Life Cycle of the House Fly

life cycle of the house fly

Scientific Name: Musca domestica Linnaeus

The house fly belongs to a group of flies known as filth flies, named for their habit of laying their eggs in moist, decaying organic matter - particularly manure and garbage. Each female lays batches of 100-150 eggs over a 3-4 day period. If temperatures are high, eggs may hatch within 7.5 hours, otherwise it may take 1-2 days for them to hatch. The eggs hatch into maggots and feed on the organic material in which they find themselves. The larvae go through three moults before they stop feeding and burrow for protection in dry surrounding areas, where they pupate.

Adults mate within one or two days following emergence from their pupal cases. The entire life cycle can be completed in as little as a week, though more commonly the life cycle takes up to three weeks for completion.

During the warmer months the life span of the house fly is 2 1/2 weeks but during the cooler months they overwinter in protected locations in the larval or pupal stage.

Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series. Image 1435183, www.insectimages.org.