It is known that flies contaminate your food with at least the last meal they’ve been on. But it seems that the impact these tiny creatures cause is much larger than their size and a lot more complicated than you may think.
They can vomit on your food.
The average fly carries 200 different types of harmful bacteria, largely thanks to the various things they land on, such as rotting food and fecal matter.
Even if you swat one away as soon as it’s landed on your sandwich, the damage has already been done.
Thanks to thousands of tiny hairs on their arms and legs, the bacteria are quickly transferred to your food, which could pose a serious health risk according to a pest control expert.
What’s more, flies nearly always vomit on any food upon which they land.
Unable to chew, the insects have to throw up digestive enzymes onto the food to dissolve it and allow them to slurp it up.
Their legs and wings can turn your food into a nest of bacteria.
Scientists have discovered that flies carry more diseases than suspected.
The house fly and the blowfly together harbor more than 600 different bacteria, according to a DNA analysis.
Many are linked with human infections, including stomach bugs, blood poisoning and pneumonia.
Flies can spread bacteria from place-to-place on their legs, feet and wings, experiments show. In fact, every step taken by a fly can transfer live bacteria, researchers said.
”People had some notion that there were pathogens that were carried by flies but had no idea of the extent to which this is true and the extent to which they are transferred,” Prof Donald Bryant of Penn State University, a co-researcher on the study, told BBC News.
They can carry over 60 diseases.
Researchers suspect that house flies can harbor at least 65 illnesses that infect people. Some of the most common house fly diseases transmitted include food poisoning, dysentery, and diarrhea. These pests may also transmit the eggs of parasitic worms, which cause their own issues.
Other diseases carried by house flies include:
Of course, it’s hard to avoid any fly ever landing on your food again, so what can you do?
The best tactic is simply to cut off the part the fly has touched and throw it away. But you should be fine to continue eating the rest. Phew.