How to Bug Proof Your Home: House Flies

Pest Management In and Around Structures May 20, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF
Common house flies
Common house flies


The familiar gray and yellowish house fly (Musca domestica) is attracted to food odor. The larvae or maggots live in and feed on manure or decaying plant material. More than simply being a nuisance they are primary carriers of a variety of disease organisms, including typhoid, cholera, anthrax, polio, and salmonella. These organisms are spread through fly contact with unprotected food and contaminated fecal matter.


  1. Follow the guidelines for general exclusion e.g. caulking cracks, fitting door sweeps etc.
  2. A moist compost bin will be a breeding site for houseflies. Create dry compost by scattering it around the bin so that it will dry rapidly. Flies will not lay eggs on dry manure.
  3. Birds will eat some house flies and can be attracted to the yard by providing them with a water source.
  4. Employ correct sanitation methods within the home to eliminate possible breeding sites. Outside garbage cans and dumpsters should have tight-fitting lids and be emptied and cleaned regularly. All garbage receptacles should be located as far from building entrances as possible.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.