House flies (musca domestica) are some of the most annoying household pests throughout the world. They are comfortable living around people and can be frustrating indoors and make outdoor parties a nightmare. You are probably familiar with adult house flies and their gray bodies, black stripes down their backs, and red eyes, but have you ever stopped to consider what baby house flies look like?

Flies have four life stages and go through a process called complete metamorphosis. This means that each life stage is distinct, so young musca domestica actually look nothing like the bothersome insect we all dread. The life cycle of a housefly averages about 15-25 days, but can vary greatly based on temperature, food abundance, and other environmental factors. During cold weather, a fly will develop much slower than in warm, humid weather.

 

housefly & larva

Housefly larva and adult by Amadeo John Engel Terzi CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

 

Fly Eggs

A fertilized female fly can lay from 75-150 eggs in a batch and produce 5-6 batches of eggs in her lifetime. These eggs are laid directly onto a food source so that when they hatch the larvae will immediately have something to eat. Ideal places for flies to lay eggs include: manure, trash, compost, and other decomposing organic material. Fly eggs are very small (1.2 mm) and are white like a grain of rice. In ideal conditions, fly eggs can hatch in only 24 hours.

 

Larval Stage

Fly larvae are also known as maggots. Maggots are worm-like creatures that are creamy white, legless, and cylindrical with a taper toward the head. The larvae go through 3 molts, and by the time they are full grown, they can be about 12 mm long. Maggots spend their time eating and storing protein to get them through the pupa stage. When they are ready (after approximately 4-6 days) they will find a dark, dry place to pupate. 

 

Pupal Stage

A fly pupal case has rounded ends and is about 8 mm long. During pupation, the maggot transforms into an adult fly with wings, compound eyes, and 6 legs. In areas of the world that experience cold winters, musca domestica will overwinter either in its larval or pupal stage, often under a pile of manure or other protected organic matter.

 

Adult Flies

Adult flies spend their time finding food and water and mating. Though the average lifespan of a house fly is less than a month, a female fly can produce 500 offspring in that time. Flies can be annoying because they land on people and food, but they can also be dangerous because they spread diseases. Prevention and control of flies is a must.

 

Sunshine Coast Fly Control

If you are frustrated with flies around your home, call a pest control professional to get the job done quickly and effectively. Radar Pest Control serves the great people on the Sunshine Coast and can get rid of everything from roaches and rodents to silverfish and spiders. If you are in the market for pest control Sunshine Coast, contact us today.