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The Common Housefly

Updated on November 12, 2014

The Fly

The housefly is the most commonly seen of all the pests. Flies carry many diseases. There are over 100,000 different species of flies, the housefly being the most common. Houseflies feeding and breeding habits, and the fact that they can survive in almost any kind of condition makes them more dangerous. They have followed migrations of peoples to other places, and by doing so, they have spread worldwide. The way flies feed and breed makes the flies health hazards. Houseflies carry so many germs (bacteria), parasites and viruses. The housefly makes a perfect host for bacteria, parasites, and viruses that they carry on the inside and outside of their bodies. Houseflies carry gangrene, typhoid, leprosy, tuberculosis, amoebic dysentery, bubonic plague, and listeria. Flies, also, carry cholera, salmonella, anthrax, ophthalmia, and parasites. They are vectors for campylobacter and E. Coli. Flies carry over one-hundred pathogens. Flies don't make good house guests. Flies are the uninvited guests that are pests. Houseflies carry diseases that are a health hazard to man and animals. The diseases that flies carry vary greatly. They carry parasites like nematodes, tapeworms, pin-worms, and other various types of parasites. Most people don't realize how many germs and diseases houseflies carry on their bodies, which can make people very ill.

The Common Housefly

The Common Housefly Drinking a Spilled Substance
The Common Housefly Drinking a Spilled Substance | Source
The Common Housefly
The Common Housefly | Source

Electric Fly Swatter

An Electric Fly Swatter-No Fly Would Like This One
An Electric Fly Swatter-No Fly Would Like This One | Source

How Flies Feed

How do houseflies feed? They have no mouth, but they do have mouth parts with a eating tube that they use to eat their food. The flies find a meal and they vomit a drop of fluid on it that makes the food dissolve so that the flies can suck it up through their eating tubes. The drops of fluid the houseflies vomit up comes from their stomachs. The flies suck up nutrients, while leaving behind many untold number of germs. The houseflies eat people food, garbage, dead animals, and the excrement of animals, such as cows, and other animals. Excrement, rotten garbage and dead animals are places where houseflies like to breed. Houseflies also excrete their waste products continually, making them an even more dangerous health hazard.

Anatomy of a Housefly

Anatomy of a Housefly
Anatomy of a Housefly | Source


The common housefly has about four thousand lenses in each eye, so that they have a wide range of vision. Their pairs of wings are see-through, and they can travel several miles from where they went through their life stages. The female housefly is usually larger than the male housefly, and she can lay up to about 150 eggs. The housefly goes through 4 stages of life, the egg, the larvae (maggots), the pupa, and the adult stage. Some houseflies are small, which means that food was scarce when they were going through their life stages, just before they emerged as the adult fly. When a fly emerges out of its last stage that it goes through before adult hood, it is then an adult.

Houseflies rub their legs together in order to clean themselves, leaving the germs and other debris behind. They have fine hairs all over the bodies, legs that contain germs, and other diseases that could make people and animals sick. The flies excrement may contain parasite eggs, germs, and other diseases that are a threat to the health of humans and animals.

Flies Carry Diseases

Prevention of Houseflies

Houseflies should be kept out of homes and businesses, so that these places can be kept safe from the hazards of houseflies and all of their germs and other diseases. Frozen food should never be left out of the refrigerator on a counter to thaw, as houseflies will land on the food with all of their germs, and other diseases that they carry, which is not safe for health reasons. Food should be kept in containers, and not left out, so that houseflies do not get a chance to get to the food. No food should be left out exposed, or else a fly and possibly other flies, if their present, will land on the food and start eating it, and who knows what else. No food and crumbs should be left anywhere in the home or business, so that the houseflies can not get hold of the food and eat it.

There are poisons and fly traps that can help to get rid of pesky flies. The doors to the house should be kept closed to prevent flies from coming in. The outside doors that fit good helps to prevent the flies from coming into the house. The windows to the home should always have screens (in good condition) in place to keep houseflies out, when the windows are open, when the weather is good like in the spring, summer, and fall, just before winter. Houseflies usually die off before winter sets in, but the larvae can survive and new houseflies will emerge when the weather warms up. Some flies might be able to survive the winter months to emerge in the spring. Houseflies are active during the day, and not so active during the night.

Houseflies have been around for many, many years and they could go back to thousands of years ago. They are the most common of the pests, and they are just one of many species of flies that exist in the world today. Musca domestica is the family that the housefly belongs to.

The Common Housefly

Things Flies Do That Are Beneficial

Many fly families can be beneficial, too. Flies are part of the eco-system. Fly families pollinate plants, are part of the food chain, and prey on insect pests. Flies have a head, thorax, abdomen, six legs, and one pair of wings. Flies can hover, spin, and fly backwards. They have sticky feet and can walk upside down. Flies have taste receptors on their feet. Flies like to land on the same spot, such as a person's nose, and when shoved away, it comes right back again and again. Houseflies will disappear as soon as a fly swatter is picked up. They just can not be found. There are electric fly swatters, as well.


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