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How a house fly lives

|  June 29, 2020
Dr. Stuart Mitchell

Dr. Stuart Mitchell, BCE, Technical Director, PestWest USA

As dictated by a house fly (Musca domestica): I’m 0.4 inch long, weigh 0.0004 of an ounce, fly 4.5 mph with 15 mph bursts, and am usually most active from 2 to 4 p.m. I live up to 60 days, and disperse anywhere from 65 feet to 27 miles. I see with mosaic vision, hear-feel with bodily hairs, communicate with pheromones, taste with feet, and smell-locate your odorous food-filled dumpster with antennae. I’m the ultimate dumpster diver.

Because you don’t properly bag trash, flatten cardboard, rinse cans/bottles, or clean under, inside, and around the dumpster — nor do you keep the dumpster lid closed, keep the dumpster drainplug inserted, keep the dumpster enclosure clean, or locate the dumpster away from sensitive entrances — I land in the dumpster and ingest liquefied food particles less than 0.0017 of an inch with sponge-like mouthparts. If I’m female, I’ll also place 75 to 150 eggs. We’ll see you inside!

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