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How and why do flies bite?

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Various types of flies have accompanied humans for many centuries. Despite the common nature of house flies, they are far from harmless. They not only spoil food, but can also serve as carriers of various infections, and some of them can bite humans.

What flies bite

Flies with a special structure of the oral apparatus are able to bite a person, thanks to a modified proboscis that allows them to bite through the skin and feed on blood. These types of flies live near landfills, garbage cans, forests and ponds, often pursuing owners of country houses. Among the blood-sucking species of flies, one can distinguish horseflies, burner flies, gadflies, midges and tsetse flies.

The bites of these flies, characteristic of our area, are usually not dangerous. Among them, the most painful bites are caused by the burner fly, while the bites of the gadfly pass quickly. In addition, biting types of flies vary in size: for example, adult midges are much smaller than horseflies and gadflies.

Closer to autumn, when natural food sources for flies decrease, they look for new resources and begin to attack people. It is at this time that flies become especially active and aggressive, attacking people both males and females.

Why is a fly bite dangerous?

Flies can inflict very painful bites on humans, which can cause an allergic reaction. However, the greatest danger is the fact that ordinary flies can serve as carriers of various infections. The most dangerous among them is the exotic Tsetse fly, which carries sleeping sickness.

These insects, living in landfills and biting infected animals, often pick up pathogens of dangerous diseases. Diseases that can be transmitted through fly bites include:

  • Cholera
  • Anthrax
  • dysentery
  • Typhoid fever
  • Trypanosomiasis
  • Tularemia
  • Sepsis
  • Polio

This is not a complete list. Many of these infections are difficult to treat, and some can be fatal. Elderly people, people with chronic illnesses, children and pregnant women are especially at risk.

It is important to understand that flies can spread infections not only through their bites. Many types of flies feed on waste and can carry diseases such as salmonellosis, brucellosis and hepatitis. In addition, flies can carry helminth eggs. Therefore, it is important to avoid contact of flies with food and utensils.

It is also not uncommon for flies to lay eggs under human skin, especially in fresh wounds. After the larvae hatch, symptoms similar to those of poisoning may occur: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe dehydration, diarrhea and even internal bleeding. To remove the larvae, medical intervention is required.

Autumn biting fly

A typical housefly (Musca domestica) has a proboscis, but its structure does not allow it to bite through human skin and feed on his blood. However, the mouthparts of the autumn fly have chitinous growths, which corresponds to the structure of the mouthparts of blood-sucking insects.

The autumn fly is a species of insect that looks like an ordinary housefly. They get their name because they start biting in late summer and early fall. Their body has a gray-motley color, and when folded their wings form a larger angle with the axis of the body.

What does a burner bite look like?

The bite of a burner causes quite severe pain and is different from a mosquito bite. Burner bites are larger in size and are usually accompanied by swelling or induration in the center. Unlike a mosquito bite, a burner bite will go away almost instantly, although in rare cases it can persist for up to a week. These flies begin actively biting in August.

Characteristics of a burner bite include:

  • Redness of the skin;
  • severe itching;
  • Formation of one or more tubercles.

In addition, allergic reactions may develop, in which the bite site begins to swell and the body temperature rises. Such reactions occur especially often when there are multiple bites, for example, when attacked by a large number of midges.

What to do with a bite

In August, flies begin the active process of reproduction, requiring a large amount of protein for this. With the arrival of cold weather, they strive to penetrate human homes, look for more comfortable conditions and sources of food in the form of human blood.

In most cases, fly bites go away on their own and do not require special medical care: it is enough to treat the bitten area with an antiseptic. If an allergic reaction occurs, it is recommended to take antihistamines. There are special gels and ointments that help reduce pain and itching, but it is recommended to consult a specialist before using them.

However, sometimes pustules appear at the site of the bite, an inflammatory process develops, body temperature rises and severe pain occurs. In such cases, you should immediately consult a doctor. Complications most often occur in children, especially if they actively scratch the bitten area, introducing an infection from the outside.

Preventing fly attacks

Today there are many ways to combat flies. Options include folk recipes, various devices and household chemical repellents.

Here is just a small list of them:

  1. Mosquito nets for windows and doors: Effective devices that protect your home from insects.
  2. Dichlorvos and other insecticides: Reliable products effective against many types of insects.
  3. Fumigators: Simple devices that repel insects by creating a cloud of active substance.
  4. Repellents for skin and clothing: These products should be carried with you to the dacha or into the forest to protect yourself from insect bites.
  5. Sticky tapes and traps: The sticky tapes are coated with a substance that attracts flies. When an insect hits the tape, it sticks to it and soon dies.
  6. Fly swatters: Mechanical devices for effective killing of flies.

These methods help control annoying flies and keep your home clean and comfortable.

Do common house flies bite?


Why do flies bite people in the house?

In fact, common house flies (Musca domestica) do not bite people. Instead, autumn flies and some other types of flies, although similar in appearance to house flies, have a distinct structure. When cold weather arrives, these flies seek shelter in warmer areas. At the end of August, such flies begin to actively reproduce and search for enough food, especially protein, to survive and raise offspring. As food becomes scarce in nature, they turn to human blood in search of food.

What flies bite humans?

Not all types of flies bite people. Blood-sucking flies include gadflies, horseflies, stink bugs, midges and some other species. Regular flies and fruit flies do not bite, but their presence can cause trouble. In any case, it is important to get rid of these insects, since many of them are carriers of dangerous diseases.

What to do if you are bitten by a fly?

In most cases, fly bites do not pose a threat to humans. If you feel severe itching, treat the bite with special antihistamine ointments and take antihistamines in the form of tablets or drops. If the body's reaction is too strong, the itching does not go away, and pus forms, you should immediately seek medical help.


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