Michael Ellis

Like most of us North Americans the common house fly is a European import. It probably came over with Columbus and it’s been reproducing like crazy ever since. Fly sex takes about a minute and the average female fly lays 120 eggs. In only 12 days these tiny eggs will hatch into larvae, then transform into maggots, then pupate and finally emerge as fully grown house flies. If all the descendants of a pair of house flies were to survive one summer of breeding, California would be covered to a depth of 30 feet! Yeech.

House flies can’t tolerate extreme temperatures. At a cool 53 degrees house flies can just barely get off the ground and at 44 degrees they can’t even walk. If the temperature drops to freezing, death is imminent. Conversely if it heats up past 102, it is definitely fried fly. The perfect fly comfort range is 60 to 65 degrees. Just about what I like.

When one of these house flies lands on my cereal, it promptly coughs up a bit of its last meal. It mixes this slurry with the food. The digestive juices in this regurgitation liquefy my bran flakes and the fly then uses its snout like a vacuum cleaner to suck up the glob. Near my house are horse stables, a turkey ranch, a dog kennel and a dumpster; I prefer not to think about the fly’s earlier meal.

Here are some fly facts: It takes 100,000 flies to make one pound. Flies can see all colors but red. They can walk on ceilings using their sticky foot hairs. Average fly life expectancy is one month. The light stains on your window are fly vomit; the darker stains are fly feces. Flies can carry 33 million bacteria internally and another halfbillion on the outside. Flies can spread typhoid, cholera, dysentery, polio, and tapeworms.

So I now that that you are totally disgusted I hope that you all can see the advantage of allowing just a few spiders to frequent the corners of your kitchen. Fewer flies the natural way.

This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.



Posted on

November 7, 2010