Mosquitoes flying around

What is the Life Expectancy of a House Fly?

May 23, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Flies cause a lot of stress inside your home, multiplying quickly and invading your most-used spaces like kitchens, bathrooms, and dining rooms. If you’re facing a house fly problem, use this guide to discover more about their life cycle. Learning how long house flies live indoors and how various flies survive helps you deal with your infestation quickly and efficiently.

What is a house fly? 

House flies are the most common types of flies found in and around homes across the U.S. They’re not only nuisance pests that buzz around your home but potential disease carriers who can contaminate surfaces and food. They can quickly reproduce in large numbers, turning a few annoying flies into a full-blown infestation at rapid speed. House flies are most often dark gray with large reddish eyes. They measure anywhere from 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 of an inch long and have dark stripes on the middle section of their bodies.

Houseflies are known to carry over 100 diseases, including tuberculosis and cholera. Most flies transmit diseases by feeding and carrying pathogens on their feet and mouths.

Close up of a house fly on a gray background
House Fly

What is the lifespan of a house fly?

All domestic flies have a similar life cycle, and house flies are no exception. There are four stages of growth: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. 

The life expectancy of a house fly can vary slightly based on the specific species of fly. Generally speaking, house flies live anywhere from 15 to 30 days. Temperatures and conditions can also affect how long a fly can live in your home. House flies living in warm homes or controlled laboratories develop faster and live longer than their wild counterparts.

The house fly’s short lifespan allows them to multiply quickly, especially when uncontrolled. 

How to get rid of house flies 

Flies are always searching for easy access to food, water, and shelter. To keep house flies out of your home, follow these tips.

  • Clean thoroughly: Around once per month, deep clean your kitchen, dining spaces, and bathrooms with a household cleaner and warm water. Wipe down your countertops and tabletops and sweep the floors daily.
  • Keep food in reusable containers: Store cereals, sugar, flour, pasta, sweets, and fruits in the refrigerator or in tight-sealing containers that house flies can’t penetrate.
  • Deal with spills quickly: If anything spills, especially sweet things like juices, sodas, applesauce, etc., clean the mess up as soon as possible. Make sure you don’t leave any sticky spots behind.
  • Remove trash often: Take out your trash daily, especially any bins that contain food waste. Use a covered trash can in the kitchen and keep it away from food and fresh produce.

What flies can be mistaken as house flies? 

The term house fly can sometimes be a blanket name for describing many fly species commonly found in homes. An actual house fly is gray with dark stripes running down the middle of its body. They have large red eyes and measure ⅛ to ¼ inches in length.

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Alt text: A house fly rests on a white surface.  

Below are some of the most common flies in the U.S. that may also be called house flies.

Horse fly

Horseflies are part of the Tabanidae family in the insect order Diptera. They’re often large and impressively agile in flight. Female horse flies bite animals and humans to obtain blood. They prefer flying in direct sunlight and typically avoid dark and shady areas. Inside homes, they’re drawn to bright overhead lights and are most often inactive at night. They have extremely large eyes and light brown, rounded bodies.

A horse fly rests on a wooden surface.
Horse Fly

Black fly

Black flies, sometimes referred to as buffalo gnats, are any member of a family of about 1,800 species of small, humpbacked flies. They are black or dark gray, with translucent wings and short antennae and legs. Their small mouthparts are adapted for sucking blood. Female black flies bite, sometimes so severely they can kill chickens, birds, and other domestic animals. Black flies typically enter homes through open or gapped windows and doors.

A black fly rests on an orange.
Black Fly

Fruit flies 

Fruit flies are common household and commercial building pests in the United States. They are attracted to ripe, rotting, or decaying fruit and produce. They’re extremely small and have a brownish hue with transparent wings. Fruit flies are known for their ability to reproduce rapidly. They usually enter a home through already contaminated produce.

Close up of a fruit fly on a blurred background
Fruit Fly

Pest control services

The best way to handle a house fly problem in your home is by hiring a professional pest control service like Hawx Pest Control. We offer safe and affordable extermination for your current problems and preventative treatments to address potential threats before they happen. With proven methods, qualified technicians, and the best products and services available, Hawx is the undisputed leader in pest control solutions. Call us today for a free estimate to get your house fly problem under control.

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