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How Long a Fly Lives: Life Cycle

Last updated:
27 October, 2023
Reading time: 6 minutes

Have you ever wondered how long a fly lives? This tiny insect that flutters around our homes and gardens has a much more interesting life than you might think. In this article, we invite you to learn more about the life of the fly, from its birth to its last stage.

how long a fly lives

The Life Cycle of a Fly

The life of a fly begins as a tiny egg. After laying, these eggs develop into larvae that grow by feeding on the organic matter in which they were deposited. The larval stage is followed by the pupal stage, where the fly undergoes a complete transformation and becomes an adult.

The time it takes from the time the egg is laid until the fly becomes an adult can vary depending on the species and environmental conditions. Once the fly is an adult, its life expectancy can also vary. However, in On average, a fly lives between 15 and 30 days.

In fact, surprisingly enough, some species of flies can live up to several months under ideal conditions. But in most cases, and especially in the case of the house fly, their life span does not usually extend beyond one month.

Characteristics of the Common or House Fly

The common house fly, or house fly, is probably the species of fly with which we are all most familiar. These flies are small to medium in size and are generally grayish in color. In addition, they have one pair of wings and a pair of short antennae.

House flies feed on a wide variety of foods, but primarily on decaying substances and excrement. They are also known for their ability to transmit disease due to their tendency to move between food and unsanitary places.

In terms of longevity, house flies generally live between 15 and 30 days. However, under ideal conditions, they can live up to two months.

From Larva to Adult Fly

The life cycle of a house fly begins with one egg. The female house fly can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime, usually in batches of 75 to 150 at a time. These eggs are white and measure about 1.2 mm in length.

After one day, the eggs hatch into larvae, also known as maggots. The larvae feed and grow rapidly, and after a few days, they develop into pupae. During the pupal stage, the fly transforms into an adult, a process that can take three days to a week.

Finally, the fly emerges from the pupa as an adult. Adult house flies live an average of 15 to 30 days,

how long a fly lives

Factors Affecting Fly Longevity

Not all flies live the same length of time. The longevity of these insects may vary considerably depending on various factors. Some of the most important are the environment and predatory threats.

Each fly species has its own adaptations for survival in different environmental conditions. Some species can tolerate extreme temperatures, while others prefer more temperate environments. In addition, the availability of food also plays a crucial role in the longevity of a fly.

Finally, predatory threats also affect the life expectancy of a fly. Although flies are small and fast, they are not exempt from predators. Many animals, from spiders to birds, feed on flies, reducing their lifespan.

The Impact of the Environment on the Life of a Fly

The environment plays a fundamental role in the life of a fly. Ideal conditions for development include an available food source, moderate temperatures and a certain humidity. Under less than ideal conditions, the life cycle may be lengthened or shortened.

For example, flies develop faster in warm conditions. However, extremely high or low temperatures can be detrimental to their survival. Humidity is also important, as flies need a certain level of moisture to develop properly.

Likewise, food availability can affect both the time a fly spends in each life stage and its overall longevity. Under conditions of food scarcity, flies may see their life expectancy reduced.

How Predatory Threats Affect Your Lifespan

Although flies are small and often go unnoticed, they have many predators. Birds, spiders, frogs, bats and other insects are just a few of the animals that feed on flies.

These predatory threats can have a significant impact on a fly's longevity. Even if a fly manages to avoid predators, the constant threat can cause stress, which can affect its health and reduce its lifespan.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that flies can also fall victim to parasites and diseases. These factors can further reduce their life expectancy by weakening the fly and making it more susceptible to other threats.

Fly Life Comparison with Other Flying Insects

Comparing the life of a fly with that of other insects can help us to better understand the ephemeral nature of these little creatures. The longevity of insects is tremendously varied, and flies are no exception to this rule.

It is important to remember that an insect's life span is strongly influenced by its environment and lifestyle. Insects living in warmer climates tend to have shorter lives, while those in colder climates may live longer due to their slower metabolism.

