House fly (Musca domestica)

Availability: House flies are available now. We will provide you with several maggots. They will come in a small plastic container with just enough food to get them home, so make sure your container is set up and ready to go BEFORE you pick them up.

Housing: Larvae can be reared in a gallon plastic container with a cloth top.  Fill it about 3 to 4 inches with wood chips (do not use cedar, redwood, or pine as they have insecticidal chemicals in them) or shredded paper.  Mix 1 cup of powdered milk with 2 cups of water and pour this over the wood or paper.  The wood/paper should be thoroughly wet, but about 0.5 inch above the milk.  At 80 to 90 degrees F the larvae are ready to pupate in about five to six days.  It is best to keep the container in the dark if the larvae are to be observed, as they will crawl away from the light and into the center of the medium.  Check the culture daily.  When you see the larvae crawling on the sides of the container, they are ready to pupate.  To collect the pupae, transfer the container of the larvae to a shallow pan.  Spread the medium containing the larvae so it is within 1 inch of the top of the pan.  Wet the medium until it is thoroughly wet, but water is not standing in the pan (or the larvae will drown).  The wet medium will drive the larvae out of the pan.  To collect these larvae, place the small pan containing the larvae and medium inside a larger pan.  Before placing the small pan in the large pan, put paper toweling along the bottom of the large pan.  Using two paper towel or toilet paper tubes, support the smaller pan above the paper toweling.  The larvae will crawl out of the inner pan and pupate under the paper toweling in the dry outer pan.  Collect the pupae and place them in a well-ventilated cage to await adult emergence.

Food: Larvae will eat the paper/wood/milk medium throughout their larval development.  Adult flies are fed on a 1:1 mixture of granulated sugar and powdered milk.  A bowl filled with wood chips and water serves as a source of water.