Flies


Fly Facts

 

  • 1 female housefly can lay over 600 eggs during her 25 day lifetime
  • There are estimated to be 10,000 flies for every single human.
  • There are over 85,000 different species of fly.
  • The fly is an incredibly agile flyer due to its gyroscope – a stabilising device which beats 20,000 times a minute, constantly updating the trajectory. It is able to take off in any direction, making it very difficult to swat.
  • Flies taste with their feet! A fly’s feet are also very sticky which means they carry around minute quantities of anything they step in. This makes them rather unhygienic.
  • A single fly may carry 6-million bacteria. Some of the more sinister ones are cholera, TB, typhoid and dysentery.
  • The eyes of a fly are compound, meaning they are made up of many simple eyes each pointing in a different direction. This makes them very adept at detecting movement – i.e. a swat with a newspaper. However, compound eyes cannot focus, so the fly would be unable to read the print!
  • A fly’s body is covered in minute hairs that are very sensitive to changes in air pressure. This also helps flies evade swatting.
  • Flies have become resistant to a large number of pesticides, making them very difficult to kill where the same pesticide has been used frequently over time.

Common House Fly – Musca domestica

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House flies are an ubiquitous problem around the home, carrying filth as well as important disease causing organisms. The life cycle varies between species and climatic locations. In warmer areas flies are a problem all year round, whilst in cooler climates the problem is most important during the warmer summer months.


Blue/Green Bottle Fly – Calliphora spp.

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Blue bottle and green bottle flies are a serious pest of farms, stables, gardens and bin areas. The females lay their eggs where they feed, usually in decaying meat, garbage or faeces. When the larvae hatch from the eggs they immediately begin feeding on the decomposing matter located around the hatching area. More than just a nuisance, these flies are carriers of diseases in both humans and animals.


Cherry Fruit Fly – Rhagoletis cerasi

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Rhagoletis cerasi is a very important pest of cherries in much of Europe and Western Asia. The adult fly lays its eggs on maturing fruit. The maggot enters and feeds, causing surface browning of the fruit, before emerging to pupate in the soil.


Fruit Fly – Drosophila spp.

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Fruit flies can be found almost anywhere where fruit is allowed to rot and ferment. They will breed in and around ripened fruit and other food items and are also known to breed in drains, empty cans and bottles.  Females can lay up to 500 eggs which can hatch in about one day. The fly larva feed while going through a few instars before pupating into adult flies. In ideal conditions, the entire life cycle can be completed in about one week but can take much longer if cooler conditions persist. Due to their small size, it is practically impossible to exclude the flies from buildings.


Whitefly, Aphids and Sciarids

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Whitefly and aphids are important pests of greenhouses, gardens and house plants. They suck the sap from leaves and stems, often transmitting plant viruses in the process. Their honeydew secretions can also lead to sooty mould growth on leaves. Sciarids or fungus gnats are primarily nuisance insects although in high infestations larval feeding on roots can stunt plant growth.


Thrips

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There are several  species of thrips in the world which can infest greenhouse, garden and house plants. Many feed on the leaves of plants but some will infest the flowers or affect fruits. Some of the species including those that can be found in European and North American greenhouses will transmit plant diseases.