This week’s critter communique is the House fly. Read on to discover a few filth fly facts.
Name: House fly, Musca domestica (meaning “house fly”).
ID: Adults are up to ¼” long with a ½” wingspan. The thorax is grey with four stripes. The fourth vein on the wing bends forward, almost reaching the third vein. The female is larger than the male. The male’s compound eyes appear to be touching, while the female’s compound eyes appear to be spaced.
Spotting: While taste-testing, feeding, and defecating. Light-colored spots are saliva, and dark-colored spots are feces. Abundance and ratios of spots provide clues to the number of flies and distance to reproductive source(s).
Flight: 4.5 mph
Life: Complete metamorphosis or egg, larva (maggot), pupa, and adult stages. Egg to adult in 6 days (under good conditions).
Distribution: Found throughout the US.
Where: Moist refuse and waste areas, manure, feces, and carrion.
Health: Moves pathogens from filth to food causing food borne illness.
Safety: Contaminates food and food preparation surfaces.
Control: Good environmental hygiene is essential. Eliminate refuse and organic materials. Keep dumpsters in good repair, clean, and at maximum distance from the building. Short-store refuse in well-sealed containers. Utilize fly screens and other pest-proofing methods. Install air curtains for positive building pressure (3.0 m/s-service doors, and 9.0 m/s overhead doors). With the use of a UV-AMETER, install numerous insect light traps for monitoring and population reduction.