House Flies – Identification, Types, and Interesting Facts

House Fly

For many of us, the only purpose the house flies seem to serve is to annoy us to no end by buzzing around the house all day. Despite their annoyance, flies are quite fascinating insects. According to Wikipedia, there are an estimated 1 million species of insects in the order Diptera. Pest World states that there are about 18,000 species of flies in the US with the most common including fruit flies and house flies.

Fun Facts About Flies

Here are some interesting facts about flies you would have never thought of.
1. They Multiply Super Quickly
Ever wondered why it can be so hard to get rid of flies even after you have swatted the few flies buzzing around the house? It’s most likely due to the fact that they can breed and grow in population very quickly. House flies can lay up to 500 eggs despite their short lifespan.

2. They Survive on a Liquid Diet
House flies live on a liquid diet. Their mouth is designed to sponge and ingest liquefied food (think of it like a suction). The flies don’t have the ability to chew or bite. The liquid food goes straight into their stomach.

3. Flies Have Taste Receptors on their Feet
Yes, house flies have taste buds on their feet. This allows them to land on an attractive object or food item and quickly get a taste of potential food before disappearing off.

4. Flies can See in All Directions
House flies have the ability to look behind them, which makes them awesome escape artists. Flies have compound eyes, which allow them to recognize the slightest of movements in a very wide view range.

5. They Have Fast Reaction Times
We might not like the sound of this one but another reason why house flies are able to escape quickly is due to their fast reaction time. A house fly is able to piece together images from the eye to the brain very quickly. On average, house flies are able to process up to 250 images per second. Humans, on the other hand, can only process up to 60 images per second on average. Don’t feel so bad if you aren’t able to swat a fly the first time around.

How to Identify Flies

There are countless species of flies around the world but it’s likely that we will only encounter a few of them at home. Here are the most common species of flies that most people will recognize.

House Flies
The most common type of fly that one would encounter is the house fly. They are usually gray in color and no more than 1/4 inch long as adults. Typically, they will live for up to two or three weeks. Unfortunately, they are prime carriers of dangerous pathogens so it’s absolutely important that any food and beverage you consume is out of their reach.

Fruit Flies
They are tiny insects known to start appearing when there is food or other organic substances in the house that start to rot or decay. Adult fruit flies are typically 1/8 inch long and known for having red eyes. Their entire lifespan typically lasts for about a week.

Blow Flies
Blow flies have a similar appearance to house flies except they are known for having a body color that’s more metallic. Their body color could come in the form of metallic black, blue, or green. They are also known for being quite noisy when they fly around. Blow flies get their name because they were believed to blow their eggs onto exposed meats and other food items that they like to feed on.