Fly Poo: Everything You Needed to Know

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Did you know there are over 120,000 different species of flies worldwide? In fact, flies are one of the most common and diverse groups of animals on Earth. As omnivores, flies prefer to feed on nectar, sap and blood; their main predators are lizards, fish and frogs.

The housefly (Musca domestica) is one of the most common flies that people usually find where humans are. In fact, they make up 90 percent of the flies in human habitats. They are busy animals and often irritate people with their buzzing. If you're wondering if their hive activity includes poop, this article has all the information you need.

Do flies shit and pee?

Close up of a fruit fly on a piece of fruit
The fly's stomach digests food and expels the remaining waste through the anus.

©Ant Cooper/Shutterstock.com

While mayflies, adult butterflies, and other animals (such as tardigrades, jellyfish, demodex mites, flatworms, sponges, and silkworms) don't poop, flies usually do. Their stomachs digest food and expel the remaining waste through their anus.

In fact, houseflies can defecate anywhere, including on your sheets, face, walls and food. It's disgusting, which is why humans should be careful when infesting flies. No one wants to go around eating another animal's excrement — especially that of an unclean animal.

However, when flies poop, they don't urinate. They produce uric acid and, unlike humans, do not have a different urine-producing system. So, all their waste turns into feces. It is worth mentioning that flies fart because they produce gas from the anus, especially when defecating.

Flies also vomit, and often, food sources. It may also be found that these animals are unable to chew, so they eat by sucking up liquid with their mouths. If they come across a solid food source, they turn it into a liquid by regurgitating their saliva so they can suck it up.

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Drosophila likes fermented food and usually feeds on liquids such as wine and beer. They also like sugary foods and fruits such as bananas, tomatoes, grapes, pineapples, and peaches. Meanwhile, blowflies like to burrow and develop in their food sources; they love animal carcasses and fresh meat.

Flies are attracted to droppings and love their smell; they also eat them and have a soft spot for guano. Feces contain essential nutrients such as protein, fat and minerals that flies need for normal development. Also, some flies, such as mosquitoes, feed on blood.

What does fly poop look like?

Have you ever heard of flying spots? That's another name for fly droppings. These spots are small dark (brown or black) spots with amber or cream flecks. The highlight is the excess saliva that accompanies the excretion. Be aware that flies are attracted to the poop of other flies.

Since flies feed on liquids, they can digest these liquids very quickly. As a result, flies, especially houseflies, defecate profusely, even on their food sources. In some cases, flies may even lay eggs on your food. Therefore, it is not safe to eat food sources that flies land on.

The surest way to keep flies from pooping on your food is to eliminate them. If you notice a fly infestation in your home, the first thing to do is make sure your home is clean. Focus on disposing of trash properly, as doing so will remove their main food source and main attractant. Make sure there are no rotting fruit or food materials in your home either.

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Another effective way to get rid of flies is to use insecticide and any other repellant of choice. You can also decide to use light and sticky traps.

There are some natural methods that have also been shown to be effective in repelling flies. For example, some people repel these insects by combining herbs and flowers, vinegar and dish soap, peppers and water.

To prevent fly infestation, make sure your home is always clean and free of fly-attracting substances. Also, seal doors and windows properly, use airtight containers for food, make sure trash cans are tightly closed, and turn off lights when not in use.

What do flies eat and drink?

What do houseflies eat - houseflies suck mango juice
Flies prefer to feed on organic decaying matter.

©iStock.com/reyborfrla

There are different groups of flies with different feeding strategies. Flies can be omnivores, herbivores and carnivores, as well as parasites, decomposers and scavengers.

Generally speaking, most flies like to make a meal with organic decaying substances such as fruits, meat, vegetables, and plant secretions. One may also find male and female flies sucking nectar from flowers.

Do flies spread disease?

housefly on green leaf
Flies can transmit disease-causing pathogens.

©IamBijayaKumar/Shutterstock.com

One of the reasons to avoid flies at all costs is that they transmit pathogens that cause many diseases. They can spread viruses and bacteria that can contaminate your meals and cause food poisoning when they land on them. Common symptoms of food poisoning include abdominal cramps, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea and nausea.

Other common diseases that flies can spread include cholera, E. coli, dysentery, typhoid, and tuberculosis. Flies can also cause eye infections by transferring Chlamydia trachomatis from the eyes of infected people to the eyes of uninfected people. They may also be associated with yaws, a contagious tropical infection that causes a red rash and joint pain.

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Infected female Anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria when they feed on human blood. Malaria is a life-threatening disease that affects millions of people worldwide. As of 2020, there were approximately 241 million cases of malaria worldwide, resulting in 627,000 deaths.

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mayfly on leaf
Mayflies are the shortest-lived of all animals in the world.

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