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Flies are insects from the order Diptera meaning they use two wings to move swiftly through the air. Even though this is one of the most common pests in the United States, there are over 125,000 different types of flies in the world.
Flies have a relatively short life span and adult specimens live around 15 to 25 days, but in that period, they are able to reproduce fast and leave an infestation behind.
With their adaptable digestive system, wide eyes and amazing flying abilities, flies have become one of the most important pollinators and a crucial part of various ecosystems. Nevertheless, they are still very annoying and common pests in even the cleanest environments.
Are Flies Dangerous?
There are thousands of fly species in the U.S. alone, and they are considered pests for a reason. Most flies do not bite but can contaminate food sources with pathogenic bacteria and cause various diseases.
Flies lay eggs in food sources to provide their offspring with the needed nutrients for development, but the fly eggs become maggots and further contaminate the household. The adult flies also leave feces behind increasing the chances of bacteria and disease.
In addition, some species such as the infamous Horse Fly cause painful bites and even severe allergic reactions.
What Do Flies Look Like?
Flies come in many different shapes and sizes, but the most common housefly is about 1/8-1/4” long and with a slightly hairy, dark body.
Flies have two defined wings and a large head equipped with compound eyes, giving them great peripheral vision. Most flies don’t have a stinger or teeth, but rather a small tube to consume liquids.
Flies lay eggs in convenient food sources and they can hatch between 350 and 900 small eggs at once. The eggs then go through several phases and transform into maggots which range in size from ¼ – ⅜ ” long.
Adult flies have hairy and strong legs to grasp even the smoothest surfaces with ease and flying abilities that allow them to maneuver through the air.
Types of Flies
There are many different types of flies in the United States, but some are more common than others and can be seen in almost all households. Even though flies are important for the ecosystem they present a certain threat to the health of people and animals, and as such, they should be managed.
Here are some of the most common types of flies:
The most common and well-known fly is the house fly, recognized for the gray-black color and two big wings, along with the red eyes.
This is the fly responsible for transmitting many diseases including salmonellosis, typhoid, and tuberculosis.
Cluster flies are slightly bigger than the common house fly with a grayish color and golden hairs on the parts of the thorax. Cluster flies often invade homes in search of better living conditions and away from the harsh weather outside.
Fruit flies are smaller species that have yellowish-white bodies and red eyes. They are always drawn into homes by rotting food and sweet, sugary items. Fruit flies love to investigate kitchens and find various food sources even in the sink and drain pipes.
As the name suggests the horse fly is mainly found around horses and other hoofed mammals, but they easily fly great distances and can be found in various areas. The horse fly is larger than other species and has big eyes with green or purple stripes.
While horse flies are not known to carry diseases they have a powerful stinger that can cause some serious damage and allergic reaction.
Common Treatments for Flies
Flies are a dangerous nuance you need to manage, so make sure your home and yard are clean, any garbage is disposed of, and you have protective screens on doors and windows. In addition, some amazing glue traps can help with minor infestations and the management of various flies you might have in your home.
If you notice the number of flies is increasing, it might be a good idea to contact professionals and deal with the infestation before it becomes too severe.