What are flies attracted to? Surprising answer

Many of us often have wondered why nature created flies. They are annoying insects that fly around our homes if we leave the windows open. They sit on the cooked food items and contaminate them. If you are a sweet shop or bakery owner, you might have faced issues keeping flies at bay.


You might have installed electrical flycatchers to catch those flies too. There are more than 125,000 species of flies that are discovered by entomologists. Drain flies are just one example of them. It is estimated that there are more than 1 million species of flies available on the face of the earth. Entomologists are yet to discover and document about all of them. Flies belong to the kingdom of Animalia and the order of Diptera. These insects use only a single pair of wings to fly.

No matter how annoying we might find these houseflies and other filth flies, they play a very important role in the food chain. They aid in pollination and are known to be more effective than bees in that process. They help in the decomposition and help to keep the environment clean by doing the job of a scavenger. They clean the excreta left by other animals and even though flies spread a myriad of diseases, we need to be thankful to them.

What are flies attracted to? What can you do to stop that nuisance?

1.    Flies-

This is quite a surprising fact, however, flies are attracted to other living flies of their species or other species or their specks attached to the walls or ceilings. This why it is important to remove flies as soon as possible as more will join. If you have a leak in your drains, it should get fixed by a plumber as soon as possible or you could get a lot of flies in your house. If you want to stop attracting more flies to your home, a solution of borax and water will do wonders. Just dip a sponge and clean off your walls, especially the flyspecks.

2.    Food and Garbage-

Flies like to eat a lot of things that we also enjoy eating. For this reason, they tend to land on our food.

Now, this does not need anyone to research and give you data. You would have seen a swarm of flies gorging over the garbage collection point in your apartment or when you take your trash out. Houseflies (Musca domestica Linnaeus) and blowflies (Calliphoridae) are the most common ones found in the garbage area of our households. They even lay eggs in the meat and vegetable scraps left out from your previous meal. Ensure that your children and other members in the family do not waste food and throw it in the trash. Keep the lid of your trashcan tightly secured and empty it regularly.

You must have seen flies hovering around an over-ripe bunch of bananas or grapes on your dining table. Flies love the concept of rotten items and get attracted to them. Keep your windows closed to ensure that the flies don’t swarm in. Use a fly trap to kill them if there is a need to do so. This is also why you have to clean garbage disposals often.

3.    Clogged drains and sewage

Drains that are clogged with organic matters like leaves, flowers, hair etc. become the natural breeding grounds for flies. Even food particles from the kitchen often get stuck in the underground drains and attract flies to it. Plumbers can often easily fix clogged drains with an auger or water jets. Leaks can also attract flies as they like decaying matter such as poop. You have to remove the source of what attracts them and clean it with enzymes to get them completely away. Most people don’t clean enough and the flies reappear soon after.

4.    Dead animals-

Dead lizards, mice, etc. often die inside the house behind heavy furniture and start attracting blowflies. They are attracted to fresh carcasses and very soon they will eat away the animal. Have mouse traps and other types of insect and pest control mechanisms to ensure that your home is safe from all types of rodents, pests, and flies.

They are doing their role in the food chain and removing them by eating the animals.

5.    Pet poop-

Do not allow your pets to poop inside your home and dispose of any animal excreta immediately. If you have caged birds, clean their droppings immediately or you could get a huge collection of flies in your house.

It is also a good idea to call professional pest control services once a year and get complete pest control done for your entire house and farm areas. Keep your kitchen and bathrooms clean and do not leave food items in the open.

Lifespan of flies

Flies can live a long time so you will have to take action if you want to get rid of them. The following video discusses some options on how to do this.

Houseflies like many other insects pass through four distinct stages. The complete metamorphosis starts with an egg and moves towards the larval or maggot stage. Then come the pupal and adult stages. Contradictory to the popular belief that a housefly dies within 24 hours, the researchers have concluded that adult female houseflies live up to 25 days.

This again depends a lot on the region and temperature conditions. Since flies are found in every part of the world with extreme to moderate climatic conditions, their life expectancy changes as per the regions. The total lifespan including all the four stages is between 21-117 days.

Flies grow faster in hot and humid regions. Hence in colder climates, they tend to live for longer durations. There is another important fact associated with the life expectancy of house flies. Flies living in warm homes and laboratories tend to live longer than their friends who dwell in the wild. They get ample food to gorge on and grow constantly in homes. However, if they do not get food for more than three days, they die.

Under suboptimal (below the optimal conditions meant for the survival of flies) conditions the houseflies can even live up to two months. This happens normally in extremely cold climates. Under the manure piles, houseflies overwinter in larval or pupal stages. Hence, during the winter months, you might have observed that there are a lesser number of flies if you are hosting a barbeque party or picnic outdoors.

The lifespan of other types of flies varies. Adult fruit flies live between 16-30 days just like house flies, however, their total life in all four stages is between 35-61 days. Adult drain flies which irritate the cleaners the most while cleaning the drains live between 7-14 days only. Including all four stages, they live between 17-31 days.


Every coin has two sides and in the same way, flies are important for the ecosystem for various reasons. At the same time, they carry pathogens on their feet which cause cholera, dysentery, certain helminth infections, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, trachoma (eye infection), typhoid fever, epidemic conjunctivitis, and many other diseases. If we keep our environment clean, we will not face problems caused by the population of different types of flies. 









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