Insects are fascinating creatures that come in all shapes and sizes. Most people generally understand how insects live and grow, but there is still so much to learn about these incredible creatures.
One common question people have about insects is, “how long do they live?” This is a tricky question because many species of insects have vastly different lifespans. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question in more depth by looking at the life cycles of various flies.
What’s The Average Age?
There are over 16,000 flies worldwide, and their lifespans can vary greatly depending on the type of fly and its environment. For example, houseflies only live for approximately three weeks, while fruit flies can live for up to two months. The fly lifespan also depends on its environment and whether it can find food and shelter. Flies that live in areas with cold winters typically have shorter lifespans than those in warm climates.
Despite their short lifespans, flies can reproduce very quickly. A female fly can lay up to 500 eggs simultaneously, and the eggs hatch within 24 hours. The larvae, or maggots, then develop into adults within 10 days. This rapid life cycle allows flies to adapt to changes in their environment and population quickly. With that discussion, let’s take a closer look at different types of flies and their lifespans.
Types Of Flies And Their Lifespan
There is a lot of variation in how different long types of flies live. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of flies and their average lifespans:
1. Houseflies: 3 weeks
The humble house fly is perhaps the best-known type of fly. These small, unassuming insects are quite interesting creatures. For one, they’re great at surviving in all kinds of environments – from hot deserts to cold mountains. House flies live for 3 weeks to a month depending on conditions.
2. Horse Flies: 2 weeks to 6 months
Horseflies are larger than houseflies and are known for their painful bites. These powerful fliers can travel up to 25 miles in a single day! Some species of horsefly can live for up to six months, while others only survive for two weeks.
3. Blowflies: 1 week to 3 months
Blowflies get their name from their habit of laying eggs on dead animals (or ‘carrion’). These flies are important members of the ecosystem, as they help decompose dead animals. Some species of blowfly can live for up to a month, while others only survive for one week.
4. Fruit flies: 40 days
Fruit flies are small flies often found near fruit or other sweet substances. These flies are attracted to the sugar in fruits and can help spread diseases such as dysentery and typhoid fever. Fruit usually flies only live for around 40 days.
5. Mosquitoes: 2 weeks to 6 months
Mosquitoes are small, flying insects that are known for their itchy bites. These creatures can spread diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Some mosquito species can live for up to six months, while others only survive for two weeks.
6. Gnat: 7-14 days
Gnats are small, flying insects that often bite humans. These insects can be a nuisance, but they’re not usually dangerous. Gnats usually only live for around 7-14 days.
7. Tsetse fly: 14-21 days for males and 1-4 months for females
Tsetse flies are large, bloodsucking insects that are found in Africa. These flies can spread diseases such as sleeping sickness and river blindness. Male tsetse usually flies only live for around 14-21 days, while female tsetse flies can live for up to four months.
As you can see, there is a huge range in the lifespans of different types of flies. Gnats tend to have the shortest lifespans, while mosquitoes tend to have the longest lifespans. However, many factors can affect a fly’s lifespan, such as the environment and food availability.
|Types of Fly||Average Lifespan
|Horse Fly||2 Weeks to 6 Months
|Blowfly||1 Week to 3 Months
|Fruit Fly||40 Days
|Mosquitoe||2 Weeks to 6 Months
|Tsetse fly||2-3 Weeks for Males, 1-4 Months for Females
Also Read: White Flying Bugs That Look Like Cotton
Houseflies Vs. Fruit Flies Lifespan
As anyone who has ever had a fly problem in their home can attest, there are two types of common household flies, houseflies and fruit flies. So, which type of fly lives longer?
Generally speaking, fruit flies live longer than houseflies. A housefly typically only lives for about two weeks, while a fruit fly can live for up to two months. However, several factors can affect a fly’s lifespan, including its diet and the temperature of its environment.
What Affects a Fly’s Lifespan?
Several different factors can affect how long a fly lives. They include:
Flies are cold-blooded insects, meaning their body temperature changes with the temperature of their surroundings. They are most active at temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and can live for up to two weeks in cooler temperatures. However, flies will die relatively quickly if the temperature gets too hot or too cold.
Flies need food to survive. If there is a lack of food available, flies will die fairly quickly. However, if food is abundant (like in a garbage can), flies can live for up to two months. Also, different types of food provide different amounts of nutrition, which can also affect a fly’s lifespan.
