Flies are among the most annoying and hated animals in the animal kingdom (it’s a tie between them and mosquitoes). Many facts about flies are unknown to you. This is due to the fact that lots of humans today associate flies only with negative adjectives, like ‘unsanitary’ and ‘bothersome’. Even the most fearsome animals can’t escape being ruthlessly bitten, stung and hounded by them. It’s a real shame that most living creatures get hassled by flies, considering that flies (all 120,000 known species of them) are still going strong. They still seem unfazed by manmade pesticides, fly swatters, and every other weird method we have tried to get rid of them with. Since flies aren’t going extinct any time soon, here are some facts about flies to understand them better. SOME SPECIES OF FLIES ARE GENETICALLY SIMILAR TO PEOPLE.
According to NASA, the genes of fruit flies match about 77 percent of the discovered human disease genes. With short life span– in most fruit fly species it takes only a week to go from egg to adult. It is possible for scientists to study genetic mutations in a much shorter amount of time than with other insects. Because of this, fruit flies are often used in medical research labs. FLIES, Including house flies, CAN SEE BEHIND THEM. It’s one of the facts about flies that there are thousands of tiny lenses. They are called ommatidia, which make up the eyes of a fly. These compound eyes allow flies to see 360 degrees at once. THERE ARE FRUIT FLIES IN SPACE. NASA sent fruit flies to the International Space Station in 2014.
The flies, located in the “Fruit Fly Lab,” are being used to study the long-term effects of microgravity, space flight and space radiation. The results will help inform decisions made about space travel for humans. FLIES ARE GOOD AT MATH!! Despite having tiny brains, flies are excellent at calculating the angle of a swatting hand, newspaper or swatter and creating a flight plan to avoid it. When they see a threat coming, they are able to leap backward using their hind legs to avoid the hit, according to research done by scientists at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). Their data on this facts about flies showed that they make these decisions within 100 milliseconds of spotting the threat. THERE IS A RIGHT WAY TO SWAT A FLY. According to the CalTech team, there is actually a better way to swat a fly.
Instead of aiming directly for the fly, you should try to aim ahead of it and anticipate where it is going to jump when it sees you coming. SOME FLIES ARE IMPOSTERS (Flying insects). It’s one of the facts about flies that there are species of this pest that mimic other flying insects. Hoverflies, for example, often look like bees or wasps, enabling them to avoid predators. These flies get their name from their behavior – they are often seen hovering in midair like small, living helicopters.
While their buzzing can be annoying, hoverflies are considered beneficial as their larvae prey on aphids, caterpillars, thrips, and scales. Adult hover flies are pollinators of flowering plants. NOT ALL FLIES ARE “TRUE FLIES.” (a dragonfly is a “flying insect”) Some insects are called flies but are not actually included in Diptera. To tell them apart, look at the insect’s name: a “true fly” will have its name in two parts, like the house fly, whereas a dragonfly is all one word.
Here are some more facts about flies:
- Some flies pollinate flowers.
- Flies recycle food waste (the cleaners), without flies the world is a much dirtier place to live in.
- Without flies, other species would become extinct: frogs, lizards, spiders, bats, dragonflies, fish, and birds.
- Decomposers: They encourage dead carcasses to decompose faster which then enriches the soil.
- A fly cleans itself constantly (may change the unclean perceptions we may have of them).
- They are water quality indicators.
- In areas of the world which have a lack of bees to pollinate flowers (arctic & alpine regions) flies act as pollinators.
- There is no protection for many fly species. This could be because the pesticide industry is such a big business and perhaps they are not classed as the more media-friendly cute creatures for such a protection.
- The use of pesticides on crops to try to kill flies and other flying insects is actually causing more damage to the ecosystem than the flies themselves.
- For the gardeners amongst you, the maggots larvae of hover flies feed on aphids reducing what gardeners could see as pests.
Here are some horrible facts about flies
Spread of Disease Through Flies:
Flies can’t actually chew your food if they land on it, so the fly vomits stomach enzymes that break up the food for them to slurp with their proboscises. In addition, many houseflies will lay eggs on the food they are snacking on. If you are worried about getting sick from the acid vomited out the fly’s stomach, don’t fret (that’s only half your problem)! The real problem is the fly’s hairy legs and arms that could instantly infect it with Cholera or E. coli (or who knows what else) when it lands on your food. All this only takes a split second, so there’s no avoiding it if a fly lands on your food. Happy eating!
Most breeds of fly can lay maggots inside you. They will be more likely to choose you if you have an open wound that’s easy to reach, or you’re just unclean in general, but a couple types of flies (screw flies, botflies, etc.) can start a maggot infestation in the unbroken skin. If you let the maggot live under your skin (for…research purposes?), it will eventually burst out your skin, after having its fill on your flesh and blood, as a full-grown fly.
Headless Fruit Flies:
Fruit flies, a subspecies of fly, can live for several days without their wings, or their heads (but not both)! Some laboratories have genetically engineered a fruit fly generation that lives a mostly normal fly’s life (in a lab, at least), unaccompanied by wings. Female fruit flies have also been documented in genetic labs to live for a few days completely headless, and still doing activities such as preening themselves, walking, and flying. The males will still try to court the females.
Nasty Breeds of Botfly:
Botflies are by far the “queen bee” of the fly world. There are many different types of botfly, most of which sting or bite mammals. And some of which lay eggs under their skin (as mentioned earlier). Some botfly subspecies have truly fabulous names and purposes, such as:
- European Deer Nose Botfly: Deer Nose Botfly larvae are called stag worms (as they apparently only affect male deer).
- Tree Squirrel Botfly: Tree Squirrels with this botfly can be easily seen in parks. Their lumps can be quite big in size. Luckily, the Tree Squirrel botfly isn’t much harm to tree squirrels; a healthy, well-fed squirrel can survive with 5 or 6 of them no problem.
- Horse Stomach Botfly: They get into the horses’ stomach by resting on the horse’s leg. And being licked up by the horse while it is grooming itself. They eventually end up in its stomach, where they grow and rest until they are full grown. At this point they fall out with the horse’s feces. It is possible for a horse to host about 100 botflies in their stomach at one time. That too without showing any exterior signs of having a botfly infestation.
Defecating and Vomiting HouseFlies:
House flies, the most common and the most human-interactive type of fly, defecate an estimated 3-5 minutes every day. They basically defecate any surface they can land on in time to, uh, evacuate their bowels. This can happen anywhere, anytime, including when a fly lands on you! Although this doesn’t happen every time a fly lands on a human, it’s certainly possible. Flies taste with their feet, so, if they think you taste good, (keep in mind that, from a fly’s perspective, dog poop tastes good, so you’d better hope the fly doesn’t think you taste good!) they might just vomit stomach juices on you in an attempt to liquefy your skin into something fly edible. Luckily, house fly vomit is not actually strong enough to break down human skin. But you still have to think about that tiny speck on your arm or leg that could carry disease.
If you do suspect a flies problem, immediately call the experts. Get rid of them as soon as possible before they take place at your house. We at Hicare provide professional pest control services all over India to prevent fly-borne diseases. Call us on 3988 9988 or visit our website to know more about the service.