Date of this Version



© 1993, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide describes flies found in confined livestock facilities, how they breed, and how they can be controlled.

The stable fly and house fly are the major insect pests at confined livestock units. The stable fly has a piercing-type mouthpart which is used to pierce the skin to obtain a blood meal. House flies do not bite because they have a sponging-type mouthpart with which they feed on semi-liquid material. The life cycles of the two species are similar, consisting of eggs, larvae (maggots), pupae, and the adult. During summer months the stable fly completes its life cycle in about three weeks and the house fly in about two weeks. Both species deposit eggs in wet, decaying organic matter. This includes spilled livestock feed and manure mixed with soil and moisture. In addition, the house fly will breed in fresh manure. The two species generally overwinter as slowly developing larvae in breeding areas below the frost line. The house fly may breed during the winter in warm buildings if breeding material is present.