The Life Cycle of a Housefly: From Eggs and Maggots to Adulthood

Posted on February 6, 2020

The Life Cycle of a Housefly: From Eggs and Maggots to Adulthood

Houseflies are one of the most recognisable flying insects in the world. Yet, despite their familiar appearance, the housefly goes through many changes from birth to adulthood. In fact, during some stages, they are nearly unrecognisable from their adult form.

To help you better understand what happens throughout the course of a fly life cycle – from eggs and maggot to adulthood – here is a simple breakdown of each stage.


A female housefly is capable of laying up to 150 eggs in a single batch. Within a few short days, the female housefly can produce five or six batches of eggs.

To produce these eggs, the female housefly prefers to dwell in damp, dark surfaces such as decomposed organic material – including compost and manure.

Housefly eggs are incredibly small, often as small as an individual grain of rice. To the untrained eye, they can be incredibly hard to spot, which means it’s less likely that preventive measures will be taken.

By enlisting the help of a licensed pest controller, they can use their knowledge and the latest technology to spot the early signs of an infestation, and implement a custom treatment plan for you.

Contact All Bugs for free advice and a quote on professional fly removal.

Maggots and Pupae

Maggots and pupaeHousefly eggs only take around a day to hatch into larvae. Also known as maggots, these are white legless insects that remain in the egg laying site for three to five days in order to feed.

During this period, maggots will shed and regrow their exoskeletons multiple times. This occurs about two to three times during the larvae stage. When they shed for a third time, they will burrow themselves into the food source of the egg laying site and enter the pupae stage.

It should be noted that maggots do have the potential to spread disease and infestation. This is most notable through myiasis, a parasitic infestation of the body of a live animal that grows inside the host. Maggot-infested food can also cause bacterial poisoning if ingested by a human, particularly if the maggots previously made contact with urine or faeces.

From there, the pupae will develop its leg and wings, and then emerge from the food source after three to six days as a full-grown adult housefly.

Adult Housefly

Surprisingly, the average lifespan of a housefly is very short, often as short as three months.

Why? Because the housefly has many natural predators including humans, other flying pests, and extreme weather. Predators such as birds, reptiles, and other insects also have a tendency to feed on flies and their larvae.

Adult housefly controlOf course, this short lifespan does not pose a threat to their survival, since a single Female Housefly can lay up to 900 eggs during her lifetime. On top of this, female houseflies are capable of reproducing within two to three days of reaching adulthood.

Generally speaking, houseflies are a nuisance to have in the home and business. Not only can they disturb your daily activities, but they can also make the premise appear filthy or untidy, and even put off customers from doing business with you.

For these reasons, if you notice a large, ongoing presence of houseflies in your home or business, you should seek treatment immediately.

Contact All Bugs today for advice and support with your fly infestation. Our licensed technicians will propose a custom treatment plan just for you, and prevent the problem from coming back again.

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