Pest Control Blog

Do Flies Really Puke In My Food?

April 27th, 2017 by Mike MacDonald in flies

Ever tell a little kid not to “backwash” and accidentally spit food in your drink when they try it? Well, flies pretty much do the same thing on the food they touch and even worse…

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I think I’ll pass on the 5 second rule this time…

We’ve probably all heard of the 5 second rule when someone drops something they were eating on the floor, if they pick it up quick enough they can still eat it, but does the same rule apply when a fly quickly touches the food we were eating?

With spring time starting to kick in and summer on the way, it’s more and more likely we will be eating outdoors, and fly landings can be a regular occurrence. We may think that flies touching one dish on our plate and then maybe one on your neighbors might not be a huge deal, but it’s not just food that they touch.

Flies like to feed on decaying material including things as awful as feces, and flies actually have hundreds of tiny hairs all over their legs. These hairs pick up and transfer little particles and germs from almost everything they touch. So, they might just be bringing an extra side of feces to your meal this summer…

Worse than bringing germs and feces onto your food they also will most likely vomit on everything they land on as well

Interestingly enough, flies don’t have taste buds like we do as humans, they actually “taste” with their feet! They use small hairs on the end of their legs called tarsi which acts as their taste buds. Imagine asking for a taste of your friends dish at lunch and then smashing your feet into it…

In addition to their odd way of tasting, flies also have no teeth to chew their food, so instead of masticating, they have to vomit up digestive enzymes onto the food they eat to start to digest it and then eat it back up. This will help to liquefy the food, and then the fly will use it’s mouth more like a sponge or mop, or tiny vacuum to soak the food back up into it’s stomach.

They don’t always get it fully digested on the first try and the food needs to be vomited back up again. This takes “backwash” to a whole new level, meaning that they might be passing on some of their past meals onto their new one. So if their last meal wasn’t as sanitary, maybe something rotting or the always-possible option of consumed feces, perhaps there is a high probability that ended up in your food as well.

Trapping flies to keep them away from your food in your home

Now the only real options you have for keeping yourself safe from these flies and the diseases they potentially carry is either going to be throwing away the food they touch or killing the flies before they get to your food.

There is a simple trap you can use to catch the adult flies, but if you want to get rid of all growth stages of these flies and do a better job of keeping them from coming back, we recommend reaching out to a professional pest control service.

A simple trap you can make is with a empty 2 liter soda bottle, a cup of water, and raw meat or rotten fruit. Make sure that you use a clear bottle and remove the label. Then cut the top 3rd of the bottle off.

Fill the lower part of the bottle with water and either the raw meat or rotten fruit. Place the top of the bottle upside-down into the bottom part of the bottle and set out to start capturing flies.

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