Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Re: house flies


Hi Jack,

I know you answered someone suspecting house flies of biting, and stated that it must have been stable flies.  But a friend was complaining of being bitten by flies that weren't biting the rest of us.  Is it possible that there are exceptions to the rule, for some reason, when it comes to house flies not biting?  Have you ever heard of it?



House flies lack the type of mouthparts to bite. They have essentially a sponge that can only "mop up" liquids - no teeth or mandibles, so it is not possible for them to bite. Stable flies, however, look like house flies and do bite.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Ph.D. in Entomology

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.