How Long do Flies Live? Lifespan of Different Types of Flies and Gnats

A fly is a small restless creature that torments people, spread diseases, and causes annoyance.

There are multiple species and types of flies that have a lifespan ranging from few days to years.

In this post, we are going to see how long do different types of flies live.

The lifecycle of a fly is normally divided into 4 stages. These are:
1) Egg 2) Larva 3) Pupa 4) Adult

It is seen in multiple scientific experiments that temperature, food availability and some chemicals do affect the normal lifecycle of a fly. But, we are going to see them later in the article.

How Long do Flies Live

Now, let’s have a look at the lifespan of a fly.

Recommended Reading: Facts about House Flies

How Long do Different types of Flies live?

Flies developing in warm conditions with moderate food tend to grow faster and live longer than their counterparts in the wild.

Below is the table that can show you the life expectancy for different types of flies:

Fly Name Fly Image Lifespan as an
Adult Fly
Total Lifespan of a Fly
(Larva + Pupa + Adult)
House Fly  house-fly-lifespan 15 – 60 days 21 – 117 days
Fruit Fly  fruit-fly-lifespan 16 – 30 days 35 – 61 days
Drain Fly/Moth Flies  drain-fly-lifespan 7 – 14 days 17 – 31 days
Face Fly  face-fly-lifespan 7 – 14 days 21 – 35 days
Horse Fly  horse-fly-lifespan 30 – 60 days 1 – 3 years
Flesh Fly  flesh-fly-lifespan 10 – 14 days 15 – 21 days
Deer Fly  deer-fly-lifespan 30 – 60 days 1 – 3 years
Cluster Fly  cluster-fly-lifespan 12 – 18 days 30 – 50 days
Bottle Fly/Blow Fly  bottle-fly-lifespan 7 – 20 days 17 – 35 days
Black Fly / Buffalo Gnat  buffalo-gant-lifespan 7 – 14 days 40 – 200 days
Sand Fly/Sand Gnat  sand-gnat-lifespan 4 – 15 days 32 – 98 days
Eye Fly/Eye Gnat  eye-gnat-lifespan 7 – 21 days 28 – 53 days
Fungus Gnat  fungus-gnat-lifespan 7 – 12 days 18 – 30 days
Stable Fly  stable-fly-lifespan 5 – 9 days 24 – 61 days
Dobson Fly  dobson-fly-lifespan 3 – 10 days 20 – 38 days
Midges  midges-lifespan 3 – 12 days 19 – 64 days
Phorid Fly  Phorid-fly-lifespan 8 – 14 days 42 – 69 days


Note: It is important to note that the lifespan of a fly greatly depends on the temperature, food availability, and climate. And hence there may be slight variations in the above data.

Life cycle of a Fly:

Now, after knowing about the lifespan of a fly let’s see the lifecycle of a fly. The lifecycle of any fly can be divided into 4 stages: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult.

Fly Life Cycle

The lifecycle of a fly begins as an egg. After some time (few days or months depending on the fly type) the egg hatches and larva comes out of it. Larva feeds on the organic matter and when it has stored sufficient nutrients it goes into pupal stage.

Pupal stage can again be of several days or months. During the pupal period the development of the actual fly like features (wings, legs, etc) begin. From the pupa, the adult fly comes out and is ready to start the cycle again

Recommended Reading: Facts about Horse Flies

Factors affecting Fly Lifespan:

Food Availability: Scientists have seen that – At moderate food levels, an adult house fly lives for about 45 – 50 days. But when they have unlimited supply of food they can only last for 30-35 days.

But on contrary to this, if flies were supplied with ample food during larval stages their lifespan and reproduction capabilities increases whereas it decreases for the flies which had less or moderate food during larval stages.

Temperature: Temperature has an important role in the growth of a housefly. For instance: at 99 degrees Fahrenheit a house fly egg hatches in about 8 hours, where as it takes 2 days to hatch at a temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

In addition to this, in warmer temperatures it takes 4 days for a larva to become an adult. But in colder temperatures it can take upto 30 days.

So, this was all about how long does a fly live. Hope you would have liked it. Thanks!

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