- Size: About 6 to 7 mm long
- Color: Gray with four black stripes on the thorax
- Distinctive Feature: Common in human dwellings
- Habitat: Wherever there are human activities, waste
The house fly, Musca domestica, is a common insect measuring between 5 and 8 mm in length. Its segmented body ranges in color from gray to black, with distinctive stripes on the thorax. Its large, red compound eyes provide exceptional panoramic vision. It has a pair of transparent wings, more developed than the halteres, smaller structures that contribute to its balance in flight. Its relatively short legs are equipped with small hairs that allow it to move easily on various surfaces.
The house fly is frequently found in human environments, such as homes, farms, and landfills, attracted by food and organic waste. This species has a preference for sweet and fermented substances. For reproduction, it favors decaying materials for egg-laying, thus creating a rapid life cycle under favorable conditions.
The house fly’s feeding behavior involves liquefying its food by regurgitating saliva before ingestion, a process that can transmit diseases. A female can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime, which turn into larvae in 12 to 24 hours. Mainly active during the day, it rests at night in warm and dark places. The house fly’s ability to move between food and waste makes it a potential vector of pathogens, highlighting the importance of its control for public health.
Distinguishing House Flies from Other Insects
The deer fly is easily distinguished from the house fly by its larger size and distinctive coloring. It has characteristic markings on the wings and iridescent eyes. Unlike the house fly, the deer fly is known for its painful bite, as it feeds on blood. It prefers wooded and moist areas, contrasting with the urban and domestic habitat of the house fly.
The manure fly resembles the house fly but is distinguished by distinctive markings on its abdomen and light stripes on its thorax. Although it shares some habitats with the house fly, such as farms and areas rich in organic matter, the manure fly is more often associated with livestock and animal feces. Its behavior and life cycle also differ, with a preference for more rural and agricultural environments.
Drain flies, often called bathroom gnats, are significantly smaller than house flies and have a hairy body that gives them a fuzzy appearance. They are typically gray or black. These flies prefer damp environments and breed in drains or areas with stagnant water, a very different habitat from the house fly.
The fruit fly, or fruit fly, is smaller than the house fly and has distinctive red eyes. Its preference for decomposing fruit distinguishes it from the house fly, which has a more varied range of food. The fruit fly has a yellow-brown body and more rounded wings, making it visually different from the house fly.