Pictures of Flies and Other Observations
Pictures of Flies
Flies: The Life History of the Fly

Flies in General

Everyday Housefly
Tiger Mosquito, Yellow Jack, and the Panama Canal
Scourge of the Medfly
The Grey Flesh Fly (1913) by Jean-Henri Fabre
Beneficial, Medical Use of Maggots
Death of the Fly
Fly Related Links

iStudy Flies - Death of the Fly



Though the life expectancy of an ordinary housefly is but 15 to 25 days, the control of successive generations of large populations of manifold species of flies is a matter of concern for: (1) ranchers, e.g., the sheep blowfly impacting Australian sheep, (2) citrus growers, e.g., the Medfly devastating California and Florida oranges, (3) public health professionals, e.g., the Culex tarsalis mosquito spreading the West Nile virus, and (4) most urban dwellers, e.g., the nuisance control of the housefly. In temperate climates, where there is a marked change in temperature from winter to summer, flies seek out shelter in the late summer and fall to overwinter. Especially attracted to the warmer south facing sides of buildings in the northern hemisphere (north facing sides in the southern hemisphere), flies crawl into cracks and openings, especially in the upper half of structures. Preventive measures are: (1) filling or caulking openings and cracks, (2) repairing window and door screens, and (3) applying insecticides in late summer and early fall to prevent the entry of flies into the building.

In addition to keeping food covered and dirty dishes washed on a timely basis, when flies are noticed in your house or work area, professional food handlers advise for the institutional control of flies: (1) Keep doors closed or use self-closing doors. (2) Air curtains installed in doorways blow air and flies towards the outside. (3) Use outdoor lighting away from doors, because flies are attracted to lights. (4) Keep garbage receptacles tightly covered. (5) Clean garbage receptacles weekly to disrupt the breeding cycle of the fly. (6) Fly strips or "sticky paper" can be helpful. (7) Electric fly zappers work, but they have the tendency to spray fly particles.
[56] Often clustering in attics and walls, the cluster fly (Pollenia rudis) does not reproduce during the winter. Indoor fly control may be accomplished by killing with a flyswatter or vacuuming. Yes, a hose attachment on a cannister vaccum cleaner or some other arrangement -- carefully wielded -- sucks up flies. In your tactics, remember that flies are attracted to light in an otherwise darkened room. A commercially available insecticide for indoor use, will deal with larger numbers of flies. Always use insecticides according to their directions. Pyrethrins, from the chrysanthemum plant, are recommended as a natural insecticide. [57]

Though the mosquitoes that transmit the West Nile virus (WNV) cannot always be eradicated, they can be controlled: (1) West Nile virus infects not only humans, but birds, horses, and other animals. (2) Persons age 50 or older are at a higher risk to get sick, if infected by the West Nile virus. (3) Long pants, long-sleeved shirts, socks, and closed shoes help protect against the bite of the West Nile virus carrier mosquito. (4) Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, and populate especially marshes and wetlands. (5) Insect repellant with DEET (chemical name, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) -- for human skin contact, not on food, to repel, not kill mosquitoes and ticks -- is considered the most effective mosquito repellent currently available. (6) Most people (80%) show no symptoms when infected by the West Nile virus, and the symptoms of the West Nile virus are much like flu. (7) Maintain good screens on windows and doors, and empty standing water from containers to prevent mosquito breeding sites. (8) Though there is no specific treatment for mild cases of West Nile virus, severe cases usually require hospitalization for intravenous solutions, breathing assistance, and nursing care. (9) Symptoms of West Nile virus develop between 3 and 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. (10) Do not handle a dead bird with your bare hands, to protect against possible infection by the West Nile virus. Report it to your local health department for reporting and disposal instructions.


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