Foul Facts About Flies

FliesTwo-winged flies consitute the largest order of insects and there are about 50,000 known species throughout the world. Britain alone has 3000 species of flies. Such a small insect can have an enormous and detrimental impact on human life.

The pathogenic organisms of diseases including malaria, sleeping sickness, onchocerciasis, elephantiasis and yellow fever are carried human-human by blood-sucking dipterous flies. Many other diseases including cholera are transmitted by many species of flies sucking liquid from excreta then settling on human food. It is therefore essential hygiene practice for food preparation areas to employ some method of fly killer.

In his Do You Want Flies With That blog last week our entomologist, Matt Green, explained how electrified grid fly traps could increase your chances of receiving a lumps of fried Musca domestica in your lunch. A glue trap keep the flies intact when captured rather than fragmented into tiny airborne particles which could land on a counter top or on your salad. Here’s some of the more unpleasant facts about flies and why you really don’t want them landing in your food.

Gross facts about flies

  • The cluster fly lays its eggs in earthworms. When hatched the larvae bores through the cuticle of the worm, devouring most of it in the process.
  • Filter flies breed in sewage filters and feed from faecal pellets. They are beneficial because they prevent the fungal mat becoming too dense and clogging the filter beds in sewage works. However in the summer they can breed profusely and invade nearby houses and pester workers.
  • The window gnat will lay their eggs in rotting fruit and vegetables within the home and can cause damage to honeycombs and is a known pest in vineyards and breweries.
  • The common house fly likes to lay eggs in any vegetable or animal matter provided it is not too dry and can be readily swallowed and digested by the larvae. Stacks of fermented horse-dung, human faeces, pig and household refuge would be desirable breeding locations.
  • The blue bottle lays its eggs on open wounds, the tail of animals such as sheep with soiled tails or dead animals.

Flies in your food?

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