House Flies

House flies get their name from being the most common fly found around homes. Adult house flies can grow to one-quarter of an inch long and usually live between 15 and 25 days.


They are only able to feed on liquids but have the ability to turn many solid foods into a liquid for them to eat. House flies taste with their feet, which are 10 million times more sensitive to sugar than the human tongue.


House flies tend to stay within 1-2 miles of where they were born; however, they have been known to migrate up to 20 miles to find food.


These insects have been known to carry over 100 different kinds of disease-causing germs, which makes them very bad house guests.

Fruit Flies or Vinegar Flies

Fruit flies feed on decaying fruits and vegetables.


Fruit flies feed on decaying matter, especially fruits and vegetables.


Fruit flies are small pests that are commonly found in homes, restaurants and other facilities where food is processed. They are found on moist, decaying matter that has been stationary for several days.


Fruit flies are found in unsanitary conditions, so they are a potential heath concern, especially when present in health facilities.

Cluster Flies

Cluster flies are, by far, the most common fly found in homes during the cool months. They can sometimes be serious nuisance problems, particularly in taller buildings where they tend to concentrate on upper stories on the south and west sides. Cluster flies are moderate sized, generally dark gray and are distinguishable by the presence of golden hairs on areas of the thorax.

Cluster flies are actually a type of blow fly, but have very different habits. They develop as parasites of earthworms and are not associated with garbage, animal wastes, or other materials that provide breeding of the various ‘filth flies’. In spring and summer the adult flies lay eggs in soil and the maggots move to and develop within earthworms.

Flies that are present in late summer seek winter shelter and they survive winters as a semi-dormant adult fly. They may be seen sunning themselves on sun-exposed sides of buildings during warm periods and later infiltrate cracks in the building. In the process of seeking sheltering sites within the building they tend to migrate upwards, and thus are found most abundantly in upper floors of buildings. During the cool season some flies may inadvertently become active and fly lazily within the living spaces. However, cluster flies do not feed nor reproduce within buildings.

Drain Flies

Drain flies, also known as moth flies, are occasional problems in homes. These small, moth-like flies sometimes emerge from drains of sinks, particularly in spring. Drain fly maggots develop by feeding on bacteria and organic materials that can colonize the linings of drains. Large numbers of the flies can be produced where there is a problem with broken or leaking drain pipes.

Moth Flies

An annoying and troublesome pest that concerns numerous homeowners is the moth fly, also commonly known as the drain fly, filter fly, or sewage fly. Moth flies are frequently found indoors on windows, sinks and walls. The source of the fly infestation is generally from sinks and floor drains, or from nearby sewage plants or waste disposal areas. Polluted waters and wet organic materials are preferred breeding areas of the fly.

The adult fly (Fig. 1) is about one-tenth inch long (about one-third the size of a housefly). It has a dark gray body and lighter colored wings. The body and wings are densely covered with long hairs which give the body a fuzzy or hairy appearance, hence the name “moth fly”.

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