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FLIESflies

The most common fly is the house fly. It is black and about 1/4 inch long. Its body is covered with fine hairs and bristles which readily pick up dirt particles. In urban areas houseflies usually are found in human, pet, or horse feces, and in garbage.

Flies can live 2 to 3 days without food. Flies vomit on their food before eating it so as to soften it. The house fly excretes and regurgitates wherever it comes to rest. The stable fly uses it’s proboscis to pierce the skin of it’s host and suck blood. Stable flies are more associated with non-human animal excrement, and decaying seashore weeds.

There are three stages in the life cycle of flies; egg, larvae, and adult. The length of time from egg to adult for the housefly is from 1 to 6 weeks, depending mainly on temperature. The sex of a house fly can be determined by the distance between their eyes. Female eyes are wider. Also, the female is usually larger than the male.

Female flies lay about 200 to 2,000 eggs per lifetime. The green bottle fly, however averages 2,000 to 3,000. Flies lay their eggs in manure and decayed vegetable matter. These are good places to start when controlling them. A female deposits 75 to 150 eggs per batch. She may lay 5 to 6 batches at intervals of several days between each batch.

Fly eggs are small… only about 1/25″ long, white, and are laid in moist organic matter where the larvae will live. The eggs usually hatch in less than a day. Full grown larvae sometimes move to a nearby drier place, or into the ground to pupae. The newly-emerged adult, however, cannot fly until its wings have dried and expanded, and during this time it sometimes is called a “crawler”. Fermenting, fresh horse manure is a favorite breeding place of the house fly. This manure must be less than one day old to be attractive to the egg laying adult.

Flies are a disease carrying insect. House flies have been shown to carry typhoid fever, cholera, summer diarrhea, dysentery, tuberculosis, anthrax, opthalmia as well as parasitic worms.

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