Bug Blog

Typical House Flies Can Be Both A Nuisance And A Health Threat

If you have never seen a housefly, then you are either living underground or are an alien from a different planet. Swatting at a fly buzzing around your house, which is somehow able to forever evade your slap, is a universal experience. Houseflies make up 90 percent of the flies in the entire world that invade our homes. They basically exist to drive us crazy and spread horrible diseases. Their abundance and habits make them a nuisance and a threat to every human on this planet, and they can be especially irritating during the summer when they come inside our homes to avoid the searing heat of the desert sun outside.

Houseflies are probably one of the main nuisance pests that we have to encounter far too often inside our homes. They like to hover near our heads, and are surprisingly fast little buggers that are incredibly hard to catch and smash into a small pile of mush with either a flyswatter or our hands if we’re desperate. They are able to seemingly defy the laws of gravity, walking on vertical surfaces or hanging from the ceiling as they taunt us. It is likely that their ability to do this because of secretions that tiny glandular pads (pulvilli) produce on the bottom of their clawed feet. Thankfully, they can’t bite humans due to their sponging or lapping mouthparts that are not designed to be able to pierce our skin.

More importantly, however, is that, in addition to being a nuisance, they can also be a serious health threat. Don’t forget that it was flies that spread the infamous black plague. Houseflies move from people to garbage, food, drinks, dead animals, and feces. While taking brief breaks to rest on these different items, most of which carry infective organisms, they accumulate millions of these microorganisms that they can then spread to humans every time they touch you or your food or drink. Houseflies are basically little sponges that soak up all this disgusting stuff and then spread it to humans, able to transmit horrible diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, stomach viruses causing diarrhea and nausea, and many other intestinal diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. Let’s just say, you want to keep these garbage carriers off of you and anything you eat or drink unless you want to get sick.

Have you ever gotten a virus or bacterial infection that likely came from a housefly?