A housefly (Musca domestica) is a common small fly found worldwide in and around human habitation. Let’s delve into some fascinating details about these winged insects:

  • Adult houseflies are typically 6 to 7 mm (0.24 to 0.28 inches) long, with a wingspan of 13 to 15 mm (0.51 to 0.59 inches).
  • They have gray to black bodies, with four dark, longitudinal lines on the thorax.
  • Their eyes are red, and females have slightly larger eyes set farther apart than males.
  • Houseflies possess a single pair of membranous wings and are slightly hairy.

  • Life Cycle:
  • Female houseflies usually mate only once and store sperm for later use.
  • They lay batches of about 100 eggs on decaying organic matter such as food waste, carrion, or feces.
  • These eggs hatch into legless white larvae, known as maggots.
  • After two to five days of development, the maggots metamorphose into reddish-brown pupae.
  • Adult flies normally live for two to four weeks, but they can hibernate during winter.

  • Role in Disease Transmission:
  • Houseflies can carry a large number of pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites.
  • They frequently land on various surfaces, including food, and can transfer pathogens from contaminated areas to humans.
  • Some of the diseases associated with houseflies include:
  • a) Cholera
    b) Conjunctivitis
    c) Dysentery
    d) Gastroenteritis
    e) Salmonellosis
    f) Tuberculosis
    g) Typhoid fever

    Use in Research:
  • Due to their short life cycles and ease of maintenance, houseflies are used in laboratory research related to aging and sex determination.
  • Scientists study them to understand various aspects of biology and disease transmission.

  • In summary, while houseflies may seem innocuous, they play a significant role in disease transmission and can contaminate food and living spaces. Proper hygiene and pest control are essential to minimize their impact on human health.