Dangers Flies Bring to Homes in Illinois & Iowa

a fly on a picnic table in rock island illinois

There are many different types of flies that get into our homes in Illinois and Iowa. Some are mostly a nuisance, but many can present dangers which can cause food contamination and lead to illness. Let's take a look at some of the flies you can expect to find in your Illinois or Iowa home and dangers they present.

House Fly

This fly has a full gray body with black vertical lines on top, and a single, silver stripe on its face. It measures between 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch in length.

Dangers: Since these flies are attracted to garbage, animal feces, compost piles and the like, they are also vectors for harmful bacteria when they infest homes and land on food or food-prep surfaces.

Blow Fly (Bottle Fly)

This fly looks similar to a house fly but it's larger in size, measuring between 1/8 to 5/8 of an inch in length. It is usually black, metallic green, blue, or bronze and has specialized sponge-like mouthparts which it uses for feeding on liquids. This fly typically feeds on decaying meats, carcasses, and garbage.

Dangers: Because these flies feed, breed, and live on rotting organic matter, they can transport some very dangerous bacteria and disease-causing organisms on their bodies and legs; pathogens that can be deposited onto food, dishes, and food-preparation surfaces.

Dark-Winged Fungus Gnat

This is a very small fly, growing only to about 1/8 of an inch, and like its name suggests, it has dark wings. It also has a long, thin body which is gray or black. The larvae of fungus gnats move together across the ground in a snake-like mass.

Dangers: The presence of these gnats may be an indication of water-damaged areas in your home. They are also a big problem for greenhouse owners and mushroom growers.

Deer Fly & Horse Fly

A deer fly is around 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch in length and is light brown to gray. Sometimes, it will have yellow or black stripes. Its eyes are brightly colored and its antennae are longer than its head. A horse fly is larger, growing to between 3/8 and 1-1/8 of an inch, and it is gray or black. Its eyes often have horizontal colored stripes.

Dangers: Though these flies feed on plant pollen and nectar, the females require a blood meal to lay eggs. Bites from one of these two flies can be painful and may leave behind a large, itchy, red welt.

Fruit Fly

This is a tiny fly that measures around 1/8 of an inch. It is usually brown, tan or black. The most common way a fruit fly gets into a home is by hitchhiking in on fruits and vegetables from the store.

Dangers: Though not dangerous to humans, these flies multiply quickly and can be a nightmare to try to eliminate from a home.

Phorid Fly

This fly grows to be around 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in length and it is dark brown, black, or yellow in color. A phorid fly has an arched thorax that gives it a humpbacked look.

Dangers: The presence of these flies in a home may be an indicator of a water leak behind walls or under the foundation. Since these flies love feeding on decaying matter and "sludge" that builds up inside drains, they are a high risk for contaminating foods and surfaces.

How Flies Eat, Taste & Defecate

Most flies have mouthparts that can be described as two sponge pads and a straw. Flies cannot chew, so they have to dissolve their food into a liquid which they then suck up. To dissolve their food, they regurgitate saliva onto the food. And since flies actually "taste" foods through their feet, when they are crawling around on a hamburger, their feet may have just been "tasting" animal feces in the yard. Add to this the fact that flies frequently defecate and you might want to think twice about allowing flies to stay in your home.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by the presence of flies inside a home include typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, poliomyelitis, yaws, anthrax, tularemia, leprosy, and tuberculosis. It is estimated that house flies can spread as many as 65 diseases.

If you are dealing with any of the above-mentioned flies in your home or business, protect your health and the health of others by reaching out to Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators. Flies are not just a nuisance. They can be a serious threat. And it is a threat you can live without. Contact us!

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