Are Fly Infestations Dangerous?

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house fly up close

If you have ever dealt with a fly infestation in your home, then you know how maddening they can be. With fruit flies, you can do everything possible to eliminate food sources and breeding sites only to have these frustrating insects continue to grow their swarms larger and larger. Fungus gnats can appear out of nowhere and leave you with no idea of where they came from or how to get rid of them. Even house flies can be a serious frustration as it only takes one house fly to drive you crazy. Let's explore some facts about these three types of home-invading flies, the dangers they bring, and what you can do about them when they invade.

Fruit Flies

These are very common pests in kitchens and throughout man-made structures. They are 1/8 to 3/16 inch-long flies with striped abdomens and either red or black eyes. Fruit flies look much like house flies only they are much smaller. These maddening pests are most abundant in summer and around harvest season but they stay active all year long. The most common way for these flies to enter homes is to hitchhike in on fruit. When conditions are right they will multiply rapidly! A few flies one day can turn into a swarm in a day or two.

While historically fruit flies have not been associated with any specific illness, there are some concerns that they may be able to carry bacteria and contaminate food. A recent study showed that a Tephritid fly (the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata) could carry and transmit the disease-causing bacteria E. coli.

Fungus Gnats

Typically, these tiny flies, also referred to as dark-winged fungus gnats, infest houseplants and are often mistaken for their fruit-fly cousins. But these pests actually look like tiny mosquitoes. They have slender legs, long antennae and light gray to clear wings. Full grown fungus gnats only grow to be around 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long. A female fungus gnat will lay approximately 200 eggs in moist soil. Fungus gnat larvae have shiny black heads, elongated whitish-clear bodies, and no legs.

Although adult fungus gnats only live about one week, they will continue to multiply quickly. If abundant enough, the larvae of fungus gnats will leave slime trails on surfaces that are similar to snail or slug slime trails. And though adults are simply a nuisance, larvae in large numbers can damage roots and stunt the growth of plants. If the infestation is severe enough fungus gnat larvae can kill plants.

House Flies

A house fly is around 1/8 of an inch long, is usually gray, and has four black stripes on its thorax. The compound eyes on a house fly are extremely complex, with thousands of individual lenses that allow them a wide field of vision. This is why it is so challenging to swat a house fly, they literally have eyes on the back of their head! Another interesting fact about house flies is that they taste with their feet. In fact, their entire bodies are covered with small hairs that serve as taste organs.

The fact that flies have taste receptors on their feet is not good news for people who have them in their home because you don't know where those feet have been! Flies are famous for walking all over rotten things, feces, sewer pipes, etc., and then walking all over your counters or, worse, the food on your plate. House flies can carry a variety of diseases that are harmful to humans and pets alike. In their travels, they pick up bacteria, fungi and viruses and spread them around. A few health issues that can be transmitted via flies include food poisoning, dysentery, and tuberculosis.

What To Do About A Fly Problem In Your Home

While there are several things you can do to try to get rid of different kinds of flies in your home, such as deep cleaning on a regular basis and making various fly catching traps, the best way to get flies out and keep them out is to partner with a professional pest control company. Here at Modern Pest Control, we are QualityPro- certified and have the equipment and expertise to take care of any pest problem you may be experiencing. Give us a call today to learn more about our residential pest control options

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