InsectLife Span
Fly15-30 days
Mosquito2 weeks - 1 month
Zancudo2 weeks - 1 month
Butterfly1 week - 1 year (depending on species)
Moth2 weeks - 9 months (depending on species)
BeeWorker bee: 6-7 weeks / Queen bee: 3-5 years

This table gives an overview of the average life span of a fly compared to other common insects. As you can see, the life span of a fly is comparable to that of a mosquito or a mosquito, but is generally much shorter than that of most butterflies and moths, and much shorter than that of bees, especially the queen bee.

The Life of Different Species of Flies

There are thousands of species of flies in the world. Although they may look alike, these creatures have differences in their life cycle. Let's take a closer look at this fascinating topic.

House Flies vs. Fruit Flies: Which One Lives Longer?

The house flyalso known as the common house fly, lives an average of 15 to 30 days, although under ideal conditions it can live up to two months. On the other hand, the fruit flyThe house fly, famous for its rapid life cycle, can live up to 50 days in ideal conditions, which is significantly longer than a house fly.

Although the fruit fly may appear to be the winner in this comparison, it is important to remember that both house flies and fruit flies have life cycles that are highly dependent on the conditions of their environment. Both species can have their lives shortened by lack of food, cold weather and predators.

Thus, although the fruit fly may live longer under ideal conditions, in practice, both species often have very short life spans due to the harsh realities of the natural world.

The World's Longest-Lived Flies

Did you know that some species of flies can live for several years? An example of these 'immortal' flies is the sewage fly, or drainage flywhich can live up to 4 years. However, the true champion of longevity in the world of flies is the blowflyIt can live up to 5 years in the larval stage and then has an adult life of about 2 to 3 months.

It is important to keep in mind that these are extreme cases and do not represent the majority of flies. However, it helps us to appreciate the diversity and resilience of these small insects that we often overlook or despise.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Life of a Fly

How long does a fly live in a house?

House flies have a very high average life expectancy of 20 to 30 days in ideal conditions. But in a house, their life span can be much shorter. This is due to lack of food and water, as well as the presence of humans that could eliminate them.

How many hours does a fly sleep?

Flies, like other insects, do not sleep in the same way as humans. Instead, they have inactive periods in which they remain quiet and less reactive to environmental stimuli. These periods usually occur during the night.

The exact "sleep" time of a fly can vary. Some studies in fruit flies have shown that these insects may have periods of inactivity of about 9 to 12 hours per day.

It is important to remember that flies are diurnal animals. So, during daylight hours, they will be more active foraging and breeding.

How long does a fly live for 3 days?

The claim that flies live only 3 days is a myth. The reality is that house flies can live for between 20 and 30 days. This time may vary depending on living conditions and fly species.

Although it is possible for a fly to live for only 3 days, this usually occurs in extreme conditions or if the insect faces threats such as predators or lack of resources.

As you can see, the life expectancy of insects is tremendously varied. Therefore, although the life span of a fly may seem incredibly short compared to ours, in the insect world, it is nothing out of the ordinary.

Now that we know how long flies live and how their life cycle unfolds, you're probably wondering how you can protect yourself from these little intruders. An excellent option to keep flies out of your home is to install mosquito nets. In addition, in summer, they will help keep mosquitoes and other flying insects at bay.

Depending on your needs, you can choose between different types of mosquito nets. The fixed mosquito nets are a popular choice due to their strength and ease of installation. They are ideal for windows where you don't need to regulate the airflow frequently.

If you have a terrace or a balcony, the insect screens for terrace and balcony doors will provide effective protection without obstructing the entry of light or access to the outside.

Finally, the pleated mosquito nets are an elegant and practical choice for windows and doors, as you can open and close them easily thanks to their folding system.

So you know, although flies have a short life span, they can be very annoying. Protect your home with mosquito nets and enjoy the summer without worrying about these little invaders.

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Written by: Mosquiteras24h Publications


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