Wimbledon fortnight means strawberries and cream… and dysentery?

strawberries and creamIt’s a horrible thought but if you tuck into some strawberries and cream this Wimbledon fortnight, you could be eating more than you bargained for – if you have flies in your house.

You may be watching the tennis from the comfort of your own sofa, thinking that any food you have prepared yourself must be safe, but if there are flies around that’s unfortunately not the case.

Flies are attracted to all kinds of uncovered food – it doesn’t have to be rotten or past its best – and sugary foods like strawberries are particularly attractive to flying pests.

What happens when flies land on your food

What flies do when they land on food it isn’t particularly pleasant. Firstly they taste it, and as they taste with their feet that means they crawl over it. Then if it takes their fancy they need to liquefy it, with regurgitated food and saliva – basically they vomit over it. And if that wasn’t disgusting enough, while they are there the flies might just defecate on it too.

house flies can spread over 100 pathogens such as dysentery & parasitic worms

Flies can spread over 100 pathogens such as dysentery & parasitic worms

And, of course, before they landed on your nice tasty strawberry the flies could have been buzzing around the dustbin or feeding on some dog excrement in the street outside. Nice…

If you’re thinking ‘what you don’t know doesn’t hurt you’ then you need to think again. Flies are capable of carrying more than 100 pathogens, such as those causing salmonella, dysentery and parasitic worms. Your delicious Wimbledon treat could make you quite ill indeed.

How to deter flies

But there’s no need to panic as there are ways to get rid of flies, and you can also take preventative measures:

  • After dark, keep windows and doors shut, or block out the light with curtains.
  • Fit fly screens to windows, especially around kitchen and waste areas.
  • Always cover food.
  • Clean food debris and liquid spillages immediately.

For light fly infestations there are a wide variety of products available – such as sprays, fly papers or plug-in products. For more serious fly infestations you will need professional expertise to resolve the problem.

Then you can sit back and watch Andy Murray’s latest exploits without worry.

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