Flies are no less than a nuisance. Not only do they constantly buzz around you, but they can also contaminate your food and affect your business if it is part of the food & beverage industry.
Despite all this, flies are not completely useless. There are a few things that make them useful.
Here, we discuss what flies are good for.
What people generally think of flies
According to the vast majority of the human population, flies have nothing good to offer. In fact, most people see them as annoying creatures that are best dead.
We don’t blame them considering how flies can ruin a perfectly planned summer afternoon.
Imagine it’s a warm summer afternoon and you are all set for a nice outdoor brunch/lunch with your family. You have everything perfectly set up in your backyard for the outdoor picnic.
You’ve got the BBQ grill out and have your sausages and burger patties lined up perfectly on them. You’ve also grabbed drinks for each member of your family from the fridge.
The table is out as well and you’re all set to put food on it. However, as soon as you place food on the table outdoors, flies come flying in, buzzing in your ears and trying to get a taste of your food.
You swat them away but they keep coming back.
Ultimately, you get tired of all the swatting and decide to take the food indoors. Your perfectly planned family brunch/lunch is now ruined.
This perfectly explains why flies are loathed the world over and why people prefer them dead.
While the bad reputation of flies is justified, there are some qualities of flies that make them useful and are the reasons we need them in this world. We will be discussing what flies are good for next.
What are flies good for?
So, we are finally ready to answer the million-dollar question: what are flies good for? Before we answer this, it is important to understand that flies are unique creatures that feed, breed, and do other things in ways that are completely different from ours.
It is important to make this distinction because we don’t want you to have the same expectations from flies that you have from fellow human beings. They will behave and be useful in ways that are completely different from us.
Another important thing to know is that flies do not choose summer as the time of year to annoy us on their own. Instead, the combination of rising temperatures, availability of food sources, and rainfall provide flies with the perfect environment to overpopulate and irritate us.
Also, the flies that we come across during the summers are young adults. Not only are these young flies hungry and increasingly mobile, but they are also sex-obsessed.
Therefore, they can go searching for food and sex to all the places that they can possible fly to. This can include your home, workplace, store, gym, or any other place you go to.
With all this clear, we can finally move onto the things that flies are good for. The following are the things that make flies useful.
For many plants, some flies can work as pollinators. Flies that can pollinate plants such as different types of flowers include hoverflies, bee flies, and other flies that can mimic bees.
Although flies do not carry pollen as efficiently as bees, they can pollinate a variety of plants that are not visited by bees.
Flies often pollinate flowers that lack the nectar that helps to attract bees. These flowers come in many different colors ranging from dull and brown to red and purple.
Additionally, an unpleasant scent emanates from these flowers, like meat that is rotting. However, unlike bees, flies do not care about this and they start to pollinate them.
Some of the plants that true flies pollinate include shun cabbage, wild ginger, certain orchids, red trillium, jack-in-the-pulpit, paw-paw, and catnip. Also, the chocolate-producing seed pods would not develop if they were no true flies pollinating the cacao tree.
Food for other beings
It is true that flies can be annoying as hell. However, before you go on a killing spree to eliminate all the flies at your home or office, keep in mind that many of the animals you love rely on flies for food.
This may include your pet dog. Animals that need to eat flies to survive include frogs, lizards, and birds.
While you may not be a fan of lizards or frogs, you would surely want the birds to keep flying in the air.
Not only do flies play a key role in the web of life, but they also play a part in the food we eat. While you may not like flies contaminating your pork sausage, they could be the reason you have a sausage in the first place.
This is because many pigs eat flies for survival.
Humans in most parts of the world aren’t quite ready to eat flies themselves. However, they can feed these flies to farmed animals that we rely on for our own food.
Additionally, new research shows that there is potential to fully replace conventional agricultural feed with black solider fly feed,
According to various studies, this is a suitable feed for alligators, pigs, farmed seafood like prawns, Atlantic salmon, and blue tilapia, and chickens. More importantly, the feed does not adversely affect the health of these animals.
Part of the cleanup crew of nature, flies and their larvae can serve as excellent decomposers, making them incredibly valuable despite how disgusting they look. For example, eggs are laid by blow flies in carcasses that are rotting.
As the decomposing flesh is feed for maggots (the larvae of flies), this helps to disintegrate the organic material into its elements. The nutrients are released back into the soil by their digestive processes.
In order to allow maggots to feed, other flies lay their eggs in manure. This helps disintegrated the manure.
The nutrients for fungi, bacteria, and plants to use are released by these decomposers to complete the chain of food.
This may sound perplexing at first. You may be thinking how can these annoying, blood-sucking tiny creatures have any medical benefits at all?
Well, you’re not alone! There are many people like you out there who are completely unaware of the healing benefits of flies.
Did you know that you can use maggots to heal wounds of the gangrenous nature without using antibiotics? You probably didn’t.
You will be astonished to know that soldiers that took part in the American Civil War were the first people to get maggots-based treatment for wound healing. Yes, the first use of maggots for healing dates back decades.
By applying the larvae of sheep blow fly to the infected area, you can treat bedsores, diabetic ulcers, and other wounds. The larvae use their saliva with antibacterial properties to clean the wound and trigger the fast development of new tissue by eating the infected tissue.
However, it is important that you do not try this at home on your own. Generally, trained nurses supervise the patients getting maggot treatment for wound healing.
The progress of the maggots cleaning the wound is monitored by these nurses for safety and effectiveness. The larvae simply fall out once their work is done.
While most flies are annoying and downright disgusting, there are some flies that you simply cannot take your eyes of. This may be hard to believe for some but it is true.
An example of this is Lecomyia notha soldier fly, a species of flies found in the Australian state of Queensland.
What makes this fly so attractive? It has a purple exoskeleton that shines, making it appear like an opal galaxy.
— Dr Bryan Lessard (@BrytheFlyGuy) September 15, 2016
After going through millions of insect specimens, an insect researcher having expertise in flies who was doing his research in Canberra’s Australian National Insect Collection singled out a species of flies that he found as incredibly attractive. The fly he singled out was species with a rear-end that was bright and golden.
The researcher decided to give it a name. The name he gave as Plinthina beyonceae, named after the popular singer Beyoncé.
Kids, behold the "Beyoncé" fly.
Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae https://t.co/pi4gU3jz72
— Kevin (@kpmrqz) April 17, 2019
While you may think of flies are disgusting little creatures that need to be swatted away or eliminated, they have some pretty incredible uses that make them a valuable part of our world. Some of the reasons we need flies in this world have been discussed above.
Maybe you’d want to remind yourself of one of these reasons whenever the thought of eliminating flies completely from the face of earth comes to your mind.