Filth flies are a fly pest species that congregate on pathogen-rich sources of decaying organic matter for reproductive purposes. Landfills, garbage receptacles, discarded food, compost piles, manure, latrines, lawn waste and dead animals are just a few common filth fly breeding sites. Numerous filth fly species can be found in most urban and suburban environments throughout the world, but the most common home-invading filth fly species in the northeast include houseflies, face flies, phorid flies and fruit flies. However, houseflies are easily the most common indoor fly pest species in every region of the US, and much of the world.

Houseflies are aptly named, as pest control professionals manage problems with houseflies far more often than any other fly species, and there are several reasons for this. For one thing, houseflies are able to thrive within a variety of different climates, making them the most widely distributed of all fly species worldwide. Another reason for the housefly’s ubiquity in urban, suburban and rural environments is its ability to reproduce on a variety of different forms of organic matter, most notably rotting foods, garbage, and human and animal excrement. While most species in the Diptera order of insects, which includes mosquitoes, flies and gnats, are able to reproduce at relatively rapid rates, the housefly is particularly prolific, and large populations can develop quickly within and around homes.

Generally, female houseflies produce more than 1,000 eggs during their 25 to one month-long lifespan, and females deposit between 100 and 150 eggs at a time on suitable breeding sites. At optimal temperatures, which range from 77 to 91 degrees, a newly laid egg develops into an adult housefly in as little as 5 to 6 days. Houseflies are also able to travel back and forth from breeding sites and indoor areas several times per day, and their daily flight distance ranges from 1.8 miles to more than 18 miles. In addition to being the most common indoor fly pest species, the house fly is also known to smear dozens of disease-causing microorganisms to human food sources and indoor surfaces.

Have you ever encountered a swarm of flies within a low-traffic area of a home, such as an attic, basement or garage?