There are more than 120,000 species or types of flies in the world, and 18,000 of those species can be found in North America. Although they only live for about 21 days total, female houseflies can lay up to 600 eggs in their lifetime and female fruit flies can lay up to 500 during their 8- to 10-day lifespan. It’s no wonder why it seems like when these pests invade, there are so many of them! Although house and fruit flies do not bite, they are pretty gross and can share more than 100 harmful bacteria that can make us really sick.
It may sometimes feel like flies show up without any warning signs, so where do they come from and how do they end up in our house? Read on to learn where to find them and how to get rid of these pesky invaders.
Flies can lay their eggs in garbage cans, compost piles, excrement, and rotting organic material. Female flies can lay between 75 to 150 eggs at a time, which if smushed together only adds up to roughly the size of a pea! Their small size makes fly eggs extremely difficult to identify, and before you know it, you have a fly infestation (or a big problem)!
The housefly is the most common type of fly found in and around our homes. Houseflies are so widespread because they reproduce quickly and in large numbers, making them tricky to get rid of! At times, they have been known to move up to 20 miles from where they were hatched, but these flies usually stay within one mile of where they are born. They typically hatch outside and then find their way into homes through structural weak spots, such as damaged weather stripping or torn screens covering windows and doors.
Fruit flies are also commonly found in homes because of their attraction to food waste, such as rotten fruits and vegetables, or drains clogged with rotting food. Fruit flies often make their way into homes as hitchhikers on the produce brought in from outside and can also be found in garbage and compost bins with rotting fruits and vegetables.
Houseflies do not typically breed inside since they enter homes from outside, but often indoor garbage bins and compactors are where flies come from within the house. These make an ideal environment for them if they do breed inside. Because of this, it’s important to make sure all trash bins are kept clean and garbage is regularly thrown out. Throwing out fruits and vegetables before they rot will keep fruit flies away, and it is also important to keep your kitchen clean.
You can help prevent a fly invasion from happening in the first place by regularly throwing out trash, sealing all garbage bins, removing pet waste immediately and making sure all windows and doors have screens free of rips or tears.