Common fly species

Flies can regularly be found in homes and businesses across Canada.

Some species are more common than others and are attracted to different environments suited to their natural habits and lifecycle.

Knowing about the size, habits, seasonality and lifecycle of different fly species, can help to identify the most effective prevention and fly control methods.

FACT: On average, the adult housefly will live for around 30 days. They go through a complete four-stage cycle that consists of egg, larva, pupa and adult stages.

Bluebottle fly

(Calliphora vomitoria)


  • Adult — 6–12mm in length; metallic blue colour.
  • Larva — Similar to the house fly larva in all respects except size. 18 mm when mature.


  • Eggs hatch 0 – 18 hrs (partial development may occur within the female). 
  • Larvae take 7 – 12 days to mature.


  • Breeds in mostly meat derived substances, sometimes cheese.
  • Common pest of dead rodents/birds etc.

Cluster fly

(Pollenia rudis)


  • 6–10mm in length.
  • Dark grey–olive thorax clothed with crinkled golden–brown hairs.
  • Wings overlap when at rest. Sluggish in flight.


  • Eggs laid in soil. 
  • Larva develop in earthworms.


  • Often found in large numbers in roof voids in Autumn where they over–winter.

House fly

(Musca domestica)


  • Adult — 5–8mm in length; thorax grey with 4 narrow stripes; abdomen buff or yellow; 4th wing vein bent and wing tips slightly pointed.
  • Larva — White and tapers to a point at the head end. 2 spiracle “spots” at the hind end. Legless. 12 mm long when mature.


  • Eggs laid in batches of 120 to 150 and can hatch in 8 hrs or up to 3 days.
  • Larvae take 3 – 60 days to mature; pupae 3 – 28 days.


  • Found in almost all types of premises.
  • Breeds in moist decaying vegetable matter.

Filter fly



  • 2mm in length.
  • Tan coloured body appears as grey.
  • Wings densely covered in hair and held tent–like over the body when at rest.

Life Cycle

  • Eggs hatch 1–6 days.
  • Larvae 10–50 days to mature.
  • Pupae 1–3 days to mature.


  • Often related to sewage beds where larvae feed on sludge–like organic matter.

Next steps

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