House Fly


Actual Size: ¾” to 1 ¼”

Characteristics: Black or gray; clear wings, bulgy eyes.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Found near water and damp soil in brushy or low lying pasture areas.


  • Similar to deer flies; do not breed inside structures.
  • Bites can be very painful resulting in visible wounds.
  • Significant livestock pests with their painful and persistent biting behavior.

House Flies in Northern Utah

Found on every continent except Antarctica, the house fly is one of the most familiar of all insects. House flies are generally found in greatest numbers during the hotter summer months and generally live in close proximity to humans and animals. These pests breed in animal wastes and decaying organic material, including animal corpses and food waste from which they can pick up bacteria and viruses that may cause human disease. House flies defecate most every time they land, contaminating food, with the potential to spread disease.

House Fly Habitat

In rural areas, manure piles are often the main source of house flies, and in urban areas, piles of fermenting lawn clippings commonly generate large numbers of flies. Animal manure is a favorite breeding medium for flies with the most important sites being horse manure, human excrement, cow manure, fermenting vegetable refuse, dumpsters and refuse containers, and household garbage. Some species of flies can live and breed in recycling containers, and fly problems are common in recycling centers.

House Fly Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Although house flies do not bite, they are capable of transferring more than 100 different pathogens, including salmonellosis, typhoid, and tuberculosis. Pathogenic organisms are picked up by flies from garbage, sewage, and other sources of filth, and then transferred on their mouthparts, through their vomitus, feces, and contaminated external body parts to human and animal food. They can carry a wide range of germs from filthy breeding sites to the dinner table or spread some diseases within herds or flocks.

If you are experiencing a house fly infestation on your property, contact your local exterminators for help.