House flies are approximately 1/4 inch long and can fly at speeds of up to 5 miles per hour. They are gray, with four dark stripes on the back portion of their bodies. House flies have two pairs of wings, using only one set for flying; the other set is very small and is used for balance during flight.
A house fly begins life as an egg, proceeding through the larval and pupal stages in approximately 10 days. The entire life span of the house fly is less than one month. Females can lay up to 2,500 eggs at one time.
A house fly's eyes are compound, composed of 4,000 lenses each focusing on a different image at the same time. This gives the house fly a wide field of vision. The house fly's sense of smell is located on the antenna, while sense of taste is regulated by tiny hairs on the body. Sugary liquids and organic wastes are the house fly's preferred food. The house fly covers its food with digestive juices. It must wait for the food to decompose before eating because it does not have the ability to chew.
House flies facilitate the transmission of diseases. They collect pathogens on their legs and mouth when feeding. Then house flies will transfer these pathogens as they move from place to place.