The Facts About Flies:

While there are over 120,000 species of flies, this reference guide will concentrate on the 6 species which represent the vast majority of the problems for humans and animals: house, stable, flesh, blow, blue & green bottle, and dump flies.

Flies have been around as long as mankind and have been found in all seven continents. It has been documented that the fly transmits deadly diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, yaws, anthrax, leprosy and tuberculosis just to name a few. In many instances, flies are the indirect cause of low cattle weight and poultry death.

A Fly Is Born During a fly's lifetime (usually a 30 day cycle), a female fly will lay anywhere from 400-600 eggs. Each fly egg hatches into a small, grub-like, creature (larvae), which looks more like an inchworm than a fly. By eating  nutrients from soil, ponds or even in the sea, larvae will grow to adult fly size within a few days.

  • Some Other Facts About Flies:
    Flies have over 4,000 facets for sight in each eye.
    Flies are attracted by movement more than color.
    Flies have a smelling distance of over 750 yards.
    A fly's feeding range is usually limited to two miles.
    A single garbage can, if not emptied, can be the breeding ground for 30,000 flies.
    During warm weather, a fly can produce a family generation in less than two weeks.


There are several kinds of flies that are common around farms, residential areas and food-handling establishments. 

House Fly -

The housefly, Musca domestica, is one of the most common of all insects.It is a worldwide pest in homes, barns, poultry houses, food-processing plants, recreation areas, etc.

House fly eggs are laid in almost any type of warm organic material.Animal or poultry manure is an excellent breeding medium. Decaying vegetation such as grass clippings and garbage can also provide for optimum breeding conditions.

Houseflies are strong fliers and can become widely distributed by flying, wind currents, vehicles and animals. Generally, though, flies are abundant in the immediate vicinity of their breeding site.

Stable Fly -

The stable fly, also known as the dog fly, is a blood-sucking fly. Stable flies primarily attack animals for blood, but in the absence of an animal will also bite humans.

An adult stable fly can fly up to 70 miles from their breeding sites. The stable fly adult is similar to the housefly in size and color. The stable fly, however, has a long bayonet-like mouthpart for sucking blood. Unlike many other fly species, both male and female stable flies suck blood.

Stable fly bites are extremely painful to both man and animal. When hungry, stable flies are quite persistent and will continue to pursue a blood meal even after being swatted several times.

Flesh Flies -

Flesh flies are a scavenger fly species that usually feed on meat scraps and dead animal carcasses.

Female flesh flies retain eggs within their bodies until the eggs are ready to hatch.  The larvae are deposited directly onto the food, which the larvae will eat from.  The life cycle for the flesh flies can be completed in 8 to 21 days.

Blow Flies and Bottle Flies

There are quite a few species of blowflies and bottle flies found in and around residences.  Green bottle, blue bottle, and bronze bottle flies may be more abundant in urban areas than houseflies.

Blowflies and bottle flies can breed on dead rodents and birds.  They usually breed in meat scraps, animal excrement, and decaying animal matter around houses.  The adult flies are quite active inside and are strongly attracted to light.

The life cycle usually lasts 9-21 days from egg to adult.


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