August 30, 2022

Do Fruit Flies Bite? Protecting Yourself Against Pesky Pests

Biting and stinging pests are common and annoying nuisances for many homeowners. From wasps and bees to mosquitoes and bed bugs, many Washington residents have their hands full with these pesky creatures!


However, what about other familiar kitchen and yard insects like flies? Do fruit flies bite, or do common house flies bite, too? 


Keep reading to learn more about a fly's biting capabilities and if these pests are more than a bothersome houseguest!

Why Do I Have Flies?

Having a fly or two indoors isn’t surprising, but why do these insects come inside?


Flies are always on the hunt for their next meal. Typically congregating around trashcans, decaying organisms, picnics, and barbeques, flies aren’t picky when it comes to their dinner. 


These pests prefer to reside inside homes because of food availability. Think about everything you discard in a day: food scraps, left-overs, old food, etc. All of these options can attract flies! 


Like other insects, flies can sneak indoors through small cracks and crevices around your home that you may not even notice. Door and window gaps can also provide enough space for these insects. 


Even leaving the door or window open for a second too long can give these quick fliers enough time to flit through! According to Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension, fruit flies can squeeze through the small wire or mesh holes in an insect screen. 

Take a look at this video to learn more about how fruit flies come indoors!


Flies can reproduce quickly too. If a lone fly lays eggs in your home, these pests can swiftly grow their populations. A full-blown infestation can blossom in just a few weeks, leaving you with disease-spreading pests!

Do Fruit Flies Bite?

Because of their size, fruit flies may not cause significant worry. However, whenever these pests appear in droves, you might wonder, “Do fruit flies bite?”


Here’s the good news: fruit flies won’t directly harm you. While some common indoor pests have pinchers or mouthpieces, fruit flies lack these appendages. Instead, most flies absorb their food with a sponge-like mouth. 


Fruit flies prefer rotting food or overly ripened fruit instead of fresh choices. You’ll usually find these pests congregating around spilled syrups, old fruit, trash, and other messes. 


While they won’t bite, fruit flies are still a considerable nuisance in your home. These pests come out in droves and aren’t easy to remove. Once you have an infestation, you’ll find them crop up around your trash and inside your refrigerator.


Plus, fruit flies can transmit harmful bacteria around your kitchen. Like other flies, fruit flies can spread E. coli and salmonella to otherwise clean areas, contaminating the food you eat and the spaces where you prepare it.

 

Do Houseflies Bite?

Similar to fruit flies, the common housefly won’t bite either. While some fly species can cause injury, these two pests lack the necessary parts to leave you with a painful wound. 


Just because houseflies can’t bite doesn’t mean they aren’t otherwise dangerous! Houseflies are one of the most prolific bacteria-spreading insects. 


Houseflies eat everything from fecal matter to decaying animals. Yuck! 


Because of their non-discriminatory feeding habits, houseflies can introduce many deadly pathogens into our food, like fruit flies. 


Unlike smaller species, houseflies flock toward fresh and rotten food and put your dinnertime meals at risk. Whenever you have a fly inside, it will flit around anything you eat, depositing its waste and other bacteria onto your food. 


According to Pennsylvania State University, these pests are notorious for causing food poisoning and can transmit diseases like typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, anthrax, tularemia, and tuberculosis. 


While large quantities of houseflies indoors are uncommon, a small-scale infestation can still cause problems. Whenever flies are invading your home, give Zunex Pest Control a call!

Do Horse Flies Bite?

Unlike the other two species, horse flies are known for their painful bite! While they primarily bother large farm animals like cows or horses, horse flies can still attack humans to feed. 


Horse flies are blood-consuming insects like mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and bed bugs. Similar to other blood-sucking pests, horse flies require a mammal’s blood with their additional dietary needs to reproduce and lay eggs.


You won’t typically find these flies inside your home as they mainly populate outdoor areas. Unless they accidentally fly indoors, horseflies won’t seek out these spaces.


While horseflies are common problems for many Washington residents, especially those who have large outdoor animals, they don’t pose a significant danger to humans. The pests can transmit fatal illnesses to horses and cows, but this is rare. 


That doesn’t mean horseflies aren’t a cause for concern! With their sharp-cutting mouthpieces, horseflies can quickly pierce your skin and leave behind a painful bump that eventually develops into a larger welt. 


While horsefly bites shouldn’t incur any long-lasting complications, their bites still hurt and cause short-term discomfort as the wound heals. To learn more about horseflies and how to monitor their population, check out our article on horsefly traps

How Can I Eliminate Flies?

Start by cleaning out your kitchen or any other areas with food. For fruit flies, throw away any decomposing food or unused fruit. These tiny insects can crawl into airtight spaces, so be sure to remove any overly-riped fruit or vegetables in your fridge, too.


If you have uncleaned spills, grab a washcloth and scrub away the stubborn stains. Flies will eat anything available, including weeks-old kitchen stains from your last big dinner. 


Keeping a clean kitchen can help dissuade flies, but don’t neglect your trash! Flies thrive on decomposing materials and will polish off your leftover takeout, especially if your trash sits in an uncovered can. Regularly take out your garbage and place it in a closed container. 


Have you cleaned up around your home and still see flies? It might be time to turn to a pest control agency to lend a hand. 


Zunex Pest Control can eliminate several different fly species that plague Washington homes. Whenever you struggle with annoying flies, consider giving us a call!


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