The common housefly is one of man’s most irritating, disease-carrying and prodigious pests. Without proper sanitation and controls, your house can quickly become infested with larvae and flies. One female fly will lay several batches of eggs — 100 to 150 at a time. Eggs will hatch into larvae, also called maggots, which transform into pupa and finally flies. In the summertime, they will complete the cycle from eggs to flies in seven days. Flies spread many types of bacteria and diseases that can cause various conditions including infectious hepatitis, dysentery, eye infections, food poisoning, cholera, yaws and diarrhea. Controlling fly larvae is critical to keeping your home free from fly-borne illness.
Eggs, Larvae and Pupae Development
Common housefly eggs look like tiny grains of rice that will hatch into larvae about 24 hours after being laid. Fly larvae looks like small, whitish worms that will feed for about five days and then find a dark, dry location where they will develop into pupae. Pupae have dark, hard shells. Female flies will breed almost immediately upon breaking out of the pupa shell. The female only needs to breed once to be capable of laying eggs throughout her lifetime. Houseflies can breed six generations or more in a single summer.
Female flies will deposit eggs in garbage, compost piles, decaying leaves and other lawn debris, animal and human waste, manure and rotting fruits and vegetables. Flies watch and follow each other in search of food and when one finds a source, others will hone in on it and land to breed and lay eggs. Upon finding it, each female will lay more than 100 eggs, which then hatch into larvae. One fly in or around the house, given fertile breeding grounds, can quickly become hundreds.
While you might find adult flies to be the most annoying, controlling larvae is the key to managing these pests. Eliminating areas where flies are likely to breed and larvae can grow is best way to eliminate houseflies in the home. Clean up all clutter in and around your home, especially pet waste, garbage and any other organic material. Dispose of food matter in tightly sealed plastic bags and immediately dispose of any kitchen waste in outside garbage cans. Don’t keep any organic waste in the home. Move outside garbage receptacles as far away from the house as possible. Don’t leave garbage in plastic bags, secure it in heavy plastic or metal garbage cans with tightly fitting lids. Clean up dog feces in the yard daily, seal in plastic bags and deposit in garbage cans. Get rid of all organic waste in the yard immediately. Clean cat boxes daily, secure waste in sealed plastic bags and dispose of it outside in garbage cans.
Fly Control in the Home
Add tight-fitting screens on windows and screen doors and seal any cracks where flies may enter the house. Adult flies are resilient and quickly become immune to pesticides, which also can be dangerous when used around people and pets. To kill adult flies in the home, it’s best to use sticky flypaper or strips and fly traps using ultraviolet light or other fly attractants. The good, old fly swatter will do the trick for just a few flies buzzing about.
- Photo Credit Sean Murphy/Lifesize/Getty Images
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