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Dangers of the Common Housefly

If there is a more annoying pest that is prevalent in our region of the Carolinas than the common housefly, we haven't seen it yet (well, the mosquito certainly deserves a mention here as well). They seem to come out of nowhere as soon as you crack open a watermelon or uncover some BBQ items outside. In your home, they are so fast that they can generally outmaneuver normal attempts to dispatch them. But in addition to being a generally annoying pest in your home, the common housefly can present some real dangers that deserve your attention.

house flies can be exceedingly difficult to catch or exterminate in your home


House flies have long been associated with carrying dangerous diseases. But exactly how do they affect such results? Many house flies spread dangerous germs directly to a victim with a bite. Some can be quite painful (we are looking at you, horse fly!), while others will be barely noticeable at all. Like mosquitos, they can thrive on the blood of victims, both humans and other animals. And whenever blood is exchanged in this way, the potential for harmful transmission multiplies. When feeding, flies can regurgitate their stomach contents onto their food to liquefy it before ingesting. They may also contaminate food and surfaces by defecation.


House flies are known to transmit a variety of dangerous diseases, such as (but not limited to) shigellosis, typhoid fever, E. Coli, anthrax, leprosy, tuberculosis, and cholera (all according to the National Environmental Health Association). Indeed, Penn State University finds that house flies have been shown to transmit at least 65 diseases to humans. As they are commonly found in all states of the US (but seem especially prevalent in the southeastern US) and due to close proximity with people via homes and restaurants, the chances of transmission from fly to person can be high. The disease-causing agents will be transmitted mostly by the body hairs or by the tarsi which are then transmitted onto their food or surfaces that they land on. These will be far too small to be seen with the naked eye, so regular cleaning of surfaces is recommended.

house flies have a strong sense of smell and are attracted by common food items


House flies have their own natural enemies in the form of parasites that not only feast on the house fly itself, but can also present a danger to humans and other animals once the fly is deceased. Much smaller than the house fly itself, these parasites will live on surfaces that the fly has landed on and be largely unnoticed until another opportunity arises for them to find another host. This can be animals, your hands or arms, or feet.


We, of course, recommend the professional services of Nelon-Cole who have the very latest training and technology to help prevent fly infestations in homes or businesses. You might be surprised at how effective some of these new techniques are at keeping them away! There are also some management techniques you can use to help as well.

Sanitation is an absolute key. Proper sanitation techniques will eliminate fly breeding areas (the materials that attract them to lay eggs). This can be hugely effective in preventing infestations. Trash should be kept in sealed containers whenever possible. Dumpsters should be kept as clean as possible and as far away from buildings as is practical in your setting. Decaying plant, animal, and food materials should be removed as quickly as you can. Lastly, try to keep your area as moisture-free as you can, possibly via the use of a dehumidifier.

For those with more extreme problems or in areas where the public may be affected, there are a variety of both mechanical and chemical control techniques that can be employed, and your Nelon-Cole professional will be happy to discuss those options with you.

Don't go another day without at least getting a FREE consultation from your local Nelon-Cole rep on how we can help with this and a variety of other pest and moisture control issues that affect your home or business. Call us at 1-888-7-TheWeb and let us earn your business and your trust with effective and affordable services!


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