Flies feed on various organic substances including excrement, and sweet and other foods.
They can reach a length of 7 to 14 mm, and reproduce in dry areas, with breeding promoted by warm temperatures. Flies lay up to 2,000 eggs, mostly in manure, faeces, compost heaps and rubbish tips (the Musca domestica species), but also on protein-rich substances such as meat (the Calliphora vicina species). The eggs develop into white maggots, which can grow up to 12 mm long. Their movement between bad meat, excrement and foods is not only unappetising, it also makes flies the transmitters of germs and a source of food contamination. As a result they can transfer pathogens for infectious diseases such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, salmonellosis, hepatitis and poliomyelitis.
Preventive measures and controls
- Avoid accumulating rubbish and rotting substances
- Do not leave food or meals uncovered
- Keep kitchens and cooking untensils clean
- Use insecticides (Fly Trap, Insect Strip, Flying Insect Spray)
- Insect repellents provide sensible protection against biting flies (e. g. horseflies)