How Long Flies Live?

It could appear as though flies are a constant summertime nuisance, bothering people in their homes, on their patios, and even during a romantic picnic. How long do flies live, though? A fly’s lifespan is influenced by its species and the environment it lives in. For example, fruit flies and house flies have relatively brief life spans and may only live for a few weeks to a month.

Some species, like blow flies and cluster flies, have a long lifespan. Any tiny, wingless insect belonging to the over 120,000 species strong Diptera order is referred to as a fly. The housefly is the most prevalent fly, accounting for 90% of fly interactions in residential settings.

The horse fly, fruit fly, and tsetse fly are more types of flies you might be familiar with. The gnat and mosquito are two other flying insects belonging to the Diptera group but which you might need to be aware of. The subject of how long flies live is interesting to investigate, given the diversity of flies. Let’s examine these flies to discover all there is to know about their lifespans.

Housefly: 28 to 30-day lifespan.

The housefly is the most prevalent type of fly, which can be identified by its two wings, six legs, large reddish-brown eyes, and stripes on its thorax. The female housefly is somewhat bigger than the male, with both being approximately the size of a fingernail.

Although they do not bite, they reside inside our homes and can be annoying when they fly over our heads and try to land on our food. They can spread infected bacteria that cause diseases.

Housefly lifespan

You might be exposed to the same thing, which, if consumed in large quantities, could make you ill, for instance, if they land on a pile of decomposing waste and pick up bacteria on their feet before landing on your corn on the cob. Most species of fly have a similar life cycle. They experience the following four processes:

  • Females lay approximately 100 eggs at once and hatch within 12 to 24 hours.
  • Larvae are tiny, white, and worm-like stages of life. The larvae will expand to 34 inches or more during this eating stage. It may take this stage 4–7 days.
  • Pupae Stage: During the pupae stage, which lasts 4-6 days, the fly resembles a dark brown cocoon.
  • Adult Stage: The adult fly emerges from the pupae stage and lasts 28 to 30 days. About 12 days after attaining maturity, the females are prepared to lay their eggs.

A female fly lays 5–6 batches of eggs in her lifespan, and the fly’s life cycle is repeated generation after generation.

Horse flies live for 30 to 60 days.

Horse flies and house flies both have about the same lifespan. They can get as big as a bumblebee and are bigger than houseflies. They are common around stables and bother horses in the pastures, and they don’t just bother them—they bite them. This is how they got their moniker. Horse flies are bloodsuckers that use blood protein to fertilize their eggs. They will also bite people.

The bites hurt and may result in irritation even though they are not hazardous. Because horse flies carry “equine infectious anemia,” which can make horses unwell and convulse, their bites can be harmful to horses. To help prevent horse flies from biting, farmers and ranchers frequently wrap their horses with a thick blanket.

The life cycle of horse flies is considerably dissimilar from that of house flies. In the fall, they lay their eggs on the grass, and over the winter, the eggs hatch and develop into larvae. The horse fly goes through its pupae stage in the spring and becomes an adult by early June. The adult horse fly has a lifespan of 30 to 60 days.

Fruit fly: 40–50 day life cycle.

Fruit flies should typically be regarded as helpful insects. If not, the decomposing material they eat might serve as a breeding ground for bacteria or fungi or draw more pests like mice or rats.

Especially if you have ripe bananas, you could see little insects surrounding the fruit bowl on your counter called fruit flies. These tiny flies can multiply quite quickly! They go through the egg, larvae, pupae, and adult phases during their lifetime, but each lasts only a few days, and they can complete the entire life cycle in as little as a week. Once they reach adulthood, they have a 40–50 day lifespan.

Tsetse fly lifespan (males): 14–21 days; 1-4 months (females).

Africa is home to tsetse flies, which are attracted to moist environments near lakes and rivers. They only consume blood and are about the size of a huge housefly.

Because they exclusively exist in Africa, tsetse flies are delicate in North America. One of the longest-living flies is the female tsetse fly, which can live for 1-4 months. Tsetse flies are a significant problem in Africa because they spread sleeping sickness.

Tsetse fly lifespan

Although there are drugs that can cure it, tsetses also attack livestock and other animals, which results in their deaths if left untreated. The lifecycle of tsetse flies is one of the most unusual. The larvae are carried in the uterus of the female tsetse fly.

