Although one fly is not damaging to humans by itself, it can be quite annoying at times. Its buzzing is distracting, and its feces are littering many surfaces your house. Besides, flies have a bad reputation so if your house has more than a few of them, it looks unhygienic and neglected. But do flies actually deserve their bad reputation? Yes, they do.
Flies feed on different substances, regardless of their state of decomposition. They eat fresh food and rotten one. Furthermore, they tend to lay their eggs in manure, allowing them to walk all over other species’ feces. If their food source is contaminated with various parasites or bacteria, it is possible for flies to carry these around with them, everywhere they go. As such, when a fly lands on your plate, it contaminates it with everything its little legs are carrying. The same goes for your drink or anything else the fly lands on.
Not all substances carried around by flies are damaging to humans, but some can cause serious illnesses. Enteric infections (digestive system problems) are a common consequence of diseases transmitted by flies, these include dysentery, diarrhea, typhoid and cholera. On ships, typhoid fever and cholera killed many travelers over the years. Flies can also cause eye infections like conjunctivitis, which is quite contagious. Furthermore, flies can transmit skin infections that are not only uncomfortable but can be as serious as leprosy.
Even though flies are simply the carriers and do not necessarily have any of the disease mentioned, because they travel long distances, they can infect a large number of people in a short period of time. In areas where there is no running water and the latrines are outside, exposed to the elements, fly infestation will be greater. From there, flies will travel to open food market and contaminate entire food supplies for a village. What may follow could result in a large epidemy of food poisoning or dysentery. Imagine if they invade an hospital. With the presence of body fluids, open wounds and no natural predator, flies can infect entire populations.
This is why it is important to put in place some serious fly control. This can be achieved through prevention, making sure that doors are closed rapidly and that windows have protective screens. These measures are no sufficient. You must also ensure that there is no food lying around on counter surfaces or on plates. If you must leave food out, unattended, cover it with plastic and seal it well. Clean all surfaces before you prepare food on it. After food preparation, clean every surface again. When cooking food, make sure it is well done, cooked throughout.
Because consequences of fly infestation an be so severe, many restaurants are investing in light traps in industrial kitchens. Hospitals and hospitality industry are also looking into light traps to get rid of this pest. Much faster than killing them one by one, fly traps capture and kill many flies in a session, leaving you free to engage in more interesting activities.