You are having a braai in your backyard and you hear the distinctive buzzing sound and you can help but think to yourself: “it’s just a fly”. Well, is it just a fly? Wherever you find people, it’s likely that there will be flies in the vicinity. So let’s explore the risks, how to avoid them and how to manage house fly infestations.
House flies are unfortunately more than just flies in search for food. They carry infections and diseases which may result in several health hazards. A house fly will not bite nor sting you, but their associated danger lies in the fact that they come into contact with dead and decomposing animals and eat rotten food.
Managing house flies – what attracts them to your home?
Flies are attracted to decaying organic materials. So any trash or rubbish that isn’t secured properly can lure them in via their keen sense of smell. House flies will take advantage of entrance points such as structural damages as well as open windows and doors. It is common to have a housefly or two in your house but letting them stay there is where the problems can really kick into gear.
Are house flies dangerous?
House flies are very dangerous since they are known to transmit more than 100 different diseases to humans, these diseases include Typhoid Fever, Dysentery, Cholera, Anthrax, Leprosy and Tuberculosis. It is advisable to not eat food which has been touched by flies since the food could potentially be contaminated and may cause serious health risks.
Signs of a fly infestation
- Seeing and hearing flies around the house
- Small dark spots around the house
Is it safe to eat food which a fly landed on?
It is generally not a great idea to consume food that a fly has spent any significant amount of time on. House flies’ taste with their feet. They walk all over your food when sampling a meal. Although flies do not poop on your food, they do throw up on it.
The house fly uses its mouth, scientifically known as pseudotrachea to liquefy the food. It will then dab a tiny bit of food with digestive enzymes by bringing up regurgitated food and saliva. The enzymes’ function is to break down the solid food and turn it into a liquid which the house fly will then be able to consume.
How to avoid a house fly infestations
- Take out the garbage
- Seal food in airtight containers
- Close off any structural damages
- Use a fan – wind can interfere with a fly’s ability to fly. Directional fans are considered more effective than ceiling fans.
- Clean up after your pet.