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At Earthwise Pest Management, we are dedicated to providing our customers with quality, long-lasting pest control services. Our local, family-owned and operated company focuses on continued training and education so we are always up-to-date on all the newest pest control methods and products.

If you are struggling with a fly infestation, the Sacramento pest control experts from Earthwise Pest Management can help. Our team can rid your home of flies and help you to prevent a future infestation. Contact us today to get started. 

There are over 100,000 species of flies throughout the world. We will be mainly focusing on the housefly, as it is the most common breed of fly to be found in houses. Later, we will discuss some of the other types of flies that you may find in your Sacramento home as well, but in this section, we will be describing the housefly, its appearance, its lifecycle, and its habits. 

Fly Appearance

The housefly, sometimes called the filth fly, is about an ⅛-inch to ¼-inch in length in its adult form. It’s a small oval shape and typically grey in color. Houseflies have six legs just as all insects do and have hairy bodies. Their eyes are large when compared to the size of their bodies and are red and made up of thousands of lenses. Because of their unique eyes, houseflies have an almost 360-degree field of vision. Houseflies do not have stingers or teeth so they do not bite or sting. However, they do have two wings along their back allowing them to fly, as the name implies, and a sucking mouthpart that is ideal for their liquid diet.

Fly Lifecycle

The housefly has a similar lifecycle to other insects, it lives for about 30 days in total. They go through four stages including egg, larvae, pupae, and the adult stage. While this is all typical of an insect, the interesting thing about houseflies is their ability to quickly reproduce, especially in warmer weather. In fact, in temperatures at 80 degrees or higher, a fly can go through each larvae stage in as little as three days. Each of these larvae stages could take up to eight weeks in colder weather. This is why the summer is a housefly’s most active season. 

The female housefly can lay up to 900 eggs in her short lifetime. She can begin laying eggs about 12 days into her adult stage and can lay about five or six batches of eggs consisting of anywhere from 75 to 150 per batch. They prefer to lay their eggs in moist, dark places such as manure, decomposing organic material, compost, trash, and other places where their offspring will have food when they hatch.

Fly Habits

Since houseflies do not have teeth, they live off of a liquid diet. This is why they are attracted to less clean areas where food may be decomposing or has already gone through the digestive tract of another animal. This provides an easy food source for flies and an ideal place to lay eggs. If a housefly lands on a solid food source, they use a method where they regurgitate or spit on the food and then suck up the liquid. 

Houseflies have tiny hairs on their feet that produce an almost glue-like substance which is what allows them to walk on almost any surface, including ones that are upside down — like your ceiling. They also have incredibly quick reaction times. If you’ve ever tried to swat a fly with a newspaper, it’s almost like they can see it coming. This is because — they actually can. Their brains process about 250 images per second. When you compare that to the 60 images per second that our brains process, it’s easy to understand why they seem so quick. When you swat a fly, for them, it’s almost as if it’s happening in slow motion compared to our comprehension of the action so they have more time to react.

Can Flies Spread Disease?

The number one thing that makes houseflies dangerous is that they spread disease. Besides flies being an annoying nuisance, they often spread bacteria that can cause serious diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and salmonella. 

Houseflies spread diseases in two different ways. Firstly, when they fly onto a pile of trash or the feces of an animal, they pick up bacteria on their feet. Then when they land on your kitchen counter or in your fruit bowl, the bacteria on their feet gets left behind. Secondly, houseflies defecate about 300 times a day. This means that they defecate pretty much every time they land. Every time you see a fly on your countertop, dinner plate, the edge of your cup, or anywhere else that is food or a food contact surface, they are leaving behind waste. And to make it slightly grosser, we must consider the fact that they feed chiefly upon rotting food and other animal’s waste. 

While house flies are the most common flies to be found in a home, there are plenty of other species of flies across the world. We are going to discuss seven of the most common flies to be found in Sacramento homes. Continue reading to learn more and if you are struggling with a fly infestation, contact the Sacramento pest control experts at Earthwise Pest Management today and ask about our fly control services. 

