Diptera – The Order of Flies
Of all the insects around the world, flies are most likely to spread disease. The mosquito alone spreads many diseases, some of which have no cure – Malaria, zika, West Nile virus, chikungunya virus, dengue – to name but a few. There are over 120,000 species of flies found around the world.
The mosquito is a blood eater – only the females – the male mosquitoes drink plant sap while the female needs warm blood to fuel her lifecycle. All of that protein in the blood provides the energy to develop healthy eggs so that more mosquitos shall inhabit the earth.
Are There Beneficial Flies?
Food is an excellent way to divide the order of flies – those that drink blood, those that eat dead things, those that pollinate. Yes, some flies are beneficial. The species of hoverflies are one that is beneficial. These small hairy flies often look like bees. They mimic bees to avoid predation, and as they feed on flower nectar, they help to pollinate our crops.
House Flies and Disease
Flies are vectors for disease, and the housefly is no exception. Houseflies eat dead and decaying things. They also regurgitate each time they land so that they can re-eat whatever dead thing they fed on earlier. If they land on your dinner plate, then they contaminate your plate. The bacteria that are present in dead things that they eat end up on your plate. You can acquire some nasty germs thanks to flies. Salmonella is one example of a disease that house flies spread. TB and Typhoid Fever are two more diseases that you can catch because of house flies. The list is quite long.
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