Little House Fly Control: Protect Your Home


What Do Little House Flies Look Like?
Size: The average little house fly is about 1/4 of an inch in length, or nearly 2/3 the size of common house flies.

Color: They are generally dark in color and have yellow or tan abdomens.

Characteristics: Little house flies tend to hold their wings about their bodies when they land, and males of the species have large compound eyes that nearly cover their entire heads. Larvae are small and flat with stubby spines protruding from their bodies.


  • Little house flies, also known as lesser house flies, are annoying insect pests that fly around in erratic circles.
  • They breed in animal dung and feed on the liquefied remains of decaying organic matter.
  • They are characteristically filthy insects and have the potential to spread dangerous diseases and infections, such as myiasis, to humans.


What Do Little House Flies Eat?
Although common house flies are notorious for contaminating human food, lesser house flies prefer to eat liquefied bits of decaying organic matter. Larvae primarily eat the dung into which they are born.


The insects prefer cool temperatures and are most active during spring and fall months throughout the country. Female little house flies lay eggs directly into organic matter, such as animal feces, where they hatch a couple days later.

Larvae then feed and grow over the duration of a week until they are ready to pupate and morph into adult flies. If the larvae are born during winter, they may stay inside the protective pupae until warm weather arrives.


  • Look for small, dark flies similar in appearance to common house flies.
  • Be alert for lesser house flies flying in circles around the middle of a room.
  • May notice dead flies on windowsills or the ground.

Problems Caused by Little House Flies

  • The insects are mainly unwanted nuisance pests due to their annoying flight behavior.
  • They also transmit disease by contaminating food and surfaces within the household, but pose less of a health risk than other kinds of insects.
  • In very rare cases, they lay their eggs in the skin or open wounds of humans or animals. Once these eggs hatch into maggots, they feed on the host.

Signs of Infestation

Seeing swarms of little house flies flying around sheltered structures in residential areas is a major sign of infestation. Other indicators include:

  • Finding small dead fly bodies in homes
  • Finding maggots in the garbage

Prevention Tips

  • To prevent lesser house fly infestations, residents who keep livestock or poultry should take care to properly dispose of animal feces.
  • Tend to compost piles, secure garbage cans with tightly fitted lids, and maintain sanitary habits around the home.

Tips for Removal from Home

Removing potential food sources should be the first step in dealing with unwanted house flies. Since the insects prefer to fly in spaces sheltered from the wind, placing fans in infested areas helps drive them away.

Because little house flies pose health risks, residents of infested households should contact a professional pest control service to handle infestations and ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in the home.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

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