House Flies

Houseflies are the most common fly that you will find in your home, hence the name. They are small grey flies that feed on rotting food, animal waste, and dead animals. Houseflies can be found in almost every place on Earth. The best way to avoid inviting houseflies into your home is by keeping everything clean. Make sure to empty your trash cans frequently, keep food in tightly sealed containers, and clean up messes and spills as they happen.

Little Houseflies

Little houseflies, as you can probably guess, resemble the housefly but are smaller in size. And just as houseflies do, little houseflies enjoy garbage, decaying food, and animal feces. However, unlike regular houseflies, this smaller counterpart is much more hesitant when it comes to invading your home. You will most likely find little houseflies outdoors. However, they can still be quite a nuisance as they have an annoying habit of flying at face level.


Horseflies tend to be larger than your average housefly. They can measure up to a full inch in length, are grey in color, and have green-metallic eyes. Horseflies do have teeth and their bite is quite painful and leaves behind a red bump. They tend to be attracted to dark shiny objects and carbon dioxide. Horseflies are often found near beaches, lakes, and other bodies of water.

Phorid Flies

The phorid fly, also sometimes called the scuttle fly or sewer fly, is similar in appearance to a fruit fly. They are very small flies that are black or brown in color. Phorid flies commonly feed on rotting food. The easiest way to tell them apart from fruit flies is when they are swatted or chased away, they will run, or scuttle, away rather than fly as fruit flies often will. Phorid flies commonly lay their eggs in your plumbing where it is dark and moist. This makes an infestation incredibly difficult to get rid of without help from a professional pest control company.

Cluster Flies

Cluster flies are also referred to as attic flies because they often live in warm dark places throughout the winter season such as attics, basements, or storage rooms. Cluster flies are often confused with houseflies because of their similar characteristics and size. As the name implies, cluster flies can most often be found in clusters. They aren’t known for spreading diseases as much as they are known for being a nuisance.

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are teeny tiny flies that are known for swarming in groups in your home, typically around fruit bowls or other areas where there is sweet smelling food. Fruit flies often lay eggs in fruit that has begun to turn or in your pipes or drains if they haven’t been cleaned recently. Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs in each batch, which is one of the things that makes them so difficult to get rid of.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are small flies that are brown to black in color with clear wings. They have a whitish or sometimes almost clear head. These flies love moisture. While you may find them outdoors in your vegetable garden, they also commonly find their way into homes. They are attracted to the lights in your house and are often found living in indoor potted plants. 

Whether you are struggling with the common housefly, fruit flies, cluster flies, or any other type of fly we’ve discussed, there are certain things that you can do around your house to deter flies from settling in. Keeping your property, both inside and outside, clean and clutter-free is a great place to start. Cleaning and keeping food in the refrigerator or tightly sealed containers is really key to avoiding most fly infestations. You’ll also want to ensure that flies don’t have easy access to your home by repairing any window screens that may have holes in them and ensuring that there are no other cracks or crevices that flies can enter your home through. The best tactic for getting rid of flies in your home is to ensure that you remove any possible food source, water source, and breeding place. Listed below are a few easy things that you can do to help prevent a fly infestation from occurring in your Sacramento home. 

  • Keep food tightly sealed 
  • Remove standing water both indoors and outdoors around your property  
  • Vacuum your carpets often
  • Clean your home frequently
  • Keep your yard clutter-free
  • Empty the trash frequently
  • Repair damaged window screens
  • Seal small holes and cracks in the foundation, roofing, and around windows and doors

Flies are not just annoying, they can spread disease and make you and your family sick. When dealing with a fly infestation, while there are things you can do to limit their food source, they can be difficult to get rid of on your own. Flies breed quickly, especially in warmer weather, and that’s why we see so many fly problems in the summer months. If you are dealing with a fly problem in your home, the Sacramento pest control experts from Earthwise Pest Management can help. We’ll safely and effectively remove the pests from your home and help you to prevent future infestations. Contact us today to inquire about our fly control services.

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