Getting Rid of Flies Safely and Effectively is PermaTreat's Specialty.
Flies are adapted for aerial movement, and typically have short and streamlined bodies. The first segment of the fly is the head and consists of ocelli, antennae, compound eyes, and the mouth (the labrum, labium, mandible and maxilla make up the mouth). The second segment of the thorax, which bears the wings and contains the flight muscles, is greatly enlarged, with the other two segments being reduced to collar-like structures. The third segment bears the halteres, which help to balance the insect during flight. A further adaptation for flight is the reduction in number of the neural ganglia, and concentration of nerve tissue in the thorax, a feature that is most extreme in the highly derived Muscomorpha infraorder.
Flies have a mobile head with eyes, and, in most cases, have large compound eyes on the sides of the head, with five small ocelli on the top. The antennae take a variety of forms, but are often short, to reduce drag while flying.
Because no species of fly have teeth or any other organ or limb that allows them to eat solid foods, flies consume only liquid food, and their mouthparts and digestive tract show various modifications for this diet. The gut includes large diverticulae, allowing the insect to store small quantities of liquid after a meal.
Reproduction and Development
The female lays her eggs as close to the food source as possible, and development is rapid, allowing the larva to consume as much food as possible in a short period of time before transforming into the adult. The eggs hatch immediately after being laid, or the flies are ovoviviparous, with the larva hatching inside the mother.
Larval flies, or maggots, have no true legs, and little demarcation between the thorax and abdomen; in the more derived species, the head is not clearly distinguishable from the rest of the body. Maggots are limbless, or else have small prolegs. The eyes and antennae are reduced or absent, and the abdomen also lacks appendages such as cerci. This lack of features is an adaptation to a food-rich environment, such as within rotting organic matter, or as an endoparasite.
The pupae take various forms, and in some cases develop inside a silk cocoon. After emerging from the pupa, the adult fly rarely lives more than a few days, and serves mainly to reproduce and to disperse in search of new food sources.
Among the flies are some of our worst enemies. Some species destroy crops; they live as parasites under the skin of animals, causing myiasis or infestation with fly maggots; and they carry such diseases as typhoid, anthrax, cholera, and dysentery. Mosquitoes carry malaria, dengue fever, encephalitis, and elephantiasis. But most species are harmless to humans and play an important role in the balance of nature. They carry pollen to plants; they are an important link in the food web; and they hasten the decomposition of animal carcasses, manure, and vegetable matter.
Role as Pests
Cockroaches are one of the most commonly noted household pest insects. They feed on human and pet food, and can leave an offensive odor. They can also passively transport microbes on their body surfaces including those that are potentially dangerous to humans, particularly in environments such as hospitals. Cockroaches have been shown to be linked with allergic reactions in humans. One of the proteins that triggers allergic reactions has been identified as tropomyosin. These allergens have also been found to be linked with asthma.
The key to managing all flies is sanitation. Eliminating fly breeding sites, i.e., the material to which they are attracted to and on which they lay eggs, is usually sufficient to eliminate and prevent fly infestations. Conversely, without thorough sanitation, other control methods are largely ineffective. Therefore, trash should be kept in sealed containers (in trash bags and/or cans with tight-fitting lids). Dumpsters should be kept as clean as possible, emptied regularly and kept as far away from buildings as is practical. Manure and other decaying plant and animal material should be promptly removed. Also, eliminate areas of excessive moisture.