House Fly

  • Scientific Name: Musca domestica

House Fly

Scientific Name:

Musca domestica

How to identify a house fly

The house fly (Musca domestica) varies in size from 5-8 mm long with a dull grey thorax and abdomen.

Where are house flies commonly found?

Adult house flies are commonly found in domestic dwellings and are often seen trying to land on your dinner plate. The larvae can be found in the excrement of animals and also in decomposing organic matter e.g. compost heaps.

Why are house flies considered a pest?

Although a few flies may be of benefit to nature, more often than not, flies are a nuisance pest affecting human lifestyles. Diseases such as typhoid, cholera, diarrhoea, amoebic dysentery, giardiasis and worms (pin and tape) are spread mechanically by flies.

What is the biology and lifecycle of a house fly?

Flies undergo complete metamorphosis during their life cycle. The majority of adult females are oviparous and lay their eggs on or near a suitable food source.

Some species e.g. those belonging to the family Sarcophagidae (Flesh flies), are viviparous, depositing live larvae on some type of decomposing matter. Sometimes, they deposit their young on your windscreen when your car and their flight path coincide. The emerging larvae primarily feed upon decomposing vegetable matter or carrion, whilst some are predatory or parasitic. Some larvae e.g. mosquitoes, are aquatic and feed upon food particles in the water.

After reaching the “fully fed” stage, all larvae pupate and shortly thereafter, a full adult emerges.

Chemicals Required to Control House Flies

Some of the insecticidal formulations you might use include:

  • Fly bait - there are a few options available. They are usually a granular formulation and one very effective product can be applied as a dry granule scattered around, placed in
    purpose built bait stations or just in trays, or mixed into a paste and applied to vertical surfaces such as timber poles or to pieces of timber mounted on platforms or suspended in the air.
  • Residual insecticidal application - the use of Synthetic Pyrethroids to fly alighting surfaces e.g. around entry doors, windows and waste bins, will repel and also kill flies. The addition of sugar will help attract house flies to the treated surface. Some insecticides are mixed with water and painted on to an appropriate surface. As well as the active ingredient these products also contain sugar and a sex attractant.
  • Insect growth regulators - these are used to control mosquito and black fly larvae in aquatic environments. They are available in a range of formulations and are very effective when used according to label rates.
  • Drain cleaners -  these are not your everyday cleaners but specially formulated products used to clean drains and pipes of organic matter, thus removing potential food sources for vinegar flies. They are available in a number of formulations including a foaming variety which is most effective.
  • Metered aerosol dispensers - These are only effective against flying insects in limited spaces e.g. store room, cleaner’s room and garbage room. Many units have the ability to be set to operate within certain hours e.g. after close of trading until just before opening. For insect control these dispensers use a pyrethrin based insecticidal spray and they can also be used with aerosol cans which dispense an aromatic fragrance.
  • Space treatments - the metered aerosol dispensers are a “mini space treatment” for small spaces. Sometimes, you may need to treat large spaces for flying insects, either a species of fly or stored product moths e.g. Indian meal moth. In this case, you can use an electric or petrol powered misting/fogging device or a high pressure aerosol.


Management Tips for Controlling House Flies

Tackling flies needs a three pronged approach.

Exclusion - Obviously, if you can prevent flying insects from entering a building, your worries are almost over. Some exclusion measures are:

  • Flyscreens: these are placed on doors and windows and are effective if maintained properly.
  • Airlocks: if these are properly designed, located and maintained, they are an effective method of preventing the entry of flying insects, especially if used in conjunction with aerosol dispensers or electronic control units.
  • Air curtains: these systems are not in widespread use due to cost and varying degrees of efficiency. One could write a whole bulletin just on their use. If the systems are not adequate in power or not sited correctly, they do not provide the degree of protection that might be expected.

