Flies (Muscidae)

Flies (Muscidae)

Family Name
There are many families of flies; Muscidae is only one in the order Diptera.

General Characteristics
Flies have a single pair of membranous wings and large compound eyes. Metamorphosis is complete, comprising egg, larvae, pipe and adult stages.

Pest control
Good hygiene practice will reduce the potential breeding sites and food sources available to the fly. Domestic rubbish should be stored in sealable bins before disposal. In extreme cases maggot raps can be employed as can insecticides in controlled conditions.

Flies (Muscidae)

Species Characteristics
Click on the name to see the species characteristics of the different fly varieties.


Common Housefly - Musca domestica

Common HouseflyMusca domestica
Adults grow to 6 to 8mm long with a wingspan of 13 to 15mm. They have a grey thorax with 4 longitudinal stripes. At rest their wings are spread.

Lesser Housefly - Fannia canicularis

Lesser HouseflyFannia canicularis
Adults are 6mm long with a wingspan of 12mm. They have a grey thorax with 3 longitudinal stripes. At rest their wings are folded along their back.


Areas where they are found
Common Houseflies can be encountered more or less anywhere. They are highly active indoors and well heated modern houses allow them to breed and remain active all year round. Lesser Houseflies are often encountered in buildings housing poultry.

Significance as a pest
Houseflies can transmit intestinal worms or their eggs. Additionally they can be carriers of diseases such as dysentery, gastroenteritis, typhoid, cholera and tuberculosis. Large infestations can cause major problems and health risks.

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