Adults are about 1/8-1/4 inches long, with the female being larger than the male. They are dull gray, with the face having 2 velvety stripes, each silver above and gold below. The thorax has 4 narrow black longitudinal stripes on dorsum.
Mature larva about 1/4-3/8 inches long. They are eyeless, legless and taper from the head back. They are a cream color.
House flies have been known to migrate up to 20 miles, most stay within a 1-2 miles of where they were hatched. Females seek almost any warm, moist material with sufficient food for larval development for egg-laying purposes.
During the day, house flies tend to rest less than 5 feet from the ground on walls, floors, and various objects. At night they rest primarily above 5 feet on ceilings, walls, plants, etc. Their night resting place is usually near their daytime food source.
The adult female lays her eggs singly but usually in clusters of 20-50 for a total of 75-150 per batch and will lay 5-6 batches in her lifetime. The eggs are laid in moist materials, and will hatch in less then a day. The maggots (larvae) will go through three instars in 3-7 days. The full grown larva seeks a cool, dry place to pupate, migrating up to 150 feet in 3-4 days. The pupa starts out yellowish and changes to black, this stage takes about 3 days to 4 weeks depending on the temperature and humidity. After they emerge from the pupa, they will dry their wings and harding the body for about an hour. Normal activity usually starts after 15 hours. There may be as many as 10-12 generations per summer. Adults will live between 15-25 days.
House flies will eat anything and will use their sponging mouth parts. They will use regurgitated fluids to turn their food into liquid and then proceed to feed. With the many body hairs, bristles and the sticky pads at the base of the claws on each leg, it makes house flies will adapted for transporting disease organisms.
Musca domestica Linnaeus