The housefly, Musca domestica, is the most common of domestic flies. Originally from central Asia, they are now one of the most widely distributed insects, found associated with humans all over the world. Houseflies feed and breed in animal feces and garbage, and also commonly visit human foods. Their legless maggots feed directly on the material in which the eggs were laid. Adult flies have sponge-sucking mouthparts that allow them to eat only liquid foods; they eject saliva to break down solid foods. Although they do not bite, this species is a problematic pest as a vector for more than 100 serious pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes), including those causing typhoid, cholera, salmonellosis, dysentery, tuberculosis, anthrax, and parasitic worms, carried to human food on the fly’s body parts or in its regurgitations or defecations. Control of houseflies especially in poor countries with inadequate sewage facilities and sanitation is an important public health concern. Houseflies breed readily, a female can lay up to 500 eggs, and in tropical areas this species undergoes up to 20 generations/year. Two other fly species are similar and often confused with the housefly: Fannia canicularis, the lesser housefly and the stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans. (Sanchez-Arroyo and Capinera 2008; Wikipedia 2011)
- Sanchez-Arroyo, H. and J. L. Capinera, 2008. Housefly. University of Florida/IFAS Featured Creatures. Publication EENY-48. Retrieved January 2, 2012 from http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/flies/house_fly.htm">http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/flies/house_fly.htm">http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/flies/house_fly.htm
- Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 14 December, 2011. “Housefly”. Retrieved January 2, 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Housefly&oldid=465867645
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