Like all living creatures, flies need water to survive. If no water is available, flies will die within a few days. However, if water is readily available, flies can live for up to two weeks.
Shelter from the elements is important for flies, just as it is for us. If there is no shelter available (like in an open field), flies will not live as long as they would if there was some shelter (like in a woodpile).
If there are no predators, flies can live much longer than if there are. This is because predators can help keep the flies’ population in check, and if there are no predators, the population of flies can get out of control very quickly.
Life Cycle of a Fly
Adult flies typically live for 2-4 weeks but can live up to a month in ideal conditions. The female fly will lay around 150 eggs in a batch, and the hatch larvae will go through 3 molts before pupating. The entire process from egg to adult takes about 2 weeks under ideal conditions.
A common fly goes through four main stages in its life cycle: egg, larval stage, pupa, and adult.
- The female fly lays her eggs in rotting organic matter, such as garbage or manure. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae (also known as maggots) feed on the decaying material.
- After several days of feeding, the larvae pupate (or transform into a cocoon).
- Pupae are inactive for about a week while they undergo metamorphosis into adults. Once they emerge from their pupal cases, the flies will mate and start the cycle all over again.
The entire life cycle from egg to adult takes about two weeks. However, this can vary depending on the temperature and availability of food. For example, flies are more likely to survive and reproduce in warmer climates with plenty of food sources.
Also, keep in mind that there are different types of flies with slightly different life cycles. For example, houseflies and fruit flies have different habits and preferences regarding laying eggs and finding food sources.
Flies are important pollinators and help to spread pollen from plant to plant. They also play an important role in the decomposition of organic matter. However, they can also be pests or spread diseases when they invade our homes.
Also Read: Flea Bombs: Do They Work?
Is It True That Flies Live For 24 Hours?
No, this is a myth! Flies have a lifespan of around two weeks. However, their life expectancy decreases dramatically if they are exposed to predators, harsh weather conditions, or lack of food.
Do Flies Sleep At Night?
Yes, flies do sleep at night. They usually enter a state of rest called “torpor” in which their metabolic rate and body temperature drop significantly. This helps them conserve energy and survive in times when food is scarce.
Do Flies Get Tired?
Yes, flies can get tired just like any other living creature. When they are fatigued, their flying speed and maneuverability decrease significantly. Before sunset, you may notice that flies are less active and more sluggish than they are during the day.
Do Flies Lay Eggs Every Time They Land?
No, female flies only lay eggs when they find a suitable place to do so. This could be a rotting piece of fruit, an open wound, or any other moist environment conducive to fly larvae development.
Why So Many Flies In My House All Of A Sudden?
There could be several reasons for this sudden influx of flies in your home. It could be that a food source (e.g., garbage) is attracting them, or there could be an infestation of another type of insect (e.g., ants) that is attracting them.
Do Flies Poop?
Yes, flies defecate frequently, and their feces can contain disease-causing pathogens. In fact, one of the ways that fly spreads diseases is by contaminating food or surfaces.
Do Flies Have Hearts?
Yes, flies have a simple heart that pumps hemolymph (a type of blood) through their bodies. However, they do not have a circulatory system like humans or other higher animals. Instead, their body cavity serves as a highway for the movement of hemolymph.
How Do Flies Walk Upside Down?
Flies can walk upside down because of the special structure of their feet. Each foot has two claws that can grip surfaces, and their pads are covered in tiny hairs that increase surface area and help them adhere to surfaces.
What Do Flies Eat?
Flies are attracted to various food sources, including garbage, carrion, feces, sugary substances, and other decaying organic matter. Some species of flies even feed on blood.
How Do Flies Taste Things?
Flies have taste receptors on their legs and mouthparts that allow them to taste their food. It is thought that they use this sense to locate food sources and determine whether a particular food is suitable for consumption.
In conclusion, flies have a relatively short lifespan compared to other insects. However, their life expectancy can vary greatly depending on the species and the environment they live in. Some flies may only live for a few days, while others can survive for months.
Despite their short lifespans, flies are still able to reproduce quickly and can become a nuisance if not controlled properly. If you think you have a fly infestation, be sure to contact a professional pest control service like Texas Bug Control to help get rid of them.