The word ‘’flies’’ does not bring out very positive emotions within us. The image which comes to our mind when we hear this word is a bunch of insects buzzing and creating an irritating noise. Since they are known to transmit dirt, people try to remain away from flies.
Homeowners install flycatchers at home, and restaurant owners dread flies. They install electrical flycatchers to catch flies to ensure they do not fall in food items and spoil them. They incur huge losses when flies fall in a huge pile of cooked soup, curries, or milk.
However, nature never gives birth to anything which is not important for the environment. Did you ever wonder why do flies exist? What purpose do they serve to humankind by being in the environment?
It is a known fact that flies carry poop and other dirt. They also cause harm to the industries by spoiling cooked food in packaging industries and restaurants. However, there are many benefits that make them important for the existence of the human species. Let’s have a look at them.
Why do flies exist in nature?
Help in decomposition
Flies play a significant role in the ecosystem. Flies help in the decomposition of decaying organic matter. You must have observed a dead rat in your garden vanishing within days. A fly would land on the body of the rat and lay some eggs. Maggots would hatch and eat away the corpse leaving only the bones and hair of the rat. Hence they play an important role in the ecosystem as scavengers. They clean up the dead bodies of animals this way and do not allow the rot to spoil the environment.
A lot of animals eat flies as well. For example, frogs tend to eat a lot of flies. Frogs are eaten by birds and so on. If flies stop existing today, many other creatures will die creating total chaos in the food chain. The animals which are much advanced in the food chain and do not eat flies too will be wiped out if flies become extinct today. Animals interact with each other and if one species get removed from the ecosystem, we could see a big impact on the rest of it.
Aid in pollination
If you have a beautiful garden full of beautiful pansies, daisies, roses, and lilies, you should thank flies for their existence. If you thought only butterflies and honeybees aid in pollinating, then you are completely incorrect with your information.
In reality, honeybees pack the pollen away in special baskets attached to their insect legs and convert them into honey. Hence the pollen grains will not available for pollinating the next flower when a honeybee collects them. However, flies don’t have the baskets attached to their insect legs and hence when they sit on a flower to suck the nectar, the pollen grains get attached to them.
When they move to the next flower, they pollinate it and that’s the way flowers reproduce. Since they are very hairy, they can carry a lot of pollen grains at a time.
Hence, we should thank all types of flies for the food on our plates. They were all possible because of the pollination done by these myriad types of flies.
Clean the excreta of other animals
You might have seen flies sitting on the poop of dogs left on the roads. It is quite true. They extract nutrients from the excreta of higher animals and thus help in cleaning the environment naturally.
They also gorge on our household waste and if you check out any landfill, you will see it swarming with different types of flies. The black soldier fly sits at the top of the list for eating the waste created by human beings. They give birth to 600 larvae per day and each larva can consume half a gram of organic matter each day. They can also help to clean up your septic system if you live in a rural area. This makes it easier to process poop and wastewater. A lot of this gets turned into nutrients by flies so they are very useful.
There are several types of flies. If you have drain flies in your home, it can indicate that there is a problem with your plumbing system. It might be needed to repair a leak in your drains or to get them cleaned. A plumber can do this for you if you don’t know where to begin. It can also indicate that your septic tank is full and needs to get pumped empty.
You might be surprised to read this as I was when I was researching this topic. We have known that flies evolve from maggots. These maggots are turned into food as well. They actually taste quite good. Some compare the flavor to that of chicken. They have to be prepared properly though so don’t eat raw ones.
We human beings think that we are the most superior creatures on this earth. We often negate the importance of microorganisms, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and other mammals. However, the entire food chain will be disrupted if they were not there. We may hate mosquitoes, flies, and moths, however, what will lizards, frogs, and snakes eat if they are non-existent.
Hence, we humans need to respect each and every creature on this planet and try to protect them. Many species have become extinct due to our greed, and that has impacted the ecosystem adversely. We need to remember that we need to co-exist with all other creatures that mother earth created for us. Let’s take an oath to be gentle to the other creatures. Not only to the dogs, cats, fishes, and horses which we like and keep as pets but also to annoying creatures like flies and moths.