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Apparently cold weather changes their temperament........... ....
Member Name: pmcds
Advantages: Pollination, science, decomposition of organic matter
Disadvantages: Disease spreading, general annoyance, please dont vomit on me!
I'm not often provoked to write a review, but, for some strange reason, I have spent the odd minute here or there pondering this curious little insect. Before I went to Switzerland about 8 years ago, I hadn't given them a thought. I was sat there, in the Alps, in the bar I was working in, freezing cold in the middle of January, when a fly landed on the table next to me.
I watched it, curious, before slowly moving my finger towards it. It did nothing. Puzzled, I moved even closer, again slowly, until I was a mere inch or so away. It did nothing. In fact, it took me to need to give it a little shove before it moved, and even then it seemed more like it was to get rid of the annoyance of my finger, moving only a few more inches along the table.I felt like it was looking at me as if to say, 'What? Can't I just sit here in peace?' I guess it just wanted to regurgitate on the table and then eat it up again! Part of me would like to think it's the cold weather affecting its temperament, but it may just be that British flies follow the stigma of being British and are just too highly strung for no apparent reason!
However, fast forward to now, and I find myself sitting here in my front room, with the little things buzzing frenetically from here to there, on occasion. We keep a clean enough house, so I'm sure there's no infestation of them, but we tend to accept it as a general way of life. There are the stories of flies carrying around diseases, but then I suppose there's just as much danger of picking something up from another source. For example, studies have suggested that pots of peanuts put out on a bar for customers can contain a number of different traces of urine from people not washing their hands after going to the toilet.
So, are flies friends or foes? Well, I suppose we can't completely ignore the fact that the feeding habits of flies are responsible in part for spreading things such as malaria and sleeping sickness, but they are also a key part of pollination and the help decompose organic matter. Eating habits seem revolting, but they are for a purpose. They vomit on solids, which reduces them into liquid so they can ingest it. Their reactions are many times quicker than ours are, which is why they seem to know what we're going to do before we do it. Evasion techniques are employed by them, much to the frustration of a good fly swatter or rolled up newspaper. It's not worth getting worked up over, I find, as they only tend to live for a couple of weeks or a month or so
In catering, there are special contraptions (expensive) which attract the flies to them and then zap them. This id to conform with hygiene standards, although it can't be too humane to the poor things, as often the zapping can last for a good 5 to 10 seconds. Methods in the home range from the aforementioned flyswatters and newspapers to my method, which is usually pester them until they head for an open window.
I don't like harming them at all, although I'll occasionally lash out with a hand if one hovers too close or keeps landing on me. I don't have anything against them, but I'd rather it didn't start vomiting on my leg, thanks very much! They may only be less than 1cm long, but somehow this makes them more of an annoyance.
Flies can lay eggs in anything that is moist and warm, mainly manure, but often dead bodies, and often they are used to determine times of death for humans and creatures alike. So, there's another useful side to them. I suppose, everything has its use, and everything in the circle of life, or the food chain, has its place and would cause problems if they weren't there any more. I don't tend to get annoyed at flies any more, and more recently, I try to watch them if one lands near me, curious as to how it goes about its day. Naturally, I don't want my house overrun with them, so will maintain hygiene standards at home, but the common housefly has certainly piqued my curiosity.
Summary: My experience with houseflies..............
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