Adult fly, 5 to 8 mm in length. Grey thorax with 4
narrow longitude stripes. Buff or yellow abdomen
and covered with small hairs.
Larvae are up to 12mm in length, white in colour
and taper to a point at the head end. There are 2
spiracle “spots” at the hind end.
House flies are major carriers of disease. They are known to transfer over 100 pathogens resulting in
ailments, including typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera and dysentery. House flies collect these pathogens on
their legs and mouths when feeding on feces, garbage and other decaying material.
Common houseflies flit about from place to place with a flight range of at least 8km (5 miles). They
are highly active indoors.
Each female fly can lay up to 500 eggs in several batches of about 75 to 150 eggs, each over a three to
four day period in almost any warm, moist material that will supply suitable food for the larvae. In warm
weather, eggs hatch in 12 to 24 hours.
The best method of fly control is to physically break the breeding cycle by making sure they cannot find
anywhere to breed.
Good hygiene is essential in all fly management, and the proper disposal of waste food and other
materials on which the flies can lay eggs is a priority.
Food should be covered or kept in suitable containers.
Waste food and other household waste should be placed in plastic bags, sealed, and properly disposed
of in dustbins which have proper fitting lids, are emptied and cleaned regularly and are sited away from
the entrances to buildings.
Fly sprays and papers can be used to control adult flies. Fly screens and electronic fly killers are often
used in commercial premises to control flying insects including the House Fly.
In order to obtain the best results, insecticidal control measures using products labelled for flying
insects should be integrated with good hygiene practices.