Life Cycle of a Housefly: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Think back to when you were born. You've changed a lot since then and will continue to change during your life cycle. In this lesson, you are going to learn about the typical life cycle of a housefly and how quickly they go through many changes.

Shoo Fly!

Have you ever heard or used the phrase 'shoo fly, shoo'? Think about how often you see this little pest. Where do you often see flies?


It might seem like there are houseflies everywhere you go! Houseflies are the most common type of flies because they've learned to live around humans, and they reproduce, or make more houseflies, very easily.

Houseflies love to eat sugary liquids, like drinks you might take on a picnic. On the other hand, these pesky insects also like to eat broken down or decaying wastes. Yuck! This helps put nutrients back into the earth, but it can also lead to the transfer of diseases. You see, houseflies spit digestive juices on whatever they eat, making them carriers of disease. So, the next time you see a fly around, you might want to tell that fly to 'shoo!'

Let's take a look at the housefly's life cycle to see how easy it is for these pests to multiply.

Life Cycle of a Housefly

All animals have their own way of being born, growing, reproducing, and then eventually dying. This is a life cycle. Some animal life cycles last very long, while others are incredibly short. It's possible for humans to live 80 years or longer. That's a lot of growing and changing over a long time compared to the housefly, which only lives for about one month! While the average life cycle of a housefly is only about 30 days, some live to around 60 days.

Housefly Life Cycle

Let's find out more about each stage of the life cycle.

Stages in the Life Cycle


The male adult housefly finds a female partner so they can reproduce. This female lays her eggs but does not care for them. She just makes sure the eggs are in a safe place with plenty of food to eat when they hatch. Usually, she lays them in the dead or decaying material she was eating.


After only one or two days, the eggs are ready to hatch! The maggots, or tiny, white worm-like organisms, hatch and begin eating. They grow very fast and soon need to molt, or shed their skin.


Once the maggot begins to molt, it grows into a larger worm-like organism that continues to eat and grow. This larva will grow and molt two more times until it is fully grown and ready to form a pupa, or small cocoon.

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