When a house fly appears in your home, what do you do? You go get the fly swatter and swat it. Right? How about three flies? What do you do then? Do you invest in some sticky strips and hang them from your ceiling? How about ten flies--or the ongoing appearance of flies inside your home? What do you do then? At some point, you're going to have to figure out where those flies are coming from and address the breeding sites that are producing them. When you do, it is best to reach out to a professional. But our focus today isn't going to be on "when" it is important to call a professional but "why" it is important.
We all know that flies are annoying but few know about all the dangers associated with flies. They aren't just irritating pests. Some flies can present a serious health threat to a family. Here are some of the flies in our service area and what you need to know about them.
These dull gray flies are between ¼ and ⅛ inches in length and have reddish eyes. When they get into a home, they can spread typhoid, cholera, dysentery, salmonella, anthrax, tuberculosis, and more. It is never a good idea to allow an infestation to continue. A professional can help you locate breeding sites and arrest your fly infestation.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a stable fly and a house fly if you don't know what to look for. Stable flies are slightly smaller and have thinner wings. They also have more light coloration on their head, thorax, and abdomen. These flies feed on the blood of animals, so they are linked to the spread of zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be spread from animals to people).
The metallic coloration of these flies should help you distinguish them from house flies and stable flies. They can be green, blue, bronze, or black in color. These flies feed on the open wounds of livestock and on carrion. They are usually the first organism to infect a dead body or a piece of decaying meat, so it is not surprising that they are vectors for bacterial diseases.
These flies are brown in color and are about ⅓ to ¼ of an inch in length. These insects cause red, itchy welts on the skin that can lead to tularemia, a disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis.
Small Fruit Fly
At only 1/8th of an inch long, these flies are small. If you see them in your home, they're not likely to be alone. A swarm of fruit flies can appear almost overnight as a single female can lay as many as 500 eggs. These flies can spread bacteria from trash to foods or cooking surfaces.
These flies are fuzzy, like a moth, and are only about ⅕ to 1/16 of an inch in length. At this time, moth flies (also called drain flies) are not known to spread diseases to humans but they go to and from bacteria-laden drains, which makes them a bacterial threat.
Often called a humpbacked fly, these flies can be distinguished by the humped curvature of their back. These flies like decaying organic matter and can lay their eggs in open wounds. This can contribute to infections.
Darkwinged Fungus Gnat
These grayish-black flies with their smoky-colored wings are only about ⅛ of an inch. You don't have too much to worry about with this fly, but they can spread plant diseases from plant to plant.
Here's another fly you're not likely to see alone. And, being that they can be anywhere from ⅜ to ½ inches in length, they're hard to miss. These are overwintering pests that can leave dark-colored spots of excrement on your belongings, windows, and walls. They are not known to present a health threat to humans.
We saved the best for last. This is an insect that needs no introduction. But, what you may not know is how dangerous a mosquito bite can be. In the United States, mosquitoes are linked to West Nile, yellow fever, chikungunya virus, dengue fever, arboviruses, encephalitis, Zika virus, and Keystone virus. There are also outbreaks of malaria as well. Not every mosquito is infected with a virus and not every mosquito species is able to spread the viruses on this list. It is also important to understand that contracting a virus may only result in minor symptoms or no symptoms at all. But, since serious illness, and even death can result from a mosquito bite, it is wise to seek the assistance of a professional for seasonal mosquito control service.
Flies are more than a nuisance. For assistance controlling any of these fly pests in Missouri, start here. Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions offers advanced solutions for all the pests we battle in Missouri.