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What Do Flies Eat and Drink?

Last Updated: 27.11.22


In case your house got invaded by flies, you should check out some fly killer reviews so you can get rid of them as fast as possible. But what do flies like to eat and drink so they keep coming? Some of them feed on overripe fruit or spilled drinks while other species can feed on blood.


What do fruit flies eat and drink?

Fruit flies are most active during the warmer seasons with bright days when they can carelessly fly looking for food. The ferment resulting from the decay of organic matter is attracting fruit flies to your house. They can sense this from several miles away so make sure to put the food into the fridge.

Since fruit flies are not armed with teeth or beaks, they will search for liquid food to eat. So ripe fruits, vegetables, alcohol, and virtually every decaying organic matter represent the main sources of food for fruit flies. 

If you left some fruit on the kitchen table for a long time, they will start to produce alcohol through the fermentation process which attracts fruit flies. Every time you have ripe fruits in a bowl or you forgot a glass of wine, the fruit flies will show up at your house. Fruit flies could also eat the accumulated gunk in unclean drains.



What else attract them besides food?

One day, you might find a large number of fruit flies in your living room. But there is no food so what attracted them? Well, fruit flies don’t need a big stimulus to show up. A drink spill that wasn’t cleaned properly or a decaying flower is good enough for them.


What do horse flies eat and drink?

In general, adult horse flies eat almost the same things as fruit flies. But female horse flies must have a meal made of blood before reproduction. They need the blood protein to support the big number of eggs they are laying. This makes their reproduction very efficient.


Horse fly bites

The good news is only female horse flies are equipped with mouthparts strong enough to bite through the animal skin. The bad news is that the bite is quite painful, especially in big specimens. Every person who has experienced a horse fly bite will tell you it hurts more than a mosquito bite. 


Horse flies are insistent creatures

Horse flies don’t give up easily on a meal once they found one. They will keep biting and feeding off the host until they either get killed or obtain enough blood. They even chase after their host for short distances to keep eating.

Before they lay eggs, female horse flies must eat approximately 0.5 milliliters of blood to support the reproduction stage. They can eat almost 200 milligrams of blood in several minutes which represents a big meal compared to their small size.



How do they eat?

The eating process is pretty similar to how ticks or mosquitos feed themselves when they find a host. The horse fly is highly adapted for the feeding process as it releases a chemical substance to stop the blood from clotting. This keeps the blood liquid at the surface of the skin so the horse fly can “mop it up”. 

These insects were used in traditional Chinese medicine due to their anti-clotting qualities.


How to keep horse flies away

Horse flies are most active during the summer when they enter the reproduction stage of their life. They generally live near trails or roads, especially in wooded areas, while they are looking for their next host. 

If you carry out your activity outdoors, wear a long-sleeved shirt to cover the skin. Avoid going through areas with high grass and wear shoes and long pants as they could be resting on the grass. Since horse flies are attracted to dark and moving animals, try to wear clothing that is light in color. Furthermore, avoid their feeding and breeding habitats such as lakes or ponds.

Don’t use a lot of cosmetic products that have a strong smell as it will attract flies. You could try using insect repellent, but it will not be as effective as you might expect. It will work against mosquitos, which may be present in the same areas as horse flies. If you want a good repellent, look for a repellent with 50% diethyltoluamide (DEET).


What do house flies eat and drink?

The house fly or the Musca domestica as it is known by scientists is one of the most common pests in the U.S. House flies are general feeders so they eat almost everything from spoiled aliments to fecal matters. Mostly they are attracted to sugary substances, animal feces, and ripe fruit.

House flies can’t eat solid food because of their sponging mouth so they have to liquefy the food. They do this by throwing up saliva kept in the stomach. The saliva dissolves the food until it becomes digestible and it is sucked up through the proboscis. 

Even though they use their mouth to eat, house flies taste the food with their feet. So they are always walking on the food so they can find the spoiled meat or fruit. Nobody wants insects to crawl on their food, especially flies since they constantly defecate.

Besides being gross, it’s also very unhealthy for humans. Scientists have found out house flies carry more than 100 pathogenic organisms. They are highly adapted for transmitting disease as they have many body hairs that can trap and harbor bacteria. House flies are responsible for transmitting cholera, diarrhea, salmonellosis, etc. 

It could be hard to correctly identify house flies as they are similar to other species of flies. However, as a distinct sign, they have four small black stripes visible between the abdomen and the neck.


How to get rid of them

If house flies started to gather around your home, you should act as fast as possible. Female house flies can lay up to 900 eggs during their lifetime. If you are looking for an effective solution, you should contact pest control professionals. However, there are a few things you can do on your own.

Clean the kitchen counters and throw away any spoiled food. Any spilled drink or sugary food will represent an open invitation for house flies. After you threw away the altered food, keep the garbage bin covered. Keep in mind, house flies are attracted by the smell of decaying food. 

Furthermore, clean up after your pets around your property so house flies don’t have anything to feed on. Also, make sure there is no pet food left out for a long time as house flies are attracted to its smell.



What do drain flies eat and drink?

It depends on the life stage. Most adults will eat rarely and when they do it, they usually eat nectar. They do not need a lot of energy as they only fly looking for a reproduction mate and maybe to lay eggs. So they need a small source of carbs and moisture and possibly some salts. 

They are attracted by a slow or clogged drain as the slimy substance that gathers there is their favorite feeding and breeding spot. In nature, drain flies gather, reproduce, and lay eggs in moisture-rich environments or standing water. So if you don’t clean and maintain those areas, they will attract the drain flies and give them a safe place to feed and develop. 


Signs of an infestation

The most notable signs of drain flies are the adults. In general, you can see them resting on the bathroom’s walls or close to the sink. If you take a closer look under the kitchen sink, you may spot some larvae.


How to get rid of them

These insects are annoying because they get into your home in large numbers. Once they found a good place to settle, they might plug pipes and carry bacteria from the slime they live in. During this process, they could contaminate your food. Even if these insects live in filth, no disease is transmitted by them to humans.

Usually, the best method is to remove their feeding and breeding place, which is the organic matter accumulated in the drain. Their developing site should be identified and thoroughly cleaned. The regular drain cleaner might not get the job done so you should look for something more efficient. 

Once you clean the drains, the problem is partially solved. You still have the adult drain flies roaming around the bathroom. They will live for another 20 days but the infestation should disappear as flies don’t have a place to lay their eggs.



Leave a comment



September 21, 2020 at 10:54 pm

do flies eat leaves fresh or dry?


September 22, 2020 at 9:16 am

Hi Kes. Based on my knowledge, flies prefer moist areas so I’d assume fresh leaves.


September 22, 2020 at 2:55 pm

Okay thank you.


September 23, 2020 at 8:38 am

My pleasure!

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