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Adult house flies are medium-sized flies about 6 mm (0.25 inch) long. They are grayish-black in color, with 4 dark bands running the length of the thorax and conspicuous bristles on the body. The abdomen is usually yellowish or gray, with a dark midline. The large eyes are reddish-brown and there are silvery patches between the eyes on the face. There are two pairs of wings, but the hind wings are small and modified for balance during flight. Adults often cluster in the sun on the warm sides of buildings, outcroppings, fences, and other prominent structures. House fly larvae (maggots) are found in dung, garbage, and rotting organic materials. Homeowners may find house fly maggots in garbage cans that have been left uncovered and not emptied regularly, or in improperly stored food.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
May 19, 2015