Restriction - “Restriction” means basically reducing the breeding potential of the pests by eliminating food sources or potential breeding sites. Some of the elements of an effective “Restriction” programme are:

  • Waste disposal: obviously where you have waste disposal, you have, by definition, food wastes, liquids and other items such as packaging material. On large sites, dumpsters and bins should be located on a raised platform which is, in turn, on a sloping concrete pavement, allowing for effective drainage and washing down. Containers should be closed when not in use. All waste bins etc. should be situated a distance from the building itself and not in an area where the prevailing winds will carry odours into interior areas. They should be emptied on a strict schedule and not be allowed to overflow.
  • Breeding site removal: this applies especially to mosquito control where it is an important factor in a control programme. This could involve disposing of old tins, tyres, buckets and similar containers, ensuring that there is no free standing water and changing water in such things as bird baths and wading pools. It is also very important in the control of vinegar flies.
  • External lighting: this is an aspect which is often overlooked by clients and pest managers. It is essential to have exterior lighting for safety and where facilities operate on a 24 hour basis. Mercury vapour lamps, fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs are all more attractive to flying insects than high pressure sodium vapour lamps. Specially coloured “insect” bulbs can be used to reduce the attraction factor and external lights should be placed 5-6m away from doorways. Ideally, high pressure sodium vapour lamps should be used exclusively in external areas. Lights should be placed on poles some distance away from the building rather than being attached to the building itself.

Destruction - There are a wide range of chemical and non-chemical control measures with new insecticide formulations being introduced fairly regularly. It would be fair to say that any insecticide will kill flies but that doesn’t mean that you can just pick up any insecticide container from your vehicle, mix up a batch and start spraying. The first aspect to consider of course, is whether or not the product is registered for the particular fly species you’re treating. You need to read the label of any product before you use it as I’m sure you already know. If you don’t have a suitable product already, consult your Globe sales personnel for advice. 


Each pest control product is registered for use in specific environments, situations, pest life stages and other key factors. Please always consult the product label for detailed information about how to use each product.

Seclira Pressurised Fly Bait 454g
10g/kg Dinotefuran

Seclira Pressurised Fly Bait is a new ground breaking, ready-to-use pressurised bait, enabling users to simply and precisely place bait where nuisance flies naturally go.

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Seclira Pressurised Insecticide 397g
5g/kg Diontefuran

Seclira Pressurised Insecticide is a fast-acting, non-repellent, ready-to-use product with System III compatibility for the control of a broad range of pests including ants, and cockroaches.

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Termidor SC Residual Termiticide
100g/L Fipronil

Termidor SC Residual Termiticide and Insecticide provides superior levels of control across subterranean termites, ants, cockroaches, spiders, and flies.

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Coopex Residual Insecticide
250g/kg Permethrin

Coopex Residual Insecticide is a wettable powder registered for the residual control of cockroaches, ants, carpet beetles, spiders, clothes moths, bed bugs, silverfish and mosquitoes.

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Ficam W Insecticide
800g/kg Bendiocarb

Ficam W Insecticide is a non-repellent, broad-spectrum residual spray registered for the control of cockroaches, flies, spiders, fleas, ants, silverfish, bed bugs, millipedes and other insect pests.

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Biflex Ultra Lo-Odour 100EC Termiticide & Insecticide
100g/L Bifenthrin, 533g/L Liquid Hydrocarbons

Biflex Ultra-Lo-Odour Termiticide and Insecticide is a cost-effective, broad spectrum, long residual, liquid insecticide and termiticide for use as an internal and external treatment of a wide range of pests.

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PCO Bifenthrin 100EC (Low Odour)
100g/L Bifenthrin

PCO Bifenthrin 100EC (Low Odour) is formulated for the protection of structures from subterranean termite damage and for the control of termites and a range of other urban pests.

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PCO Bifenthrin 100SC
100g/L Bifenthrin

PCO Bifenthrin 100SC is formulated for the control of a range of urban interior and exterior pests, for the control of mosquitoes, biting midges and flies by forming Residual Surface Treatments on a range of urban interior and exterior situations, for protection of structures from subterranean termite damage and for the control of termites.

