All About Flies

The House Fly
Latin: Musca domestica

  • The average house fly lives on average 21 days.
  • A fly's wings beat 200 times per second.
  • Flies don't grow. They are born full size.
  • Flies have 4000 lenses in each eye.
  • Flies jump up and backwards when taking off.
  • Average speed of a fly in flight is 4.5 m.p.h..
  • Flies smell with their antennae
Flies are depicted in the oldest writings from the ancient world. Hieroglyphics from Egypt (pictured here)chronicle these tormentors along the nile. Flies are referenced in the Bible as one of the plagues Moses brought down upon the house of Pharaoh. They have even been taken aboard the space shuttle into outer space.

How on earth did N.A.S.A make the tiny little space suits for them?
Ever since the first winged insect lifted itself off the ground 300 million years ago there has never been a more efficient distributor of disease. Yet even today, existing protective measures can be piecemeal and inadequate because they assume all winged insects behave the same way.

The house fly has capabilities that rival some of the best defence industry innovations. Its compound eyes, chemosensory organs, wings, and motion detection abilities, coupled with high reproductive rates and advanced external digestion process, combine to make the house fly one of the world's most successful insects.

Flies are fast - just try to catch one! Their wings beat about 200 times per second and are are the source of the buzzing noise that accompanies a close encounter with a house fly. Development of the wings occurs during the pupal stage of the fly life cycle.One of the things that separate Flies ( Diptera) from other flying insects are their wings. Flies are the only insects that have only two. All other insects have four wings.Flies don't bite or sting. They have neither teeth nor a stinger. Flies thrust a needle like spike   into their victims and injects a digestive juice that breaks down the victims cell tissue. They then suck the liquid in to injest it.

The Wasp

Wasp is the common name applied to most species of hymenopteran insects (see Hymenoptera), except bees and ants .About 75,000 species of wasps are known, most of themparasitic (see Chalcid; Ichneumon).

Wasp Characteristics

Wasps are characterized by two pairs of membranous wings and an ovipositor (tube for laying eggs) that may be modified in various ways. In some species one sex may be wingless. In the vegetarian sawflies, the abdomen is broadly attached to the thorax and the ovipositor is rigid; in the higher wasps, the abdomen is flexibly attached to the thorax and the ovipositor is movable. The larvae of parasitic wasps consume the bodies of other insects or, in a few cases, consume plant tissue. Most stinging wasps are predators or scavengers; their ovipositors may be modified to inject venom used for killing prey or for defense.

Where and How Wasps Live

Unlike social wasps, sawflies and parasitic wasps are free-living-that is, they do not build nests. After depositing their eggs on a host plant or animal, the adult wasps fly off in search of food for themselves or more hosts for their larvae. The eggs are left to develop and hatch on their own. However, some stinging wasps live in societies that are more complex than those of social bees and ants.

Nest Building in Wasps
The stinging wasps rely on a nest from which they conduct many of their activities, especially rearing young. Wasp nests may be as simple as a straight burrow in the ground, like those made by the females of many digger wasps.

Some wasp nests, such as those of mud daubers and potter wasps, are above ground, constructed of mud cavities attached to twigs, rocks, or human structures. The simplest mud nests contain only one or a few larval cells and are not used by the adults. Other mud nests contain many cells arranged side by side.

Among the most intricate nests are those made of paper fibers collected from dry wood and bark and mixed with the wasps' saliva. The vespoid wasps (yellow jackets, hornets, and paper wasps) build nests of this type. In each paper-fiber nest there are one or more combs, or densely packed arrays of larval cells.

The adults may congregate on the combs, and some nests have an outer cover, forming a protective refuge for the whole colony. This is the familiar "hornet's nest" that may house hundreds or thousands of individuals.

The Moth

There are numerous species of moth and they can be a problem for stored food products, mainly through the risk of foreign bodies. Moths are attracted to UVA, although green light is often an even stronger attractant.

The Mosquito

Over 2 million people die each year as a result of contracting malaria which makes the mosquito the most dangerous creature in the world. As climate changes, mosquitoes are becoming more of a problem in Europe. Females tend to detect CO2, body pheromones, warmth and moisture.

All are attracted to UVA and green light, so a combination of protective measures will alleviate the problem.