It’s hard to believe that creatures that typically live for less than a month could become such a nuisance to you and your family, but that is exactly what happens with flies. Their lives might be short, but they can reproduce quickly and in large numbers.
House Flies go through what is called complete metamorphosis. This means that they go through 4 distinct stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. This process can take anywhere from 7 days to 2 months, depending on the temperature and how much food is available. Warm, moist environments provide the best conditions for fly growth. This means that in these types of conditions, flies will mature and breed faster, but they also tend to have a shorter life span. In colder climates, flies will go through the phases much slower, and they will often overwinter in their larval or pupal stage.
House fly eggs are white and very small, approximately 1.2 mm long. They are laid singly, but are often piled into groups. The ideal place for eggs is on something that the larvae can eat as soon as they hatch like feces, trash, or other decomposing organic matter. A female fly can lay 75-100 eggs per batch and may produce 5-6 batches of eggs in her lifetime.
In perfect conditions, fertilized eggs can hatch in only 24 hours. The larvae must progress through three larval stages where they molt and grow. During this time, they are known as maggots. They eat and grow for several days to weeks in order to store enough nutrients (mostly protein) to keep them going through the pupa stage. Maggots can grow up to 12 mm long when fully developed. They are creamy white, cylindrical, and taper toward the head. When they are ready, they will seek out a dark and dry spot to pupate.
During the pupal stage, the maggot takes refuge inside a case formed from its last skin. These cases have rounded ends and can be yellow, brown, red, or black in color. The maggot will transform into an adult fly with 6 legs, compound eyes, and a pair of wings.
Adult flies seek out sources of food and water, as well as a mate. House flies can reproduce year-round, but the process is much faster in warm weather. This is why fly populations will increase rapidly in the summer, and by August or September, they will have reached their peak numbers. Flies can be a huge nuisance in homes and around outdoor gatherings. They are especially troublesome in areas that are near horses, cows, and other livestock. Flies are definitely annoying, but they can also spread a lot of different diseases, so care should be taken to prevent and control flies. The typical house fly only lives 15-25 days, but in that short time, it can cause a lot of problems.
If you are in need of help with fly control, trust Harris products. We are America’s oldest EPA registered pest control brand and are here to help you keep your home and family pest-free. For more information, check out Flies: The Ultimate Guide.