The Fly.


Alright audience, I'm prepping you early because this post will be disgusting. Vile. Gross. Today, Sunday is deep house cleaning day. Why? Because on Friday, while prepping mail due to a client (I often work from home) a humongous huge ginormous house fly landed on my table. Now, we get flies all the time. We live in the country on a seven acre estate, formerly an apple farm, turned nut farm (stop laughing, not that kind of 'nut' farm.) The farm is close to a marsh pond and two fairly big lakes. So flies, spiders, ants, insects in general are just part and parcel to our country life. Okay, back to Friday, the huge housefly lands on my table. I pick up my stapler and bang! bang! the fly is squished, success! But, wait, there are small grains of rice coming out of the fly? I pick up a napkin to clean up the murder victim. I take a closer look at those bug eyes and the sheer size of this bug. Then I see it, the rice is moving. Oh no! OMG, no they are maggots. Instantly, I screamed. My husband comes running. I hyperventilate. "Get me a towel." "Get the Clorox" "Get this thing out of here." My husband comes to the table with a paper towel, he screams too. Disgusting. Now, with living in the country I have become accustomed to bugs, wildlife and the like. I will even pick them up… snakes, chipmunks, spiders. But this was vile. This was disgusting. I was scarred for life. Readers, I will spare you the pain of what we saw. However, if you google fly with maggots, apparently there are some hard stomached people out there that have posted videos on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. Be forewarned though, it is worse that the Human Centipede. Which was gross.

For the second time that day, I jumped in the shower. Voraciously cleaning myself of the gross oddity I just discovered. My wonderful and thoughtful husband couldn't stop talking about how those flies go to corpses. We couldn't erase the image from our minds. Our household chant became eeeewww, gross, yuck, eeeewww, gross, yuck. Both my husband and were scarred for life. Its now been a few days later and I have been able to calm down and walk in the area of the "incident", my dining room. Last night I decided to do some research on the disgusting creature that graced my presence. What I learned was even more horrific. (all facts taken from Thank you Orkin for your generous education.)

House fly eggs look like small grains of rice (think Fried Rice, thank my husband for this mental image). Eggs hatch within 24 hours, and house fly larvae, commonly referred to as maggots emerge. The sole purpose of the house fly baby is to eat and store energy for their upcoming pupation. Larvae feed for approximately five days, after which they find dry, dark locations for pupal development. It becomes more gross, keep reading…

House fly larvae can be commonly found on rotting plant or animal material. If an animal dies, maggots will most likely feed on the corpse. These larvae also fall prey to many other species, including reptiles, birds and other insects. (A big thank you to the other wildlife on the farm) When entering the pupal stage, white larvae develop hard, dark outer shells. Within a few hours of emerging from the pupa case, females are capable of breeding. She is capable of depositing almost a thousand eggs in her lifetime. Welcome to your worst pest nightmare.

Fly pupae are similar in function to butterfly cocoons (not the mental image I wished to have, but I’ll take it): their hard, brown shells protect the inactive, developing flies. Over the course of three to six days, the pupae sprout three pairs of legs and develop a pair of wings, ultimately emerging as full-grown house flies. The baby becomes a teenager. Now they can drive.

The average life span for a house fly in the wild is less than one month. House flies cease growth after emerging from their pupae. Now the fly gets a little interesting. House flies are covered with small hairs that serve as taste organs. Their compound eyes are extremely complex: thousands of individual lenses allow them a wide field of vision. Compound eyes are capable of detecting both the polarization of light and color spectrums unseen by humans.

House fly eyes can recognize even the slightest movements in a wide field. This allows the fly to see a far wider range, as well as detect and react to movement at a quicker pace than species with simple eyes. This is the reason that it is extremely difficult to swat a house fly. House flies are meticulous in their grooming, particularly around their eyes. These flies use their forelegs to remove any material that has come into contact with the eyes.

But, the house fly does not stay interesting for long. House flies are major carriers of disease. They are known to transfer over 100 pathogens resulting in ailments, including typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera and dysentery. House flies collect these pathogens on their legs and mouths when feeding on feces, trash and other decaying material. Absolutely disgusting.

While this was one isolated house fly incident and I haven’t seen any inside since then, today, Sunday, I took out my toothbrush and began scrubbing the house. We will not get cholera, but at least I can eradicate the thought from my mind. So with that, I skipped yoga and am going right to cleaning. Thank you house fly whom I named spawn, for ruining my Sunday.



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