How Long Do Flies Live (And Why)?

How Long Do Flies Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 28 Days (Approximately)

Our universe is made up of a variety of species from point-sized insects to big like giraffe and elephants. Flies are one such variety of organisms found in this universe.

Flies are insects belonging to the Arthropods phylum and Diptera order. The Diptera is a Greek word made up of two words “di” means two, “ptera” means wings that is the insects having two wings are of dipteral order.

How Long Do Flies Live

How Long Do Flies Live?

There are nearly twelve lakh known species of flies. The flies found in our homes are houseflies, other common species of flies are fruit flies, dragonflies, horse flies, etc. Flies’ body is divided into three parts which are a movables head, Thorax, and abdomen.

Flies have 6 legs in general. There are flies of different body shapes and are soft-bodied insects and are small in size. The houseflies are gray or black colored.


The life span of flies is very short. The average life span of flies is about 28 days approximately that is nearly one month. They are mostly eaten up by other organisms so only some flies are able to live long.

Why Do Flies Live This Long?

The life cycle of flies comprises four stages. The four stages are egg, Pupa, Larva, and Adult.

The cycle begins with the laying of eggs, a female fly is capable of laying nearly 150 eggs in a batch or at a time. These eggs of flies look similar to the grain of rice. Within a day the cycle reaches its second stage that is the larval stage also called maggots.

These maggots then by three to five days reach the third stage of their cycle which is the pupa. Finally, after five to six days pupa develops into an adult that is the flies.

Food is the basic necessity of every living organism. Flies are the feeders who feed up on everything available in the surrounding. However, flies can live without food for nearly two to three days.

Only some of the flies can complete their lifespan because most of the flies are either eaten up by the predators or end up in the first or second stage of their cycle. Female flies can reproduce after five days they develop into an adult. They can give a large number of eggs at one time.

The development of stages and the life cycle of flies also depends on the temperature of the area in which they grow or develop. Flies are able to reproduce very fast and in large numbers. They lay eggs in warm, moist and dead, and decaying organic matter.

Temperature affects the life of the flies. Any living organism can survive only in a particular range of temperature. Similarly, flies also survive in a particular range of temperatures. The following table represents the range of temperatures in which the flies can survive –

How long do flies liveTime
Without foodNearly two to three days
Without waterNot more than 48 hours
Without airAbout four to eight hours


Like other organisms flies are also an important part of our ecosystem. The most important function that flies perform is that they attack the grasshoppers, caterpillars, etc. who eat our food plants and damage them and destroy them making the food unfit to eat.

Flies have wings as a result they also help in pollination. And they also are part of the food chain. They are an important food source for other animals like fish etc.

Flies in their second stage of the life cycle that is the larval stage can also act as decomposers. Flies are always busy flying here and there. They fly even on the dead and decayed matter, feces, etc. And then they sit on the food we eat making it unhygienic to eat. They can spread a variety of germs as well as bacteria which can cause diseases like typhoid, cholera, tuberculosis and, many other. 

That is why food items need to be kept covered otherwise flies could spoil them and we never know where are they coming from.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


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