The scene is all too familiar. You’re sitting around, minding your own business and suddenly a fly appears. So, what do you do? You swat it away. Instead of leaving you, however, it hangs around – circling you and generally just buzzing about, no matter how many times you swat it away or move places. Nothing could be more annoying. It begs the question: Why have you been chosen as this fly’s totem pole? You certainly don’t smell like rotten garbage, and the last time you checked, flies don’t feed on humans – so why you?
The truth is, flies like humans – we leave food out in the open, we purposely leave out trash full of rotting goodness, and our bodies are just generally a good place for them to soak in the sweet salt, dead skin and oil that our skin exudes. So, when they land on you, what they’re actually doing is sucking up whatever they find edible on your exposed skin with their straw-like mouth. Charming.
Houseflies are scavengers by nature, so they take what they can get.
As harmless as it seems, though – there is one big reason you don’t want to be followed around by these pests. Besides being annoying, flies are agents of many communicable diseases, from typhoid to tuberculosis. A housefly’s favourite place to eat and lay eggs consists of dung heaps, dead animals and rotting meat. As a result of these unsanitary conditions that flies like to call home, they tend to pick up various pathogens and bacteria on their bodies, which could be transferred to you when they land on your body, or on your food. Will you die if a fly lands on your food? Probably not. But the thought of a fly leaving behind a host of germs on your morning toasted cheese might put you off.
The easiest way to make sure that you aren’t plagued by these pests is to take some basic preventative fly control measures. Don’t leave food out for too long, maintain a regular cleaning schedule (especially when it comes to doing the dishes and wiping down kitchen surfaces), empty your garbage bins frequently and clean up after your pets as regularly as possible. Anything you can do to keep the fly’s reproductive cycle out from under your nose.
If houseflies keep on inviting themselves into your home, keep your windows and doors shut and also check for cracks and holes (particularly around window screens) that they might be using as a secret “back door”. And if your fly problem is simply out of control, call in a professional pest control company to help you to determine the right solution for your needs, before you spend thousands of Rands on DIY solution after DIY solution