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Fly Lifespan — How Long Do Flies Live For?

Rowan Burgess |

If you’re thinking a day is all a fly gets, then you’re not the only one; it’s a common myth that flies have such short lifespans. While different flies live different day lengths, the typical male house fly lives for about 15 days, whereas the female fly can live for approximately 30 days. 

It’s best to understand the life cycle of a fly so that you can make an informed decision as to how best to tackle the aggravating problem of an infestation. 

Life Cycle of a Fly


Once a female fly has mated, she’ll look for a preferable place to lay her eggs. Typically, flies will lay their eggs in a space where they have good access to food once they hatch. Often, these environments include rotting wood, food, animal droppings, or decomposing organic materials. Prime breeding areas without decomposing food sources are at particular risk of an infestation, including farmlands, areas with bodies of water, valleys, and undergrowth.

On average, the female fly can lay around 150 eggs at a time! Likewise, depending on temperatures, once the female fly has laid the eggs, they can hatch in seven to eight hours, looking similar in size and feature to rice grains. 

While it can be challenging to prevent the eggs from being laid once a fly picks your establishment as its nesting ground, investing in a Digrain Fly Reel is an excellent method to catch existing flies and prevent further laying. 


The flies enter their longest life stage when they emerge from the eggs as larvae: tiny white, limbless creatures. As they grow, these larvae will eat the rotting organisms and get one step closer to wreaking havoc on your farm. 

Typically, this stage lasts for about a week. However, this length can depend on food sources and temperature. After ongoing growth and larval moults, the flies are ready to enter the next stage.

However, when looking to prevent further development, Maggots Lavicide is an effective insect growth regulator designed to control the flies at the larvae stage. In managing this stage, you vastly reduce the number of adult flies and, in turn, considerably decrease the number of eggs that flies will lay again. 


Once the larvae enter the pupal stage, their appearance changes; they become larger, and their skin changes into a yellow, red, black, or brown colour. While undergoing this transformation, they cocoon, and the pupa aims to hide in quieter, darker areas. 

This “cocoon” stage is where they develop wings, legs, and the body shape of a typical housefly. The pupa is often dormant, meaning they move very little, which can be an asset in your efforts to eliminate fly infections from your area. Due to lack of movement, aerosols like the Digrain Control Professional Flying and Crawling Insect Killer can be applied to gain fast results. 

The adult fly emerges once this stage is over. 

Adult Fly

If you don’t prevent the development, the pupa inevitably becomes the adult fly. And as soon as they do, the adult fly will find a place to feed, mate, and hunt for a new area to lay eggs - on your land. 

The cycle then repeats back to the beginning. Typically, an average female fly will live around 30 days, allowing plenty of time to lay several rounds of eggs. They can lay eggs 5 to 6 times and up to 500 eggs in 4 days! Combining that with the fact that male flies have no limitation in how often they can fertilise females, it’s no surprise that infestations occur quickly. 

At this stage, specially formulated insecticides, such as Perbio Choc, are an effective way to eliminate adult flies and prevent further infestations from happening.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Flies Live For 24 Hours?

No. It’s a common myth that flies only live for a day. Typically, male flies live up to 15 days, whereas female flies can live up to 30 days. 

How Long Does It Take for a Maggot To Turn Into a Fly?

It depends. The two main factors to consider are whether or not there is a good food source (rotting food, wood, decomposing organic sources) and the temperature. The lava stage may be shorter if it's warmer, but the typical length is 4-7 days. 

Final Thoughts

Flies have long been the carriers of diseases and should be dealt with immediately. At Dalton, we offer a range of fly control solutions up to the task! Knowing the life cycle of a fly can help you determine how best to eliminate them so that the unnecessary nuisance doesn’t plague your life, work, and livelihood.