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PCO Deltamethrin 10SC
10g/L Deltamethrin

PCO Deltamethrin 10SC is formulated for the control of a range of insect pests, Cockroaches, Web-spinning Spiders, Non web-spinning Spiders, Ant, Fleas, Silverfish, Bed Bugs, Bird Mite, Carpet Beetle, Clothes Moth, Mosquitoes, House Flies, Stored Product Pests in various situations.

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PCO Deltamethrin Tetramethrin 10SC 5L
10g/L Deltamethrin, 10g/L Tetramethrin, 80g/L Piperonyl Butoxide

PCO Deltamethrin Tetramethrin is formulated for the control of a range of insect pests including: Ants, Cockroaches, Fleas, Silverfish, Spiders, Bird Mites, Carpet Beetles, Clothes Moths, Bed Bugs House Flies and Mosquitoes in various situations.

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Arilon Insecticide
200g/kg Indoxacarb

Arilon® is a non-repellent insecticide which provides excellent control of ants, cockroaches and other key insect pest species on a variety of interior and exterior surfaces.

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Demand 100CS Insecticide
100g/L Lambda-Cyhalothrin

Demand 100CS is a cost effective and long lasting insecticide for the controls of ants, cockroaches, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, silverfish and spiders for up to up to 12 months indoors and up to 3 months outdoors. It can be applied to foliage for up to 14 weeks of mosquito control.

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Delta Pro 25SC Professional Insecticide
25g/L Deltamethrin

For the control of a range of insect pests such as spiders, cockroaches, flies, ants, mosquitoes in various situations.

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Ensnare Pro 50SC Insecticide 1L
50g/L Indoxacarb

EnsnarePRO is a non-repellent residual suspension concentrate spray. It can be used in conjunction with baits without reducing the performance of the bait. Ants, cockroaches and flies don’t know it’s there. The ‘non-repellent’ properties of this formulation does not interfer with insects natural behaviour...

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Clear Out Plus IGR Dust Insecticide
20g/kg Permethrin, 2g/kg Pyriproxyfen

ClearOut Plus IGR Dust Insecticide is a dual active dustable powder containing Permethrin and Pyriproxyfen for the control of adult and juvenile insects.

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Fipforce HP Insecticide and Termiticide
100g/L Fipronil

Fipforce HP is a professional strength, highly effective, odourless, non repellent insecticide providing long lasting control of termites.

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Vectorforce ULV and Thermal Fogging Insecticide 5L
25g/L Cypermethrin Solvent

Vectorforce Thermal Fogging and ULV Insecticide Concentrate is formulated for the knockdown control of adult mosquitoes, biting midges, flies and cockroaches.

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EnviroSafe Jumbo Fly Trap Bait (3 Pack)

The EnviroSafe Jumbo Fly Trap Bait is a non-toxic attractant that lures common flies, blow flies and ther flying insects into the Jumbo Fly Traps and Jumbo Fly Catches.

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PY Fog Insecticide
4g/L Pyrethrins, 12g/L Piperonyl Butoxide

PY Fog is a ready to use, broad spectrum insecticide for the control of a range of insect pests in various situations using a thermal fogging machine.

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PY Spray Aerosol Insecticide
10 g/kg pyrethrin and 50 g/kg piperonyl butoxide

PY Spray Aerosol Insecticide is a ready to use professional aerosol for control of a range of insect pests in various situations. Suitable for crack and crevice applications. PY Spray Aerosol Insecticide is an industrial strength spray, suitable for flushing or as a space spray.

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Halo 45 Glueboard Fly Trap
Professional Grade

With a contemporary, discreet aesthetic and commercial efficacy, the second generation Halo 45 is the most versatile glueboard flykiller available for use across a range of commercial applications.

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