The larvae develop for around nine days within the mother before giving birth and finishing the pupae stage by tunneling into the ground. Before becoming an adult, it will take three to ten weeks as a pupa. The females live from 30 and 120 days, but adult males only live for 14 to 21 days.

Gnat: 7–14 days for life.

The bothersome tiny insects that buzz around your face at the bus stop only have a two-week lifespan. Contrary to popular belief, they are not young flies. They resemble houseflies but are a different species. One of the lowest life spans is that of gnats, with some individuals just living a week.

The fungus gnat is frequently discovered in indoor plants or the lobby of commercial buildings. As their name implies, they eat the fungus that grows on these plants when they are overwatered. Gnats have a life cycle of between a week and two weeks, much like fruit flies. Gnat adults have a lifespan of 7 to 14 days.

10–14 day lifespan for mosquitoes (depending on the temperature)

Due to all the fatal diseases they spread, mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on earth.

A fly is a mosquito. They are common summer pests with long, slender legs that allow them to land on you unnoticed. Only females bite, but the bite that follows can leave an itchy sore that lasts for days.

The most typical result of a bite is this, but they can also spread diseases including the West Nile virus, malaria, and the Zika virus. Most WNV-infected persons don’t feel ill, according to the CDC.

One in five infected individuals has a fever and other symptoms. Although the life cycle of mosquitoes is similar to that of houseflies, mosquito eggs must be placed in still water.

The larvae are aquatic, meaning they dwell in the water until they reach the pupae stage, and the eggs hatch in the water. The adult emerges from the pupae stage after a few days, ready to fly. In temperate climates, adult mosquitoes have a 14-day lifespan; however, in warmer temperatures, their lifespan is shorter (10 days). This article has appeared on

How long do flies live, then? Our analysis shows that it is shorter. The horsefly has the most extended lifespan, with a maximum life span of 60 days. The common housefly, one of the most bothersome species to people, can live for up to one month.

But when you consider that a large number of flies gathered together, with varied ages between them, can mean months upon months of aggravation, flies can undoubtedly cause a lot of damage in that timeframe!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do All flies live for 24 hours?

Due to their short lifespan and simple maintenance requirements, fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are a type of fly that is frequently employed in scientific studies. A fruit fly has a 30-day lifespan on average; however, this can change based on nutrition, temperature, and humidity. Most fruit flies do not survive more than a few weeks, while some may live longer or shorter than usual.

It’s significant to remember that different fly species have various life spans. While some fly species can only survive for a few hours or days, others can survive for several months.

A fly’s lifespan is also influenced by its habitat and the nutrients that are accessible to it. In general, flies are more likely to live longer in more hospitable environments, such as those with access to food and water, than in harsh or unfavorable environments.

How long can flies live in house?

The type of fly it is and its environment will determine how long it will live inside a house. Some fly species, such as fruit flies and house flies, may endure in a home environment for a few weeks to a month. Other species, including blow flies and cluster flies, can remain in a home for several months.

In a home, factors like temperature, humidity, and access to food and water can all reduce a fly’s life expectancy. Flies are more likely to live longer if they have access to a constant supply of food and water. Because these conditions are healthier for their growth and reproduction, flies also tend to survive longer in warm, humid surroundings.

Maintaining clean, food-debris-free surfaces, sealing any holes or openings that would allow flies to enter the house, and using fly repellents or traps to assist in managing the population are all crucial for reducing the number of flies in a home.

Where do flies go at night?

Fly activity peaks during the day and troughs at night. Some fly species, including house flies and blow flies, are drawn to light and can be seen sleeping at night on windows or other surfaces close to light sources. Other species, like fruit flies, are attracted to darkness and can be found resting in closets or beneath furniture in the home.

Flies spend most of the day foraging and mating because they are drawn to food sources like trash and waste. They search for a place to sleep at night and frequently return to the same site each night.

In contrast to humans, flies do not sleep as they do. Instead, they go into a type of sleep called torpor, where they become less active and slow down their metabolism. They may conserve energy and go longer without food while they are in this state.


A fly’s ability to live a long time may be affected by several factors, including access to food and water, temperature, and humidity. If flies have consistent access to food and water, their chances of living more prolonged increase. Because these conditions are healthier for their growth and reproduction, flies also tend to survive longer in warm, humid surroundings.

Flies typically have a short lifespan, far less than many other insects. But because they can reproduce swiftly, they can make up for their short lifetime and maintain their populations.


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