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10 Things About Flies You May Not Know

Updated on June 13, 2011

Do You Swat Flies?

An alternative look at the common fly. As humans we tend to make judgements based on the information we have been given over the years. If you were a child seeing a fly for the first time would you be grossed out by a fly? or be utterly fascinated? Flies are far more important than we give them credit for.

An Alternative View

Have you ever watched the mating dance of two flies? I did this afternoon. I find it amazing how fascinating life can be when you get down to ground level.

The humble fly. Many people swat flies away; kill them with fly spray; see them as a real pest. But did you know that some flies are pollinators? They are also master recyclers of food waste and yes, faeces. They are cleaners of the insect kingdom and we need those cleaners.

By getting down to nature's level we see such an avenue of beauty, interactions within and among species - far more in tune with their own essential nature; all working together for the greater good; the natural balance of this vibrant planet we live on.

They are in touch with something far greater than we can ever imagine.

As I watched these two flies doing a merry dance, I saw one fly (I assumed female) doing what I can only imagine was creating friction in her feet and legs, to me, a silent event but to the male fly perhaps creating a vibration that can only be felt or heard by him alone. He raced up and down a blade of grass moving in a figure of eight direction raising his wings and dropping them, raising his wings and dropping them. It was quite beautiful to watch. And I realised I wanted to share a new perspective on the 'common' fly and maybe this lens will encourage less swatting and more appreciation.

"One should pay attention to even the smallest crawling creature for these too may have a valuable lesson to teach us " - Black Elk

Ten Things About Flies You Many Not Know

10 Things About Flies You May Not Know:

1. Some flies pollinate flowers.

2. Flies recycle food waste (the cleaners), without flies the world be a much dirtier place to live in.

3. Without flies other species would become extinct : frogs, lizards, spiders,bats, dragonflies, fish and birds.

4. Decomposers :They encourage dead carcasses to decompose faster which then enriches the soil.

5. A fly cleans itself constantly (may change the unclean perceptions we may have of them).

6. They are water quality indicators.

7. In areas of the world which have a lack of bees to polinate flowers (arctic & alpine regions) flies act as pollinators.

8. There is no protection for many fly species. This could be because the pesticide industry is such a big business and perhaps they are not classed as the more media friendly cute creatures for such a protection.

9. The use of pesticides on crops to try to kill flies and insects is actually causing more damage to the ecosystem than the flies themselves.

10. For the gardeners amongst you the maggots of hover flies feed on aphids reducing what gardeners could see as pests.

How About A Little Love

Now as I am no expert, I would just like to add, most information on flies tends to be negative on the internet. We have been brainwashed to see only the 'bad' side of these amazing creatures. Yes, they may carry disease, eat faeces and bite sometimes, but they also do a number of things we could all do with bearing in mind. And swarms of flies tend to indicate an imbalance in the environment so perhaps we could look to the environment instead of the indicator.

And so the next time a fly comes into your home, talk to it (smile) and watch what it does. They also respond well to love.

Great Stuff on Amazon

An excellent book for unveiling a new perspective on the small creatures of this world.

The Voice of the Infinite in the Small: Re-Visioning the Insect-Human Connection
The Voice of the Infinite in the Small: Re-Visioning the Insect-Human Connection

"In this excellent book you have the opportunity to visit with Oneness, learning that All life is One, and that the way we treat tiny creatures in our lives affects the way we treat ourselves, the larger creatures. Oneness is not special treatment for certain selected animals or birds that register well on our scale of judgement; it is the recognition that all life walks with the sacred footprint of the infinite, and that within this footprint we step into our own future." Michael J. Roads, Author of Talking With Nature.


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Hi There, I am new to Squidoo but look forward to the interaction. Hope you like my lens on the fly.

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    • profile image

      FlyKlr lol 18 months ago

      Thanks for the info. Still hate them.

    • profile image

      Sara 2 years ago

      Number 1 and number 7 are the same.... Maybe you were reaching. This should be 9 things about flies you didnt know. And theres no dead shit in my house or flowers to pollunate because my house is not nature. So if they come in here there as good as dead.

    • profile image

      Megan 2 years ago

      Good job! I really learned a lot!

