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Order Diptera: The Mosquito, Gnats, Flies

Order Diptera: The Mosquito, Gnats, Flies

What are Flies?

Flies are known as the biggest pest/annoyance with the littlest impact upon a house. Understanding of the life cycle and diseases they carry can translate to a more in depth knowledge of these small creatures. The development of flies involves a four-phase life cycle.

Life Cycle

Beginning as eggs, flies undergo larval and pupal stages before emerging as adults. The fly’s life cycle begins when a fertilized female finds a suitable location for laying her eggs. The ideal egg site is material that the larvae will eat when they hatch from the egg. Examples of egg-laying sites might include a pile of trash, feces or other damp, decomposing organic material.
When larvae are grown, they leave their food source and seek dry, dark places within which to pupate. During the pupal stage, flies develop from legless larvae into adults with six legs, compound eyes and a pair of wings. Development time from egg to adult vary depending on species, environmental conditions and abundance of food. Some flies can complete their development in the matter of a couple of weeks if conditions are right.

Fly Facts

More than 100 pathogens are associated with the house fly, including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli and Shigella. These pathogens can cause disease in humans and animals, including typhoid fever, cholera, bacillary dysentery and hepatitis. Sanitation is critical to controlling these pests, but accurate identification is essential for successful fly control. Here are some other things you should know about flies and fly control:

  • Depending on the species, the life expectancy of a fly is eight days to two months or, in some cases, up to a year.
  • Flies belong to the order Diptera, meaning two wings. There are more than 16,000 species of flies in North America.
  • Flies plague every part of the world except the polar ice caps.
  • One pair of flies can produce more than 1 million offspring in a matter of weeks.

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