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Do Houseflies Bite?

We hear a lot of debate about whether or not houseflies bite. Want to know the answer? We'll lay it out for you.

a close up of a housefly

There are a lot of different types of flies. Can you distinguish which kind is a housefly? And once you've determined that, do you know if they will bite you?


What Does a Housefly Look Like?

Most flies tend to look similar, especially when they're buzzing around your head annoyingly. An adult housefly, though, is usually gray or black with darker stripes on their back, and the males have a yellowish underside. They are about a quarter-inch long. Houseflies have reddish-colored eyes and transparent wings.

Houseflies hatch from eggs into white maggots. They stay in the larva stage for a few days and then grow into pupae, which are usually reddish-brown in color and about a half inch long, before becoming adult houseflies, as described above.

Houseflies are found across the globe, from the Arctic to the tropics, and are present in all populated parts of the world.

Will a Housefly Bite You?

The good news is that common houseflies do not bite, because their mouths are not designed to puncture skin. The bad news is that houseflies are dangerous for other reasons, such as the spread of disease.

Flies are notoriously filthy creatures. They breed and feed in dirty and disgusting places, such as feces and rotten garbage. Then, they come and land on you and your food, dropping filth, feces, vomit, rot and even parasites from their body. Even worse than that, houseflies will regurgitate and defecate on your food. Just think about what you're eating then!

In fact, houseflies are so good at spreading disease, they were used in World War II to great success, being directly responsible for infecting and ultimately killing over 400,000 people.

Additionally, houseflies are often mistaken for other types of flies, such as horseflies, who look similar (albeit larger) and WILL bite you. Aggressively and painfully. There are also several other types of flies that are easily mistaken for house flies that will bite humans, such as stable flies and black flies.

How Do I Get Rid of All These Houseflies?

I'm sure you sense a theme when it comes to helping with pest control around your house. Good housekeeping and groundskeeping play a key role. You need to keep spills cleaned up, food covered, and trash taken out regularly. Houseflies love a good, dirty trash can. Inside or out, they will use it to eat and to lay eggs, giving you the opportunity to deal with a whole bunch of maggots (maybe even 150 of them!) wriggling around your can. Keeping your trash inside bags and rinsing out dirty yard cans will help keep flies at bay. It will also help to keep your yard clear of decaying organic material, which attracts flies.

If you have an infestation in your home, professional home pest control services can be used to eliminate the houseflies. Yard pest control will also help with not just housefly population control, but also all other biting flies as well.

Call us today for all your pest care needs!

To learn more about insects in Virginia, check out our Pest Library

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