Creature Feature

House Flies

House flies are the most common flies associated with humans and their animals. Originally from central Asia, they now occur in inhabited areas worldwide. Since house flies breed in feces and garbage, they can transmit diseases from these mediums onto food and food preparation surfaces. Studies have shown that community-wide fly management reduces cases of infectious diarrhea, which can be caused by various pathogens. House flies may carry these pathogens on their bodies or in their bodies and deposit them in their feces or regurgitated gut contents. 


House flies rarely breed inside buildings unless garbage dumpsters or compactors are housed indoors or extremely unsanitary conditions are present elsewhere. House flies are an increased problem in animal farming areas due to large amounts of manure. In more urban areas, house flies are attracted to odors from outdoor garbage dumpsters. To reduce attraction to buildings, dumpster lids should stay tightly closed and dumpsters should be cleaned regularly. The further away dumpsters are placed from entrances, the less likely house flies are to enter buildings. Ultimately, keeping windows and doors closed or screened is the most effective way to keep house flies outdoors.


Against best efforts, house flies can still manage to fly indoors. Insect light traps (ILTs) are very effective at catching them after they’ve entered buildings. Proper placement is important as house flies are generally active within three to six feet above the floor and ILTs placed higher than this zone are less attractive. Fly baits are available in a variety of formulations, most notably those that can be applied as removable bait placements in food-handling areas. These can also be applied in dumpster areas to reduce fly populations.

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Introduction to Small & Large Filth Flies

Course Type: Technical

Time: 60 Minutes

Small flies and large filth flies are public health pests that are often difficult to manage. After completing the course, you should be able to understand the basic fly life cycle, identify major small and large filth fly pests, recognize their importance in public health and recommend the appropriate fly management methods (including finding maggots).

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