Flies can cause disease in humans and animals, including typhoid fever, cholera, bacillary dysentery and hepatitis. Sanitation is critical to controlling these pests, but accurate identification is essential for successful fly control.
- Depending on the species, the life expectancy of a fly is eight days to two months or, in some cases, up to a year.
- Millions of microorganisms may flourish in a single fly’s gut, while a half-billion more swarm over its body and legs.
- Flies spread diseases readily because they move quickly from rotting, disease-laden garbage to exposed human foods and utensils.
- Because they only have two wings, flies land often and therefore can deposit thousands of bacteria each time they land.
- Every time a fly lands, it sloughs off thousands of microbes. If a fly lands on food or utensils, customers may ingest germs that can trigger serious illness such as diarrhea, food poisoning, meningitis and bloodstream infections.
When flies feed on waste, they collect pathogens on their legs and mouths. These pathogens are then transferred to food on tables or counters when a fly lands again. Flies regurgitate on solid food then they eat the liquid. They are capable of transmitting disease when they vomit, groom themselves or just walk on surfaces.