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The house fly is one of the most familiar of all insects and is cosmopolitan in distribution. The size of the female is usually larger than the male. Fermenting, fresh animal manure is a favorite breeding medium of the house fly. The most important breeding sites, in descending order, are horse manure, human excreta, cow manure, fermenting vegetable refuse, dumpsters, and refuse containers, and household garbage. House flies overwinter as larvae and pupae in or under manure and that the adults emerge during mild weather in the winter, but the percentage that survives winter is small. Flies also overwinter by continually breeding inside barns where manure and warm bedding is plentiful.

The house fly passes through four stages in it’s life cycle: egg, larva or maggot, pupa, and adult. The life span of the adult house fly is two to three days without food and from a few days to 54 days with food.

The house fly cannot digest solids so it regurgitates wherever it comes to rest.

House flies have been shown to carry the disease organisms causing typhoid fever, cholera, summer diarrhea, dysentery, tuberculosis, anthrax, and ophthalmia, as well as parasitic worms. Below is a diagram showing the house fly habits.


Mosquitoes pose a greater threat to man’s health and existence than any other animal species. They transmit many important diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, filariasis, dengue, and encephalitis, which kill and debilitate millions of humans worldwide despite today’s medical advances.

Mosquitoes undergo complete metamorphosis through four stages-egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. Rate of development varies according to the species and temperature. Most females can produce fertile eggs for life after a single mating. Sperm is stored in a special organ called the spermatheca and remains viable for months within the overwintering female. Eggs require water to hatch, and larvae and pupae both require an aquatic environment. The entire life cycle (egg to adult) takes at least 10 to 16 days. Any container that holds water for seven or more days can breed mosquitoes.

Life cycle of mosquitoes (L) and egg, pupae, larvae in water (R)


Indian Meal Moths are general feeders of grain and grain products, dried fruits, seeds, graham crackers, nuts, powdered milk, chocolate, candies, etc.

Since it prefers the coarser grades of flour, it is the most common insect in packages of whole wheat, graham flour, and corn meal. The larva webs together the flour with strands of silk, forming clumps.

Indian Meal Moths are the easiest food-infesting moth to identify. The wing span is about 5/8 inch (16mm) and outer half to one-third of the front wing is covered with reddish-copper scales.

The species commences the year with a brood of overwintering larvae that pupate mostly in March and emerge in April. The generations overlap as the seasons progress.


The common silverfish has two rather long, segmented antennae protruding from the head. The common silverfish has scales with a metallic steel-gray sheen. The silverfish is capable of swift movement, and are known for their ability to move sideways or even jump when disturbed. Since the bodies of these insects are flattened, they can find harborage in very small cracks or crevices, even within the confines of narrow book bindings, loose pages of books, or in the corrugations of cardboard.

Silver fish consumer both carbohydrates and proteins. They are also cannibalistic, eating cast skins and dead and injured individuals. Their damage to paper products can be significant (as seen in above picture).