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Pest Spotlight: House Flies

Pest Spotlight: House Flies

How many times have you left the door open while carrying groceries only to discover you let a fly in the house? While many different species may find their way into your home, the most common you likely encounter is the house fly, Musca domestica

How can I tell if it’s a house fly?

House flies have an alternating pattern of black and white stripes on the region right behind the head (i.e., the thorax). Some other flies, such as flesh flies, also have a striped thorax, but you are less likely to encounter them in your house. A house fly’s abdomen is also tinted orange under each wing, a character that is missing in flesh flies.  

Do they bite or sting?

No, house flies do not bite or sting. House flies can, however, transfer bacteria from one surface to another. The house fly is a type of filth fly, a designation given to those flies that breed in decaying matter. Because of their habitat and behaviors, the same fly may land on garbage, dog excrement, and then your kitchen counters--gross. 

Do they really vomit when they land? 

Flies do not have chewing mouthparts like caterpillars, ants, or beetles do, for example. In order for them to ingest a solid . . . such as a taste of that delicious hamburger on your plate . . . they have to “spit up” digestive enzymes that can externally digest the food. This turns the solid food into a soup that they can then lap up with their sponging mouthparts. So, yes, sometimes they do regurgitate after landing on a food item. 

Will they infest my house? 

Under normal conditions, house flies will not infest your house like, say, German cockroaches will. If you have garbage, food, or feces laying around (did you remember to take out the trash before leaving on vacation?), then houseflies have a potential breeding location. Once the breeding spot is removed or cleaned, it becomes a matter of trapping all the adult flies in your house. 

Worried about flies in your home? Contact Innovative Pest Solutions for an inspection; we're your local Raleigh pest control company and we're here to help!