Flies

SHOO, FLY! Don’t bother me! There’s a good reason why we’ve been taught to shun flies even as kids. Flies can pose a serious danger to our health, our pets’ health, and our environment. The key to fly pest control is to eliminate the flies’ breeding source: anywhere excess moisture and organic debris may have accumulated.

A visual aid about the dangers of flies | Fly pest control by Rocklin Pest Control | www.rocklinpestcontrol.com

How Dangerous are Flies, Exactly?

Flies don’t bite, but they can carry more than 100 different pathogens.

Flies actively seek out decaying organic matter such as food scraps, dead animals, or feces. When they land on these things, their hairy bodies and legs pick up all sorts of disease-carrying germs and germs. 

So when the flies come in contact with our food, our utensils, or sores and open wounds, they can pass on these germs to us, which somehow make their way into our bodies (usually through contaminated food or water) and make us sick.

Diseases that flies can transmit to humans (and pets) include:

  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Salmonellosis
  • Typhoid fever
  • Tuberculosis
  • Shigellosis
  • Trachoma
  • Hepatitis A
  • Intestinal worms
  • and a host of other bacterial and viral diseases

Are All Flies Dangerous?

Flies belong to the insect order Diptera, with around 125,000 species officially described. Within this insect order are horse-flies, crane flies, hoverflies, fruit flies, tsetse flies, blowflies, and the common house fly, among others.

Not all flies are pests, but pest control experts pay particularly close attention to these three types of flies:

The House Fly

The housefly (Musca domestica) is the most common type found in and around homes. They are typically gray in color with stripes and red eyes.

A photo of the common house fly (Musca domestica) | Fly pest control by Rocklin Pest Control | www.rocklinpestcontrol.com
Common house flies (Musca domestica) are present just about anywhere where humans can be found on the planet. (Photo by the USDA.gov.)

The house fly lays eggs that resemble grains of rice. When they hatch, they become cream-colored maggots, and eventually full-grown adult flies. This happens in a span of only 6 days so, nope, when you spot a fly or two at home, don’t take them for granted. As early as possible, contact pest control.

House flies love to feed on human food, garbage, animal carcass, and pet waste. This makes them good vehicles of pathogens including but not limited to salmonella, typhoid, and tuberculosis. They contaminate surfaces by leaving trash and feces stuck on their legs. And the biggest problem: they defecate everywhere. (We crap you not!)

The Fruit Fly

The fruit fly (of the insect family Drosophilidae) type is found throughout the US and usually stays indoors (they live in lockdown even without a pandemic). They are brown or tan and have red eyes, although others have darker eyes.

A photo of a fruit fly (of the insect family Drosophilidae) | Fly pest control by Rocklin Pest Control | www.rocklinpestcontrol.com
Fruit flies (of the insect family Drosophilidae) are so named because they tend to linger around overripe or rotting fruit. (Photo by Dick Belgers.)

Female fruit flies can lay 500 eggs at a time that can hatch within 24 hours. Their life span can go from 25 to 30 days. Stop them from multiplying by enlisting pest control which would know how to exterminate the flies and their eggs immediately.

Fruit flies love to eat rotting matter, from food, fruits, and vegetables to fermenting liquids. They love moist, unsanitary spots like drains, garbage shoots, and trash bins. Like house flies, fruit flies can contaminate food with disease-causing and harmful bacteria.

The Horse Fly

Nope, this is not a flying horse. But it is a fly that loves horses and other animals. They are commonly found in farms or rural areas with bodies of water and where other animals would most likely be staying.

Horseflies (of the insect family Tabinae) are also known as horse-flies or gadflies. | Fly pest control by Rocklin Pest Control | www.rocklinpestcontrol.com
Only female horse-flies (of the insect family Tabinae) feed on animals– typically sheep, cattle, and horses. Males have weak mouth-parts and feed on plant exudates and nectar. (Photo by Bruce Marlin.)

Horseflies are gray or black with green or purple eyes. They are attracted to light and will sometimes stay outside the windows. Their larvae develop in wet soil near bodies of water (check if you have this in your home).

Female horse flies bite and lap up blood (versus mosquitoes who only suck blood). They do not carry disease-causing bacteria but their bites may cause allergic reactions. They are also known to chase their target mammal so, yes, this is a flying stalker!

What Do I Do If I Have Lots of Flies?

Got a problem with flies indoors? The key to fly pest control is to eliminate their breeding source: anywhere excess moisture and organic debris may have accumulated.

  • Seal any potential animal entry points in and around the home with wire, mesh, sealant, or caulking.
  • Clean up any spilled (or spoiled) food on surfaces, floors, or in pantries.
  • Clean all your drains: bathtub, shower, kitchen, and outdoor.
  • Clean your garbage receptacles; pay close attention to any organic residue and use soap and water.
  • In commercial buildings, clean under and around floor drain covers.
  • In commercial kitchens, clean under your foam floor mats.
  • Dry your mops (by hanging them off the floor) before storing them.
  • Clean under and around the base of refrigerators, kitchen appliances, and storage areas where organic gunk might collect.
  • Look for possible dead animals (or roadkill) that might be the source of flies.

A visual aid an how to prevent an infestation of flies at home | Fly pest control by Rocklin Pest Control | www.rocklinpestcontrol.com

Do flies have on and off seasons?

Good question. Flies do not hibernate during winter like other animals, but they go through a state called diapause which is defined as “a hibernation-like state of reduced metabolic activity.”

And when the sun’s out, so is their appetite! So watch out for flies in your home and community during spring and summer. The California Department of Public Health states that due to California’s varied habitats and elevations, the occurrence of flies varies for every region.

So, yes, it is possible for flies to be a nuisance all year round. They may just be in one place more than another. The key is to be ready and have Rocklin Pest Control at your speed dial. They’ll take care of the fly issue which, in turn, will help take care of your home or business.

What’s more: they offer eco-friendly options so we don’t harm the planet — just the nuisance pests.