With summer fast approaching, there is certainly no shortage of stinging and crawling insects that will be making a reemergence into the limelight over the coming months. For those with insect phobias, the hornet, bumblebee or spider might be the three nefarious characters most likely to strike fear into ones heart, however the biggest insects with the most painful bites and stings are not necessarily the ones that post the greatest danger. One oft overlooked standard of the summer season arguably presents the most substantial heath risk to the human population – the common housefly.
The housefly poses such a significant threat to mankind it was actually referenced in the bible as one of the plagues brought upon Pharaoh and Egypt – and even today, the danger is very real. Flies are capable of transmitting a laundry list of potentially fatal and dangerous diseases to humans including, but not limited to, typhoid fever, dysentery, anthrax, leprosy and tuberculosis.
Furthermore, the stark reality of how a fly actually feeds is a disturbing wakeup call that most Americans would be well served to receive. If you think a fly landing on your food momentarily and then buzzing away is a non – issue, think again!
Since the common housefly is only capable of consuming liquefied food, it comes biologically equipped to utilize an enzyme called Volidrop during its feeding process. This enzyme is designed to instantly liquefy foodstuff just milliseconds prior to consumption. Making matters infinitely worse for the squeamish, the reality of the situation is that the housefly has only one delivery mechanism for Volidrop – and that is coupling its release along with partial regurgitation of a previously eaten meal. The crushing reality of a fly landing on your food, even momentarily, is that said housefly almost assuredly regurgitated onto your food immediately upon arrival. Clearly no five second rule should suffice in this situation.
To make matters worse, if a fly is allowed to remain stationary and feed on your uncovered foodstuff for any period of time, even a few seconds, things become exponentially more stomach churning, as we are no longer talking about a single Volidrop regurgitation. The very nature of the housefly feeding process is a constant repetitive cycle of regurgitation and consumption, and one that you are strongly advised to prevent from occurring on anything you intend to ingest.
So assuming you don’t want to suddenly find your home in the throes of an uncontested housefly infestation this summer season, it’s wise to take preparation for the forthcoming housefly influx and guard against the diseases this pest can spread through its feeding process, and luckily there are several options available to control the invasive housefly.
They say cleanliness is next to godliness, and this saying has never rung more true than when trying to control houseflies in and around your home. General sanitation is a huge key to housefly control, so make sure all trash cans are sealed securely, and never leave any food scraps, food wrappers, or pet waste lying around your property – as these all present a tantalizing breeding ground for the housefly, and its equally detestable larva – the maggot.
Preventing home entry or the concept of “exclusion” is another piece of the housefly control puzzle. Make sure all screens and windows seal tightly, and never arbitrarily leave your doors open for any unnecessary period of time during the summer fly season.
Finally, you may want to take the fight directly to the enemy and fight the battle against the housefly head on, with the help of some weaponry of course. The traditional fly swatter is still an inexpensive and effective means to eliminate fly’s in and around your home, although in recent years it has been somewhat upstaged by its modern counterpart, the electric bug zapper racket. Unlike the traditional fly swatter, which can leave a bacterial black smear on your wall with every successful kill, the fly zapper racket offers a clean sanitary means to zap housefly’s, and neatly dispose of their remnants.
Always remember to never overlook the common housefly as a legitimate threat to your family’s health and well being, and take the necessary precautions to dissuade its presence, and with just a little bit of forethought and planning you will be able to spend this summer focusing on the important things – like enjoying the weather.