Flies

Flies: Facts, Identification & Control

Scientific Name

Family Diptera

Appearance

What Do They look Like?

fly closeup

There are more than 16,000 species of flies in North America. But they all belong to the order Diptera, meaning two wings. Because they only have two wings, flies land often and therefore can deposit thousands of bacteria each time they land.

How Did I Get Flies?

There are many different ways homeowners may get a fly in their living space. The insects can enter houses on food products (fruit flies) or drift in through open windows and doors. They may also be attracted to and develop in decaying organic matter in drains. They can also infest dead animals in walls, attics, or other hidden places inside the home. Some species prefer to overwinter inside and are attracted to sunny parts of the home and upper floors of buildings.

How Serious Are Flies?

Because people correctly associate flies with filth, these pests disgust and annoy residents in homes. The insects can also transfer disease organisms when they touch food and kitchen surfaces. In addition, certain fly species can inflict painful bites on humans and animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture sources reveal that flies contaminate or destroy $10 billion worth of agricultural products annually.

Disease
Millions of microorganisms may flourish in a single fly’s gut, while a half-billion more swarm over its body and legs. Flies spread diseases readily because they move quickly from rotting, disease-laden garbage to exposed human foods and utensils. Every time a fly lands, it sloughs off thousands of microbes which can cause serious illnesses like:

  • Bloodstream infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Food poisoning
  • Meningitis

More than 100 pathogens are associated with the house fly, including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli, and Shigella. These pathogens can cause disease in humans and animals. Some of the diseases include:

  • Cholera
  • Bacillary dysentery
  • Hepatitis
  • Typhoid fever

How Do I Get Rid of Flies?

Prevention
The best way to repel flies is through simple, preventive measures. In order to best repel flies, limit access to your home as much as possible, keeping doors and windows closed. You may also choose to screen windows, doors, and vents. Keep garbage cans clean and securely closed. Keeping surfaces clean will make your home less appealing to flies. For best results, contact a pest control professional to discuss extermination options.

What Orkin Does
The Orkin Man™ is trained to help manage flies and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

The Orkin Man™ can provide the right solution to keep flies in their place…out of your home, or business.


Behavior, Diet & Habits

Where Do They Live?
Flies plague every part of the world except the polar ice caps. Flies prefer warm temperatures and are most active from late spring to early autumn.

What Do They Eat?
When flies feed on waste, they collect pathogens on their legs and mouths. These pathogens are then transferred to food on tables or counters when a fly lands again. Flies regurgitate on solid food then they eat the liquid. They are capable of transmitting disease when they vomit, groom themselves, or just walk on surfaces.

Lifespan
Depending on the species, the life expectancy of a fly is eight days to two months or, in some cases, up to a year.

Reproduction
One pair of flies can produce more than 1 million offspring through their offsprings’ offspring in a matter of weeks.