Objective - To evaluate retention of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in houseflies for various time frames and temperatures. Sample population - Fifteen 2-week-old pigs, two 10-week-old pigs, and laboratory-cultivated houseflies. Procedure - In an initial experiment, houseflies were exposed to PRRSV; housed at 15°, 20°, 25°, and 30°C; and tested at various time points. In a second experiment to determine dynamics of virus retention, houseflies were exposed to PRRSV and housed under controlled field conditions for 48 hours. Changes in the percentage of PRRSV-positive flies and virus load per fly were assessed over time, and detection of infective virus at 48 hours after exposure was measured. Finally, in a third experiment, virus loads were measured in houseflies allowed to feed on blood, oropharyngeal washings, and nasal washings obtained from experimentally infected pigs. Results - In experiment 1, PRRSV retention in houseflies was proportional to temperature. In the second experiment, the percentage of PRRSV-positive houseflies and virus load per fly decreased over time; however, infective PRRSV was found in houseflies 48 hours after exposure. In experiment 3, PRRSV was detected in houseflies allowed to feed on all 3 porcine body fluids. Conclusions and clinical relevance - For the conditions of this study, houseflies did not support PRRSV replication. Therefore, retention of PRRSV in houseflies appears to be a function of initial virus load after ingestion and environmental temperature. These factors may impact the risk of insect-borne spread of PRRSV among farms.