and leprosy.


Sanitation: Key to house fly control

· Don’t allow materials to accumulate, such as manure, garbage, grass clippings, weed piles or other decaying organic matter. Eliminate areas of excess moisture

· Keep trash cans clean and tightly covered. Don’t wash garbage cans where the rinse water might drain into the soil as flies can breed in soil full of organic matter


· Keep doors, windows, and vents closed as much is practical

· Screen and seal around these and other fly entry points

Non-chemical Measures:

· Use of ultraviolet light traps, sticky fly traps, fly swatters, and baited fly traps

· Fly swatter

Chemical Control:

· Exterior applications of insecticides applied by a licensed pest control operator when flies begin to appear: may not kill flies much beyond several days or a week

· Inside your home: use a spray labeled for inside flying insects for temporary relief. If you have many flies inside, find out why they are there and take steps to relieve the problem through sanitation and exclusion

Hepatitis C: Born between 1945 and 1965?

Hepatitis C: Born between 1945 and 1965?

National Suicide Week: Sept. 9-15, 2018

National Suicide Week: Sept. 9-15, 2018