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What is it?

Musca domestica is a common pest throughout the world. Aside from being an annoying presence in and around the home, houseflies can pose some serious health concerns. They can spread a number of human diseases such as dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid, intestinal worms, cholera and salmonella bacteria.

What does it look like?

They are small to mid-size clear winged insects, which can complete their entire lifecycle within fourteen days. They hatch creamy white maggots, which can be up to 1/3 inch long.

How does it manifest?

These common household pests are attracted to decaying organic materials wherein the female adult flies lay their eggs. They hatch in just a matter of a few days and in certain conditions can hatch as quickly as 12 hours. The resultant maggots are creamy and white looking and burrow into and feed upon the decaying materials for several days until they pupate and emerge as adult flies. In cooler conditions, the lifecycle of the housefly is extended and adults can live for up to 25 days.

What can you do about it?

Your best bet is to maintain sanitary conditions, both in the home and garden. Keep garbage in sealed containers and make sure you keep garbage tightly covered. Dispose of it regularly. An often overlooked method of sanitation is cleansing the garbage can frequently, be sure to do so. Houseflies can also be killed by spraying with a fogger containing malathion or resmethrin. Make sure to follow package directions carefully. In addition, do any necessary maintenance on screens in doors and windows where flies are likely to enter the home.