Fly Diet – What Do Flies Eat?

Have you ever wondered what do flies feed on? Do flies have any food preferences? Is there anything that flies do not eat?

Before going in depth on what do flies eat, we need to know that there are about 120,000 species of flies worldwide. Generally, flies are attracted to decaying organic items which includes fruits, vegetables, meat, animal and human faeces. However, the feeding habits of one species can be totally different from the other species.

Related article: What Is The Purpose Of Flies?

Diets of Common Flies Species

Here are some of the common types of flies’ species that can be seen in homes and businesses of Singapore.

House Flies feed on everything from all kinds of human food (over-ripened fruits, vegetables and sugary items), garbage to animal and human wastes. House flies rely on their sense of smell when they source for food, therefore, they are particularly attracted to pet waste because of the strong odour which is easier for them to find. As house flies do no have teeth or stinger, while feeding on solid food, they must liquify the food through regurgitation (spitting or vomiting). They are active during the day at the hottest hours and rest at night.

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Fruit Flies feed on the yeast cells that grow on rotting fruits and sugary substances. They are particularly attracted to ripened vegetables and fruits, especially bananas. Fruit flies also consumed fermenting liquids and alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, cider and vinegar.

Sand Flies consume sugar-related nutrients from plant nectar or honeydew. Female sand flies also feed on blood to produce eggs. Female sand flies mostly feed on blood during evening or night time, unless they are disturbed while resting, they will attack in the day time. They have long, piercing mouthparts that are well adapted for sucking the blood. Sand flies can be found at beaches, sandy riverbanks with an open habitat free of shading trees.

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Bluebottle Flies also known as blow flies. They feed on decaying flesh and organic substances. They also consume on flower nectar, plant sap and sugary materials. Bluebottle flies are seen hovering around dustbins and dead bodies.  As they eat decaying flesh, blue bottles flies in the house sometimes is an indication that there is a decomposing animal.

How to Prevent Attracting Flies to Houses

After understanding what do flies eat, there are several ways that we can do to prevent the attraction of flies to our homes.  Generally, flies are attracted to decaying organic items which includes fruits, vegetables, meat, animal and human faeces.

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Here are some of the methods to prevent attracting of flies:

  • Maintaining good housekeeping practices to eliminate the possible fly breeding sites
  • Store all food supplies in airtight containers or in the fridge
  • Clear food remains and spillages
  • Remove any decaying items and reduce dampness
  • Ensure that the garbage bins have tightly sealed lids
  • Wash garbage bins regularly
  • Keep outside areas clean and odour-free as odours attract flies
  •   Clean up after pets

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Smells that Flies are Afraid

There are also some herbs that flies detest. These are more environmentally friendly methods in keeping flies away.

>> Also read: Where Do Flies Go At Night

Basil: It releases slight fragrance scent that flies can’t stand. Basil can be easily grown and does not require much work to maintain.

Bay Leaf: It produces a subtle scent that flies detest. Bay leaf grows better in warmer months and can be brought indoors. Even the dried ones are equally effective in keeping flies away.

Lavender: It has a heavenly fragrance and the sweet smell repels flies. Hang lavender in bundles around your home. Dried lavender can also discourage flies from coming.

Mint: Both fresh and dried mint can repel flies. Grow mint near windows or other openings in your home.

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Rue: It repels flies, especially fruit flies thanks to its sedative and disinfectant properties. Crushed rue leaves can also be quite effective against flies but must handle with care as it may cause skin irritation for some individuals.