House Fly


Actual Size: ¼”

Characteristics: Grayish black with four dark stripes on the thorax.

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Attracted to rotting or decaying matter, including manure piles, lawn clippings, garbage, and compost.


  • Reproduces in animal waste and other decaying organic matter.
  • Rarely found in the wilderness and frequently lives near humans.
  • Defecate each time they land, which spreads bacteria and disease.

House Flies in Memphis TN Metro Area

The house fly is a highly recognizable insect found on every continent except Antarctica. It is particularly abundant during the warmer summer months and tends to reside in close proximity to humans and animals. These bothersome pests reproduce in animal wastes and decaying organic matter, including animal carcasses and leftover food, which can harbor bacteria and viruses capable of causing diseases in humans. House flies have a habit of defecating whenever they land, posing a risk of food contamination and potential disease transmission.

House Fly Habitat

In rural regions, house flies frequently originate from manure heaps, while in urban areas, large numbers of flies can be generated from piles of decomposing lawn clippings. Flies particularly favor animal manure as a breeding ground, with notable sources including horse manure, human excrement, cow manure, fermenting vegetable waste, dumpsters, refuse containers, and household garbage. Certain fly species are capable of thriving and reproducing in recycling containers, making fly issues prevalent in recycling centers.

House Fly Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

While house flies themselves do not bite, they have the ability to transmit over 100 different pathogens, including salmonellosis, typhoid, and tuberculosis. These disease-causing microorganisms are acquired by flies from sources like garbage, sewage, and other unclean environments. They can then transfer these pathogens through their mouthparts, vomit, feces, and contaminated body parts to human and animal food. House flies can act as carriers, transporting a variety of germs from unsanitary breeding sites to dining areas or spreading diseases among herds or flocks.

If you are experiencing a house fly infestation on your property, contact your local fly exterminators for help.