Non-biting flies are one of the most important pest groups because they are not only nuisance pests, but many are also important in disease transmission. Flies feed on a variety of food materials but most of those of structural importance develop in either fermenting or decaying organic matter, although a few are parasitic on other animals. Fly control is often quite challenging because their larval developmental site(s) must usually be located and eliminated for success, and these sites may be some distance from where the adults are nuisances.
- More than 120,000 species exist ranging in size from one-twentieth of an inch to well over three inches long.
- Take on various shapes. In the larva or maggot stage, flies resemble greasy white worms.
- Do not have teeth or a stinger, but rather thrust needle-like hooks into victims and inject a digestive juice that breaks down cell tissue.
- Have life span of approximately 21 days (house flies).
- Are attracted to a variety of warm, moist substances from animal feces to human food and garbage.
- Spread at least 65 human pathogens including typhoid fever, diarrhea, tuberculosis, salmonellosis and cholera.
- Breed in garbage cans, compost heaps, pet feeding and pet elimination areas.