There are many species of flies, but only a few are common household pests, including house flies, stable flies, and blow flies. Stable flies bite, but are not a major disease vector. Other fly species do not bite, but may contaminate food or food preparation surfaces.
Readily entering structures, house flies are most abundant during the hotter summer months. Less than 3/8 inch in length, house flies have four dark stripes on the top of the thorax. Eggs are laid in warm, moist organic material such as animal manure, compost bins, and decaying fruit and vegetables. To control house flies, keep garbage and compost in closed containers and remove animal wastes and other organic materials. Sticky ‘flypaper’ strips can be used to eliminate small numbers of flies in closed areas, but are not effective outdoors.