The house fly is 7 to 8 mm long. It is dark grey to black in colour. On the middle section of the body, i.e. the thorax, the Musca domestica has four dark vertical stripes. The base of the abdomen is yellow. The fly has stamp-like mouthparts, with which it can lick and suck and which it uses for feeling and feeding. In a year, 6 to 9 generations can be produced. A female lays up to 2000 eggs, primarily in manure, faeces, compost heaps and rubbish dumps, but also on other substances such as meat.
House flies cause direct damage as the maggots develop on foodstuffs, predominantly on meat, fish and cheese. They can also cause indirect damage to foodstuffs as they are a vector of germs (e.g. the pathogens of bacillary dysentery, abdominal typhoid and paratyphoid, and amoebic dysentery; tapeworm eggs can also be spread). The pathogens, which are picked up on rubbish and are often dangerous for humans and pets, are transmitted via the fly's saliva, but also its feet and its body.
Adult flies can also be a nuisance, significantly impairing the well-being of humans and pets. When flies interfere with animals on a large scale, it can affect the animals' milk yield and fattening capacity.