Flies are one of the most common insects found all over the world, and they belong to the Diptera order. They are gray colored and their size ranges from 0.08 inches to 1 inch.
They have transparent, membranous wings with three jointed pair of legs having sticky pads at the end, which helps them in climbing smooth surfaces like ceilings and glass.
Flies have three main body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Their eyes occupy the majority of the headspace and consist of innumerable hexagonal lenses which provide them a 360⁰ view, along with the ability to distinguish various colors.
Life cycle of Flies
House flies are capable of laying 150 eggs at a time. They lay eggs in waste or dumpster which are invisible to the naked eyes.
The eggs undergo gestation easily and hatch in to larvae. As larvae transform in to maggots, their size decreases, and within a week, these small maggots turn in to flies.
Flies develop in to adult flies within fifteen days and crawl during their initial days due to the absence of strong wings.
What do Flies eat?
Flies do not have a specific choice of food as they feed on all sorts of food products and organic waste. Most of them are attracted to sweets as they possess the ability to smell food products from a distance.
Flies soften any hard substance by spiting on it which makes it easier for them to consume.
How long does a Fly live?
On average, the lifespan of a fly is around ten to twenty days. But they can live up to two months if not exposed to unfavorable conditions or predated by insectivorous birds, spiders, or traps set up by humans.
Where do Flies come from?
The oldest fly was discovered around 145 million years ago and ‘Gray Fly’ is considered to be the most common species as they are found in households, infesting on food products and waste.
Flies prefer settling around humans and transmit bacteria and viruses from unhygienic places to clean areas.
Outdoor flies reside in warm temperatures of 70⁰F and above, and in humidity not exceeding 80%. In conditions of lower temperature, flies prefer hibernating until environmental conditions reinstate according to their comfort.
Types of Flies
There are around 3600 species of flies all over the world, varying in terms of features, appearance, and living conditions. Some of the most common types of flies are:
1. Horse Flies
Horse flies are large flies belonging to the Tabanidae family and are also known as ‘Gadflies’. They are found everywhere, except polar regions, and reside in areas full of sunlight.
Female Horse Flies bite humans and animals with their sharp cutting blades, as they feed on their blood and get nutrients such as proteins, which are required while laying eggs.
They also feed on organic matter such as nectar produced by flowers and plants.
2. Deer Flies
Deer flies are usually found all over the world, and reside in damp places.
They lay around 100 to 800 eggs and feed on blood, organic matter, and tiny creatures.
Physical Appearance: They are large but are smaller than horse flies, and have large, bright-colored eyes.
3. Black Flies
Black Flies are also known as ‘White Socks’, ‘Turkey Gnats’ or ‘Buffalo Gnats’, and have around 2200 species.
Most of them feed on human and animal blood and are believed to spread multiple diseases.
Physical Appearance: They are small in size, black or grey colored, having small legs and antennae.
4. Yellow Flies
Yellow Flies are one of the sharpest biters and are more likely to be seen during the summer season and early fall.
They are native to the south-eastern United States.
Female Yellow Flies are known for painful bites that result in huge swellings. Male Yellow Flies feed on pollen and nectar.
Physical Appearance: They are around 1 cm in size with features similar to that of deer flies. Their legs are yellow colored except the front legs, which are black colored. They have clear wings and their eyes are blue-green.
5. Green Flies
Green Flies are also known as ‘Green Bottle Flies’ and are found almost everywhere.
However, they are quite common in Africa and Australia as they prefer a warm and moist environment.
Physical Appearance: Their size ranges from 10 mm to 14 mm. The color of the fly is an artistic combination of blue-green and golden shades having a black stigma. They have antennae, clear wings, and black colored legs.
How to Get rid of Flies Naturally?
You can get rid of flies naturally through the following ways:
- Herbs: Herbs and flowers such as basil, bay leaves, marigold, and lavender repel flies.
- Insectivorous Plants: Carnivorous plants like Venus Flytrap feed on insects and serve as a perfect trap for flies.
- Use bait to trap flies: Food products such as sugar, honey, wine, fruits and, meat attract flies and can be used as a trap when mixed with some borax or boric acid, and kept outside.
- Cayenne Pepper: Mix some cayenne pepper with water to make a solution, and spray it regularly near the infested places.
- Vinegar and Dish Soap Solution: Mix some apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap in a container. Cover the top with a plastic wrap and poke some holes, for flies to fly in to the solution.
How to prevent Flies from Infesting?
Fly infestations are common and happen quickly because of their high reproduction capabilities.
They become a source of nuisance for humans as some of them bite and suck their blood causing pain, irritation, and swelling.
Therefore, you should take the following precautions to prevent flies from infesting at your place:
- Don’t leave food products open as they tend to attract flies and other pests, resulting in infestation and multiple diseases.
- Install nets on your windows to avoid flies from entering your place.
- Regularly clean your house and areas nearby so that flies don’t find a suitable place to breed.
- Dispose of your garbage in dustbins only.
- Make sure that your garbage bins are covered and drains are clean.
- Don’t let stale food accumulate in your home as it is a perfect place for flies to breed.
- Keep your kitchen hygienic by not leaving unwashed plates in the sink for a long period.
- Use insect traps or adhesive tape to trap them.
- Regularly clean your home with repellents and insecticides.
Flies are the most common pests as they are present all around the world. There are many types of flies and they mostly feed on organic matter and human blood. It is important to prevent them from infesting in your home and get rid of them as soon as possible because they have the potential to transmit fatal diseases by either biting you or infecting your food.