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House Flies

Summary: Have you ever been lying in bed in a small room, trying to go to sleep, and had house flies buzzing around keeping you awake? To me, there are few things more annoying than this. However, keeping you up at night is among the least dangerous things that house flies presents.  There are some very cost effective fly control products that can deter flies in a 1,000 sq. ft. area.  

Some people claim they would never hurt a fly. Too bad the fly does not feel the same way in return. Unlike horse flies and stable flies, common house flies do not bite. However, the house fly has some pretty disgusting habits that can create health problems for people.   Luckily there are some excellent fly control products on the market today that can deter flies in a 1,000 sq. ft. area. 

Did you know that flies can be carriers for infectious disease? Typhoid, cholera, salmonella, bacillary dysentery, tuberculosis, anthrax, and parasitic worms can all be transmitted from a fly to, say, your cheese sandwich. The next time a friend criticizes you for wildly waving your hands over your cheeseburger, perhaps muttering some kind of incantation, tell them that you are not warding off evil spirits, but you are warding off house flies. The long list of diseases spread by the common house fly will make them reconsider questioning your sanity.

House flies can be very hard to swat. They have a compound eye that can see in many directions at once, and a highly evolved evasion reaction that enables them to detect changes in air currents. This is the reason that flyswatters have holes in them to reduce air currents so flies don't realize that something is about to hit them until it is too late. Another way to confuse a fly is to swat at it from two different directions at one. Try clapping your hands together right above where a fly is resting. The fly moves so quickly upwards when it senses danger that you might crush the fly just when it thinks it is escaping to freedom.

Common house flies can reproduce at astounding speeds under the right conditions. Flies undergo a complete metamorphosis in which they change from an egg into a larvae (known as maggots) then into a pupae, and finally into an adult. The transition for a fly from an egg into an adult is made very quickly. Only a few hours are needed for a fly larva to hatch from an egg, about two more weeks to undergo all the changes to become reproductive adult. They only live for another fifteen to twenty five days, but the adult female can lay several thousand eggs over the next few weeks of her short lifetime.

Flies breed in manure. Horse manure is the preferred medium, but human, pig, cow, chicken, or other forms of manure will work just as well. Because flies have such a close connection with manure, they are synonymous with filth. Flies have hairs all over their legs that can carry particles of manure with them wherever they go, thus spreading germs to wherever they land. To make matters even more unseemly, the fly regurgitates part of its last meal onto the surface of wherever it lands, so a little bit of fly vomit will be on any food where the fly has landed.

Interestingly, it seems as if the fly itself is aware that it is dirty. Have you ever noticed that a fly frequently rubs its front legs together? It is actually cleaning its legs because there are taste and small receptors on them. The fly's legs also secrete a liquid that helps it walk on walls. The fly's body is so light that it can hang upside down from a ceiling just by the surface tension of the liquid secreted from its legs.

So, we have established that flies are gross, are germ carriers, and you don't want them around your food. You might be wondering, what is the best way to get rid of them? If you are solely concerned with keeping flies out of the house, you can use insect screens on doors and windows. Copper screens are better than painted steel screens because they do not rust. You can also reduce fly populations by using sticky flytraps, or bait traps.

The foods that attract flies have sugar or protein in them. A home remedy mixture of water or milk with brown sugar, over ripe bananas, or blackstrap molasses with an added pesticide will attract and kill flies. Insect sprays labeled for the purpose of killing flies are effective methods of pest control for killing individual flies. Avoid sprays containing poisons such as arsenic that can contaminate your home.

The very best way of getting rid of flies is to take away their breeding places. Garbage containers should be tightly closed. Compost piles should also be sealed off. Outdoor garbage should be transported to a dump, buried, or incinerated. Animal waste such as dog poo must be cleaned up. Septic tanks should not have any cracks or leaks that might attract flies. Basically, any organic waste or manure is a potential breeding ground for house flies and by removing the waste you will do a lot towards getting rid of the houseflies, that is, unless you want a personal experience with Love In the Time of Cholera. 

There are also some very cost effective fly control products on the market today that can deter flies in a 1000 square foot area. 

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