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The House Fly - More Than Just a Household Annoyance
As homeowners open doors and windows to welcome fresh air for the summer, they're also rolling out the red carpet for a commonly known pest- the house fly. Although house flies are a familiar disturbance, they are also a major carrier of communicable diseases. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) advises homeowners to take precautions to prevent these tiny pests from becoming health burdens.
"House flies do not bite, but are capable of transferring more than 100 pathogens, including malaria, salmonella and tuberculosis," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. "They contaminate food and surfaces by spreading disease organisms picked up on the silla on their bodies and through their saliva that is used to break down foods. And if that's not enough, they defecate constantly."
House flies are widespread due to their ability to procreate quickly and in large quantities. While they have been known to move 20 miles from where they were hatched, they typically stay within a mile of their birthplace. Prominent in rural environments due to their attraction to manure and other organic matter, house flies can also be found in other areas of filth including garbage and sewage.
NPMA recommends that homeowners follow these tips to help prevent house flies in their own homes:
- Keep kitchen trash in sealed containers and the receptacles as clean as possible.
- Dispose of waste regularly and keep away from your home.
- Be aware of sources of excessive moisture.
- Keep counters and surfaces clean.
- Prevent home access by keeping doors, windows and vents closed when possible.
- Properly screen windows and seal potential entryways, repairing any rips or tears in screens.
- If you have dogs, horses or other animals near the home, remove feces from the yard and surrounding areas.
- For an uncontrolled house fly population, contact a licensed pest professional.