Do flies really vomit on food when they land? — Veronica’s student essay
Do Flies Really Vomit on Food When They Land?
Flies are quite interesting critters. They are always spotted next to a smelly item and seen by people when they are near their meals. They are almost always first heard by their irritable bzzz noise before they are seen, and when they are spotted they are seen as a nasty presence. They are unwanted creatures and seen as a nuisance. Is this treatment deserved? The shirt answer is absolutely; they are not a dinner guest you would want to invite. Flies are some what known that they vomit on the food they land on.
When most flies feel like eating they land on an item they see as tasty and have to go through a process that involves vomiting up a combination of stomach acid and saliva. The nasty concoction hold digestive properties consisting of acids, this makes the vomit strong enough to break down the food into a liquid to be more consumed.
In order to drink up this liquid meal they have a long tongue like mouthpart that serves as a type of straw. The mouthpiece even have sponge-like ends that soaks up their liquid meal, this allows for everything to be gathered and consumed. Nothing goes to waste with these little guys.
Not all flies are the same, meaning they do not have the same eating process. Certain flies like the house fly do not have a mouth piece that allows them to take in their liquidated food so they scrape up their food with a hook like attachment into their mouth. Another fly with different eating habits are drain flies they grow from another type of food sources; the slime in peoples drains. They target this sludge because it is easily consumable, since they also do not have a mouth piece.
The eating habits of flies are not always common knowledge and it is thought that flies vomiting on food is a myth. Being able to identify the fly to know if they are the ones using the vomit eating process is next to impossible.
These processes explains the swatting hands at a barbecue or the hands wafting air over meals being eaten outside. Unfortunately their gross presence does not necessarily mean that being annoyed is the only concern with these insects, in fact a flies eating process can make people sick if they eat after a fly lands on their food.
This part may seem self-explanatory, however when a flies lands on the food people are eating they have to land on the food with their feet. The places and items flies visit are known to be unsanitary; this meaning that they can carry different types of diseases. This does not come as a shock when you realize that they are spotted near old food, animal waste, as well as garbage; they are most likely to pick up something harmful to humans. If anything is taken from this the stigma around flies is warranted and yes, flies do vomit on their food to consume it.
Author: Veronica Schaffer
Florida Atlantic University
Every year Thrive Pest Control hosts an essay contest and the reward is a 1-year scholarship at a 4-year university in the United States. This blog post is one of those scholarships.
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