Fly Facts

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If you have large number of flies in your attic, you may have cluster flies.

  • The average house fly lives on average 21 days.
  • A flies wings beat 200 times per second.
  • Flies don’t grow. They are born full size.
  • Flies have 4000 lenses in each eye.
  • Flies jump up and backwards when taking off.
  • Average speed of a fly in flight is 4.5 m.p.h.
  • Flies smell with their antennae.

Flies have been pursuing mankind throughout all of recorded history, and probably from the time man emerged from his caves and began to walk erect.

They are depicted in the oldest writings from the ancient world. Hieroglyphics from Egypt (pictured here) chronicle these tormentors along the Nile. Flies are referenced in the Bible as one of the plagues Moses brought down upon the house of Pharaoh. They have even been taken aboard the space shuttle into outer space.

In all there are over 120,000 species of flies ranging in size from 1/20th of an inch to well over three inches. Can you imagine what an engine a three inch fly would make!

One of the things that separate Flies ( Diptera) from other flying insects are their wings. Flies are the only insects that have only two. All other insects have four wings.

The flies reputation for uncleanliness is also well deserved. Many of man’s primary diseases are transmitted by flies, including the deadly Yellow Fever. Entomologists Dr. Yao and Dr. Yuan of China studied more than 378,046 common house flies and estimated that each carried no less than 1,941,000 bacteria on their bodies. Indeed Flies are probably responsible for more deaths among humans then any perceived atrocities we may have misguidedly thrust upon them.

Also, flies don’t bite or sting. They have neither teeth nor a stinger. Flies thrust a needle like spike into their victims and injects a digestive juice that breaks down the victims cell tissue. They then suck the liquid in to ingest it. Very poor manners to say the least.

But don’t think that flies are helpless and otherwise benign to their larger neighbors. In 1923, Black flies in swarms were reportedly responsible for the deaths of more than 20,000 sheep, horses and cattle in Rumania and Bulgaria. Of course I would suppose one would expect this sort of behavior from an area of the world that also brought us the Carpathinan warlord, Dracula.

Fact: Flies will only continue to beat their wings so long as their feet are free. As soon as the feet become stationary, the will stop flying. Remember this as the fundamental rule of Fly Power.

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