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Are Common Houseflies Harmless?



Common houseflies, we see them all the time, flitting from one surface to another. They land on just about anything, from the soil to the garbage bins to feces and even animal carcasses. Then they also land on the food that we eat. Clean or not, as long as it can be a source of food, you can expect flies to be there.

Health Risks

As mentioned earlier, common houseflies land on different surfaces, be it clean or dirty surfaces. However, houseflies are more attracted to things that have nasty and pungent smells like rotting carcass, feces, garbage bins, etc. The smellier it is, the more attractive it is too common houseflies. When houseflies land on dirty surfaces to feed or to lay their eggs, they pick up a host of pathogenic organisms such as parasites and bacteria.

Mode of Transmission

The pathogenic organisms are collected on the common housefly’s legs as well as mouth. They also get stuck on the small hairs that are covering the housefly’s body. When the housefly lands on a food, the pathogenic organisms are then transferred to the menu. Now, if an unsuspecting person ingests the contaminated food, the pathogenic microorganisms will be transmitted to the victim’s body, where it can wreak havoc.

The pathogenic organisms can also be transferred from the housefly’s saliva to the food. What happens is that, when the housefly feeds, its saliva liquefies the solid food to make it easier for them to ingest it. Through this process, the pathogenic organisms found in the housefly’s saliva are transferred to the menu.

Common Illnesses Brought By Houseflies

There are a variety of diseases that common houseflies cause. The most common disease they cause is typhoid fever, wherein the victim experiences high-grade fever that lasts for weeks. It is also accompanied by headaches and cough, as well as body aches and malaise. There may also be epistaxis or bleeding of the nose as well as abdominal pain. If it’s not diagnosed and treated early, it could lead to more complications, resulting in death.

Common housefly also carries Vibrio cholerae that causes cholera. Symptoms of this include vomiting accompanied by painless diarrhea. The diarrhea has a foul, fishy odor and is frequently called “rice-water” diarrhea. If left untreated, this could lead to severe dehydration and its complications such as low blood pressure and electrolyte imbalance. Like typhoid, if the patient does not receive the necessary medical treatment, it could lead to his death.

Common houseflies also carry parasitic worms. Once ingested, they could live in the human body for days. Symptoms of parasitic worm infection include diarrhea as the body tries to get rid of the disease, constipation since some parasitic worms can block organs making it difficult to defecate, excessive gas and bloating due to the inflammation of the intestines, muscle aches, and pains if the parasites get into the muscles and joints, and a whole lot more.

Because of the dangers common houseflies carry, you must eliminate them from your home. If you can’t get rid of them, then call a professional pest control company that can get rid of them for you.