Garbage Fly


Actual Size: 1/8 to 1/4″

Characteristics: Gray flies with four black stripes on the thorax and compound eyes. Covered with tiny hairs that work as taste organs.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Found in greater numbers during summer months and active near organic material, dumps, sewers, and garbage heaps.


  • Also known as house flies.
  • Will lay eggs in dead or decaying matter found in garbage or excrement.
  • Normally lives up to just three weeks in the summer but can survive up to a couple of months in lower temperatures.

Garbage Flies in St. Louis

Also known as house flies, garbage flies can be easily identified by the four long stripes on top of their middle body region. They do not have the ability to bite and instead have a mouth more suited for sponging up liquid food. Female flies are typically larger than the male and have a visibly wider distance between their red-colored eyes. Garbage flies have gray and slightly yellow bodies as well as an upward bend in one of the wing veins.

Garbage Fly Habitat

Garbage flies are generally found in the greatest numbers during the hotter summer months. Eggs are laid in warm, moist, organic materials such as manure, garbage, lawn clippings, decaying vegetables, and fruits, or soils contaminated with any of these materials. Under optimal summertime conditions, house flies can complete their development from egg to adult in as little as 7 days.

Garbage Fly Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Garbage flies are considered a nuisance due to their close proximity to humans. In some cases, these flies can carry a variety of harmful diseases to humans and animals alike. Because they breed and feed in waste, they have the ability to pick up bacteria, viruses, and fungi and transfer or spread them by contaminating the food and water they come into contact with. In serious cases, people have experienced food poisoning and even tuberculosis linked to garbage fly infestations. Always contact a professional fly control expert for help with garbage flies.