    • profile image

      Annoyed cleaner 2 years ago

      Flies are an important part of our ecosystem. However, it would be wonderful if the one flying above my head right now could kindly F off. For some reason there are more and more dead flies on my floor each day and it is only the beginning of march.

      Maybe I would be able to appreciate their job a little more if they could do there's and leave me and my clean floor alone.

    • profile image

      Jamie 2 years ago

      I appreciate what flies do for the environment and for the good of the world. But why do they have to be so annoying?

    • Bulbs1 profile image

      Bulbs1 5 years ago

      Love it. Maybe I'll be nicer to flies now.

    • profile image

      Renahime 5 years ago

      Actually, I already knew these thing.

      As a child i didn't watch cartoons and play in the mud.

      I satyed in and nerded out.

      I spent my childhood with animal planet, national geographic, and discovery channel. My big brother actually blocked these channels because he thought they were boring :'D

      But it's nice to see someone with a kind spirit toward the little guys.

      Also, I really like your page<3

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      Interesting Lens!

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 6 years ago

      Cute lens. Let's hear it for the lies of the world!

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile image

      Kelly Martin 6 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @Runnn: Hello Runnn, I think (correct me if I am wrong) your question is about how they come into the scheme of things in the top ten info on flies I posted? If so, birds and fish eat flies and the web of life needs the little flying critters to keep the balance in nature. No flies, no birds or other creatures that have them as their main food source. Hope this has answered your question. If not let me know, I am only too happy to find out more for you. Hugs x

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile image

      Kelly Martin 6 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @anonymous: Your Grandma sounds amazing. I must write on my perculiar love affair with nature, its getting worse lol!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      It's Winter in Australia at the moment so I can say that I don't mind them. But come Summer, I'll probably change my mind. Another thing about flies is that they can fly through walls. How else could they get inside so frequently?!! ;-)

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile image

      Kelly Martin 6 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @GonnaFly: LOL Totally understand. Yes summer is interesting. We have just begun summer in the UK and I notice and increase in flies. I am still learning to love them there is one fly I need to find out more about though its the flies that come out when its really humid they are tiny, look like little black lines and you don't even notice when they land on you. They tickle me and I end up squishing them unfortunately. So must find out their purpose lol!

    • profile image

      Runnn 6 years ago

      Curious to know what is the relation between flies and bird, fish etc.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Black Hawk had a lot of wisdom....and so do you. I love your appreciation of the little ones, you remind me of my Grandma, who would say something like, "Everyone has to eat".

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile image

      Kelly Martin 6 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @GrowWear: Glad to hear you don't kill them (smile), they can be a nuisance sometimes, I'm such a nature nerd though I tend to talk to them and ask them to leave my vicinity, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I feel sad when they are stuck in my flat and can't find a route around the window, all they see is sky and don't get that its glass. Aww bless!

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Well, I didn't know all these facts, but I don't like to kill them. They can be some aggravating little guys at times, though.

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile image

      Kelly Martin 6 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @arpak12: Hi arpak12, totally understand, many people are disgusted by insects. I used to be. I started spending a lot more time walking in nature and also I started playing with my camera and doing close up shots of insects. After a while I developed a healthy respect for them and after that I began to kinda like them and some I love now. Some insects I am still working on though - cockroaches is one lol! I may do a lense one day on that, I need to embrace that phobia of cockroaches.

    • arpak12 profile image

      arpak12 6 years ago

      I never knew they cleaned themselves. It's pretty interesting, but I am still very disgusted by them, and every other insect.

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile image

      Kelly Martin 6 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @Virginia Allain: Thankyou Vallain, I am new to squidoo so really appreciate the lovely angel blessing. I am learning to love the insect kingdom and I wanted to share something very few people consider about the humble fly.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I liked it so much that I'm leaving a Squidoo angel blessing on it. I'll feature it on my lens, Best Insect Pages on Squidoo. What is so great about this lens is your personal observations of the fly's behavior makes this a unique page.

    • KellyMartinSpeaks profile image

      Kelly Martin 6 years ago from GLOUCESTER

      @elyria: Thankyou Elyria, glad you enjoyed it. You are my first comment on a lens and I got to see the squidoo roar! LOL! made me smile heaps, thanks again :-)

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 6 years ago

      Fun Lens and I learned something new!