What House Flies Do When They Rub Their Feet Together
The House Fly, or it’s Latin name Musca domestica, is one of the greatest nuisance pest to grace the face of the earth. But what most people don’t know is just how nasty these “pain in the necks” really are.
House Flies are mainly gray in color, and are about a 1/4” in length. The have 4 very distinct black stripes on the thorax, or what would appear to be their backs. They’re pretty quick fliers and can be fairly difficult to control, as most flying insects are, by traditional pest control techniques.
They prefer corners and edges to rest on. Inside the home, they will rest on floors, walls, and ceilings during the day and they rest in places that are usually near sources of food at night. They spend 85% of their time resting 5 to 15 feet off the ground.
Outdoors, you’ll find them resting on plants, the ground, fence wires, garbage cans, the walls near your doors, and mostly hanging out when you’re trying to enjoy BBQ time with the family – my favorite!
They love human food, cat and dog food, farm animal food, of course garbage and excrement, and the ever popular – carcases.
This wide variety of food choices gives way to the reason why House Flies are known to carry over 100 different diseases, including cholera and tuberculosis. They transmit those diseases both by carrying pathogens on their feet and mouths and then happily sharing them with us on our food.
Quick little note: when you see a House Fly resting on something and you look really close and see that they’re rubbing their nasty little feet together, ready for this … they’ve vomited on whatever it is they’re resting on. Maybe your hot dog. Nice, huh?
They’re also prolific little boogers. House Fly eggs are laid in almost any warm, moist material that will supply adequate food for their larvae. The female can lay 400 to 600 eggs in her lifetime, which is about 15 to 30 days, and those eggs hatch out in 12 to 24 hours. So, once you start seeing them it can get out of hand in a hurry!
We mostly see the adult flies; the larvae are a little harder to find. But if you’re lucky, you can catch them crawling out of whatever breeding material the mom left them on. Then they pupate, or more to their next stage of life commonly referred to as MAGGOTS. Fun! They have a funny way of making us queasy, even writing this I’m a little sick to my stomach. It may be the nasty smell, or the sight of those nasty little white creepy crawly things, or a combination of both, but they get me almost all the time!
Ok, so why am I getting so graphic and making you sick? Because I want you to react when you see House Flies in a way that you probably haven’t reacted before reading this.
You see, if I can make you a little sick, maybe you’ll take them as serious as they are. House Flies are a major threat to our health.
As I mentioned earlier, they carry over 100 pathogens resulting in ailments, including typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera and dysentery. They carry diseases of all sorts. They collect these pathogens on their legs and mouths when feeding on trash, feces and other dead and decaying material.
They are a major detriment to healthy living.
So, what can you do if you have, or see, House Flies in your home?
Well, the most important thing to know is that controlling House flies, or any flying insect really, is really difficult. I know, not much inspiration there, but I have to share the truth.
But, there are a few things you can do to help. It really comes down to sanitation. If you think about that first, then the steps you can take will come easier for you than you think.
For example, leaving dirty dishes in the sink is a no-no. Grab that teenager and put them to work 🙂 Any kind of uncovered food, human food or pet food, needs to be addressed. So, if you leave a fruit cake on the counter so everyone can grab a piece whenever they want, it should be in some sort of container or wrapped up tightly.
The dog food bowl is a fiesta to the Housefly, so if you can just put the food down when it’s time for Fido to eat and pick it up when he’s done, that would be great. Leaving it out for free-feeding is an open invitation for the House Fly.
Also, while we’re talking about Fido, it’s best if you can pick up his “deposits” when he goes and not leave them for later. House Flies REALLY like feces and if they’re depositing eggs on a pile one minute, and then hanging out on your hamburgers the next. Now you’ve got problems!
One more thing, make sure your garbage cans are tightly secured. It’s best if you can use garbage bags in your garbage cans and even better is double-bagging. This will help prevent any leakage and eliminate a food source for the flies. I suggest cleaning your outside garbage cans thoroughly, maybe even with some bleach, at least once a month or for sure if there has been a leak in a bag.
Lastly, if all else fails, and there’s a likelihood for this, (just saying) call us.
We, Okeena Termite and Pest Control, can use a variety of different treatment techniques and put together a plan (baits, liquid pesticides, larvicides, etc….) that will help put a dent in your Housefly problem.
If you want more information, call our office or visit our website to get a Free Estimate and Healthy Home Inspection. (731) 285-4982 Okeena.com
Have a great week,