Spring is just around the corner now and one of the first signs of spring are houseflies. Have you ever wondered where they go during winter…to heaven usually. Some may survive winter, but only under extremely favourable conditions when they take shelter in your house or in barns where they can find warmth and food to survive and breed. Even under the best of circumstances, the normal life span of a housefly north of the equator is 7-21 days. Once the temperature falls below freezing they die off in droves, and contrary to most peoples belief that they hibernate or become dormant, this theory has proved to be untrue.
So where do those pesky flies come from that harass you on your first spring picnic? The few flies that we find in spring are descendants of the adult flies that found good hiding places during the previous winter. Any notion that flies migrate south during winter has been easily dispelled also..the average flight range of a housefly is 1/4 of a mile.
- House flies have been around for about 65 million years…way before we had houses!
- Buzz sound a fly makes come from its wings that flap at 200 beats per second.
- During World War 1, doctors discovered that housefly maggots help to clean
out open sores and help them to heal.
- They fly at about 4.5 mph and the females are slightly larger than males.
- Flies see the world like a wide angle mosaic. Their 2 big eyes are really 3,000 - 6,000 simple eyes that gives them an overall picture of what is around them but does not let them focus on detail. They have 3 more simple eyes on the tops of their heads that they use to know which way is up when flying!!
Alaskans swear that there are no houseflies in their state…let’s put that one down as a northern TALL tale…
Enjoy that first spring picnic with these fun facts about our dive bombing buddies eyeing up your potato salad.
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