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Do Flies Bite?

Need to get rid of flies? Read on to learn the answers to all of your important questions. Need help? Call our professionals today to get started.

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Why Do Flies Bite?

All flies belong to the insect order Diptera, an extensive order containing an estimated 1,000,000 species, though only about 125,000 have been classified. Of these thousands of species, only certain species bite. Biting flies are parasitic, meaning that they survive by ingesting blood meals from animal hosts. 

Additionally, many species of fly females cannot produce eggs without a proper blood meal. Deer flies, horse flies, stable flies, black flies, biting midges, sand flies, and mosquitos are some of the more common parasitic members of the fly family.   

What Are Biting Flies?

All insects of the order Diptera use only one pair of wings to fly, as opposed to most other flying insects that have four wings. All members of Diptera have a mobile head with one pair of compound eyes and mouthparts that are designed for piercing and sucking in some species of fly, or in others, designed for lapping and sucking. This “piercing and sucking” is what we refer to when we talk about flies “biting.”  

How Do Flies Bite?

Biting flies, including mosquitos, find humans and other animals by sensing specific elements, such as carbon dioxide, in the exhalations of those animals. They also search for movement, warmth and perspiration. If a host is found, a fly will bite by inserting those mouthparts that are designed for piercing, making a laceration in the skin, and injecting an anticoagulant-containing saliva into the blood. This anticoagulant stops the blood from clotting, enabling the blood of the victim to continue to flow into the fly’s mouth. 

People who are sensitive to fly bites (including mosquito bites) do not react to the laceration, but rather, have an allergic reaction to the anticoagulant in the saliva. Certain individuals can be so sensitive that this allergic reaction can become life-threatening. 

Are Fly Bites Dangerous?

While most of us have experienced a fly or mosquito bite or two in our lifetimes, the presence of biting flies in or around your home can present a serious danger to those you love if certain conditions are present. 

For example, common houseflies are carriers for many food-borne illnesses. Outside of humans, many flies like tsetse flies and screwworms are known to cause significant economic harm to cattle herds. 

To make sure you and your family are protected from the dangerous outcomes of fly bites, call a pest control specialist to set up a comprehensive plan for mosquito and fly control for your home. 

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If you are concerned about fly control for your home, please give us a call or fill out the form on this page. is a team of experts who are highly qualified to provide the best recommendations for you and your home, no matter which part of the United States you live in.

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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