The common house fly is considered the most widely prevalent insect in the United States. Although the common house fly (musca domestica) does not bite, its wide prevalence ensures that it is one of the most common transmitters of diseases. Would you believe that a single house fly can carry one million bacteria on its body? This seemingly harmless creature spreads most diseases across the world.
Listed below are some of the diseases that houseflies cause:
- Shigellosis (dysentery caused by the bacteria Shigella spp)
- Typhoid fever (caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi)
- Traveller’s diarrhea (caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli)
- Cholera (caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholera)
How Do Flies Transmit these Diseases?
The house fly transmits disease by contaminating food. Flies carry the bacteria on tiny hair on their body called tarsi. They acquire these bacteria by visiting sites of contamination such as fecal matter, garbage disposal sites, etc. They then deposit the bacteria on their hairs on to food that we eat. Consuming this food is how the disease is transmitted to humans.
The best way to prevent these diseases is to keep flies away. Listed below are some ways to kill flies as well as to get rid of flies naturally.
Ways to Get Rid of Flies
- Ensuring Good Sanitation: Making sure that your home is clean and ensuring that both fecal matter and garbage is disposed properly is one of the best cures for flies. It may be necessary to go a step further and even clean out your garbage bins periodically to help prevent particles sticking to the bin, eliminating a source of attraction for the flies.
- Ensuring that there is no Source of Food for Flies: Covering food and making sure that food is not left out is one of the best ways of keeping flies at bay.
- Lighting: Mercury vapor lamps tend to attract flies because of their bright light source. Installing a mercury lamp in strategic locations around the home, will lead the flies to a place away from your home. Ultra violet traps are also a good idea to get rid of flies. Ultra violet traps consist of an ultra violet light source and a fly swatter. As the flies fly towards the attractive light source, they are killed by an electric current carrying filament installed in the traps.
- Screening, Chalking and Ceiling Fans: One way to ensure that flies do not come inside the house is to restrict entry. This can be done by using screen doors, self-closing doors and chalking the entry ways of the home. Another way is to create a climate inside the home that is not suitable for them such as using ceiling fans.
- Fly Swatters: Fly swatters are an age old invention that has been used for decades to help get rid of flies. Problem is that these are tedious and time consuming; however, the newer battery-operated models are quite good in controlling flies inside your home.
- Keeping the Surrounding Areas free of Vegetation: If you live in areas with thick shrubbery or a lot of vegetation, the chances of fly problems are very high because this is a climate ideal for breeding as well as fly infestation. This can be prevented if the immediate area surrounding the home is kept free of vegetation.
The best way to get rid of flies is to use natural methods without the use of pesticides. Pesticides, according to the WHO affect over 3 million farm workers every year, resulting in neurodevelopmental problems, birth defects, and even fetal deaths. Even in small doses, these are better not used. Instead some of these natural options can help get rid of flies as effectively, yet much more safely.