Flies are equipped with special sensory cells on their antennae and feet, which enable them to locate suitable food and egg laying sites.
Appearance, life cycle and habits
Flies are insects with two functional wings for flight and two hindwings for balance. The fly family contains an estimated one million named species, including the familiar housefly, horse-fly, crane fly and hoverfly. The earliest fly fossils found, are from 240 million years ago. Non-biting flies are often associated with domestic dwellings, especially throughout the warmer months when flies breed prolifically, invading homes and can be a constant annoyance for humans.
Flies make contact with food, which often involves vomiting and defecating. This action contaminates food, preparation surfaces and utensils with potentially disease causing organisms.
Useful tips on flies
- Properly fitting screen doors and window are essential to exclude flies from homes and other areas where food is prepared
- A combination of good sanitation and mechanical exclusion will produce the same effect and keep fly populations under control
- Pet faeces should be removed, and fresh manure and other compost dug into garden beds
- Routine emptying and cleaning of all garbage receptacles will reduce breeding
- UV insect lights and air curtains used in industrial applications are effective, but maybe cost prohibitive in a domestic situation
- People travelling to destinations that may include rural areas of Africa and Central and South America should be aware of possible infection by the immature stages of several exotic flies