House Fly

House & Filth Fly Identification and Control

Correct identification is an important first step in pest control.

House fly on a white background
Musca domestica
How To Identify a House Fly

House flies are a 1/4 inch in length with 4 black stripes on the prothorax. This is similar in appearance to the face fly. 

Why Are Filth Flies Significant

House flies are considered a filth fly which means they are greatly benefited by our human environment for proliferation (rapid reproduction). The adults and larvae can transmit diseases to humans. They are also a nuisance by annoying and distracting people inside and outside.

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House fly on a white background

Where Do They Lay Their Eggs

House flies lay their eggs on animal manure or decaying organic matter-especially garbage and dumpsters. While the adults feed on manure, decaying organic material and human food products; the larvae just feed on manure and decaying organic matter.

Learn more on how to control filth flies by reading our blog post: Dumpster Maintenance. 

Name :

Musca domestica

Size :


Light :

Yes, they are attracted to light

Fly mouth parts under a microscope

How House Flies and Filth Flies Spread Germs and Diseases

House flies are mechanical vectors of pathogens because those disease causing organisms can be transferred from the fly’s contaminated body to human food, eyes, nose, mouth, and open wounds.

House flies can contain 6 million bacteria on its body and 25 million internally.


Hairs Collect Pathogens

House flies have numerous hairs on their legs, feet and bodies which significantly increase their surface area and help in picking up and holding pathogens. Their feet have sticky pads on the bottom which also easily pick up pathogens.


Sponging Mouthparts

Pathogens can be transmitted to food by the fly’s saliva and feces. House flies have sponging mouthparts, like the one pictured here. Sponging mouthparts are only capable of consuming liquid food.

Solid foods are liquefied by regurgitation of the crop contents (which may contain pathogens) onto the food material, allowing the vomit to liquify the solid food and then sucking the liquefied food (along with any disease organisms) into their digestive tract.

House flies can also contaminate food by defeating on it while feeding. These spots are usually darker.

Black garbage can with trash coming out the top

How To Eliminate House Flies and Filth Flies Outdoors

  • Keep dumpsters at lease 50 feet away from the building.
  • Trash cans, dumpsters, and garbage areas should be clean and free of odor.
  • Lids on dumpsters and trash cans should be kept closed.
  • Do not leave trash or garbage bags next to the dumpster; place them inside.

How To Prevent Filth Flies From Entering a Building

  • Keep exterior doors closed.
  • Instal screen doors or automatic door closers, especially on doors leading into the kitchen.
  • Keep all door and window screens in good repair.
  • Exclude their entry by caulking cracks and crevices, using weather stripping where needed, putting door sweeps on gappy doors, using window screens, etc.
  • Locate where they could be breeding and remove it, if possible.
  • Improve sanitation in the area; such as the kitchen, bathroom, garbage indoors and outdoors.
  • Place light traps to catch flies that come indoors.
  • You can always use a fly swatter.

Don’t let flies take over. Thorn can help.

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How To Control

Flies can be difficult to control, but that’s what we are here for. We create a strategic plan to gain control of your fly problem and make sure we get results.

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Thorn's Approach

We take a scientific approach to fly control. We start with an inspection and assessment to help us identify the flies, locate where they are, and create a specific plan for your property. Every home and business is different and requires a unique strategy.


Our Approach to Pest Control

Proper pest management starts with a detailed inspection and assessment from an expert pest professional before treatment. Thorn Pest Solutions uses a three-step process rooted in science to eliminate pests with long-term results.

Driven By Science. Lead By Service.

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Assess Situation

First, we identify the root problem(s) with a site assessment. Pests are almost always an indicator of an environmental condition. This will determine the best actions to provide short and your long-term results against pests.

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Execute Action Plan

Next, we develop a plan to fix the problems we discovered. This includes solving current pest issues, eliminating conducive conditions, and monitoring for future pest activity. Good pest management starts with a good plan.

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Track Success

Lastly, we implement the solutions we developed including inspection, monitoring, and preventing future pest infestations. Good pest control requires a good offense and not just defense. Prevention is key.

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