Pest Control

Why Do Flies Rub Their Legs Together?

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If you look closely at the behavior of a fly, You definitely notice they rub their legs when they land on a surface (table, food or human body). But why do flies rub their legs together like that? It’s like they are trying to do something unpleasant. Let’s find out the answer here.

Why Do Flies Rub Their Legs Together

Why do flies rub their legs together?

Flies tend to rub their legs together to clean them. They usually use their compound eyes, bristles, and antennae to feel the senses. Hence it is important that they keep these organs clean so that they can go in search of food and mates whilst avoiding the predators. 

They usually spend a lot of time cleaning their bodies. During this cleaning process, they do not  just rub their legs together. Instead, they run their legs over the bodies, heads, and wings. They pick up the dirt particles from their legs and they rub down their dirt along their legs.

What attracts flies

There are several things which attract flies. They are usually quite attractive towards decaying organic filth. However, you could commonly spot the flies during late spring, summer and in fall. They can invade your house due to numerous reasons. 

However, before identifying the reasons  for the fly’s invasion, it is important that you identify the fly’s species first.  For example, flies are fond of landing on  filth such as feces and decaying meat . On the other hand, if we consider the fruit flies, they are fond of invading the sugary substances.

You could commonly spot them in fruits which are overripe, spilled soda and on alcohol. On the other hand, if we consider the drain flies, they are attractive towards moist climates and to organic materials. However , if there are garbage cans which are open and if there are any animal carcasses in the walls or in attics, those are quite attractive towards the flies. 

Moreover , flies are attractive towards  manure or pet feces around yards too. Moreover, if you are on an outdoor picnic where you have arranged meat and sweets it would also attract the flies. Moreover, there are cluster flies which are attracted to home during certain times of the year since they invade your home for overwintering.

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Why Do Flies Rub Their Legs Together

They hate these

Flies hate the smell of peppermint oil. As aforesaid they have a strong sense of smell which they utilize to identify the food sources. Hence, if they smell the fragrances which they hate, they will not land in your house for any reason. 

For example flies hate peppermint oil. Using peppermint oil is a famous way of repelling the flies. It is effective and a natural way of overcoming this issue. You can simply place it in your garden where you suspect of any presence of the flies. 

Besides, you can use the dried-up peppermint leaves and keep them in your pouch. It will provide an extraordinary smell for them. Flies hate the basil oil smell too. Besides, if there are basil plants grown in your garden that would also help to repel the flies. 

You may place dried  basil leaves also to repel them. Flies hate the smell of pine oil as well. In addition to these, rosemary is also an effective deterrent of flies. Flies cannot stand the bold scent of rosemary and they can easily detect whenever they come across a rosemary scent. 

Flies hate the Rue plants too. If you place them near seating areas and food, flies will never bother to invade those places. As aforesaid, flies cannot bear the lavender smell as well. Humans are big fans of lavender smell.

Hence if you add lavender plants, it would be a pleasant experience for the humans and will keep the flies also at bay. You can simply grow the lavender plants in your yards for this purpose. Besides, you may also spray the lavender oil in the areas where you suspect the flies will be hanging around.

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In addition to these, flies cannot tolerate the Eucalyptus oil scent as well. Using Eucalyptus oil scent  is a common way of repelling the mosquitoes. Eucalyptus oil scent infuriates the senses of a fly, and it helps to keep them away from your house.

Why Do Flies Rub Their Legs Together

Special facts about flies

They can see from all directions

Flies have a broad vision, and they can see behind them as well. That is simply because they have amazing eyes. Flies comprise compound eyes which are quite similar to humans. They are quite special as those eyes will give you a 360  digress sight of everything. 

Consequently, it will allow them to see behind themselves too. However, their eyes do not move and that is something contrasting to human eyes. The ability to see in all directions allows them to navigate  and identify any risk of predators as well.

There are lot of fly species in the world

There are more than 110,000 fly species throughout the world. However out of all these the  most encountered fly species is the houseflies. You may come across bee flies, flower flies and robber flies in addition to that. There are other insects’ types of insects which are also called flies. 

However, this name only applies for the flies which are the members of the Diptera order. Diptera is a large insect order and it has more than 120,000 species included. Those species are usually tiny and carry soft bodies. 

Some of the fly species you may come across are as follows.

  • Anthomyiid flies (family Anthomyiidae)
  • Balloon flies (family Acroceridae)
  • Bat flies (families Nycteribiidae and Streblidae)
  • Black flies (family Simuliidae)
  • Blow flies (family Calliphoridae)
  • Bot flies (family Oestridae)
  • Crane flies (family Tipulidae)
  • Dung flies (family Scatophagidae)
  • Flesh flies (family Sarcophagidae)
  • Fruit flies (family Chloropidae)
  • Fruit flies (families Trypetidae and Drosophilidae)
  • Vinegar flies (genus Drosophila)
  • Fungus gnats (family Sciaridae and Mycetophilidae)
  • Gall midges (family Cecidomyiidae or Itonididae)
  • Hessian fly (Mayetiola destructor)
  • Horse flies (family Tabanidae)
  • Hover flies (family Syrphidae)
  • Humpbacked flies (family Phoridae)
  • Long-legged flies (family Dolichopodidae)
  • Louse flies (family Hippoboscidae)
  • March flies (family Bibionidae)
  • Marsh flies (family Sciomyzidae)
  • Midges (family Chironomidae)
  • Mosquitoes (family Culicidae)
  • Moth flies (family Psychodidae)
  • family Muscidae
  • Horn flies (Haematobia irritans)
  • Houseflies (Musca domestica)
  • Stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans)
  • Nonbiting midges (family Chironomidae)
  • Phantom midges (family Chaoboridae)
  • Picture-winged flies (family Otitidae)
  • Robber flies (family Asilidae)
  • Rust flies (family Psilidae)
  • Sand flies (family Phlebotomidae)
  • Shore flies (family Ephydridae)
  • Skippers (family Piophilidae)
  • Snipe flies (family Rhagionidae)
  • Soldier flies (family Stratiomyidae)
  • Stalk-eyed flies (family Diopsidae)
  • Stiletto flies (family Therevidae)
  • Tachinid flies (family Tachinidae)
  • Thick-headed flies (family Conopidae)
  • Tsetse flies (genus Glossina)
  • Warble flies (family Oestridae)
  • Window flies (family Scenopinidae)
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Why Do Flies Rub Their Legs Together

Humans and flies have some common DNA.

As per the researchers, flies have  genes which are similar to humans. If we elaborate further on this, fruit flies have about 60 percent identical DNA to humans. Many scientists use fruit flies to further elaborate on the diseases which humans may go through. Flies and humans have a close relationship as per the research conducted. 

Scientists have discovered that the way DNA is packed in the human body is similar to the flies’ DNA packed manner.

They are slower than you think

Usually, the cluster flies are slow moving. On the other hand, common house flies are fast movers. Flies have light body mass and that feature makes them slow animal species. Besides, they have a slow metabolic rate as well.

They have taste buds all over their body

Flies can taste food while using their feet. This is a common feature between the butterflies and the flies. They have taste receptors called chemonsensilla . You could find them located on the lower legs and on their feet. Once a fly invades a tasty meal, they would tend to roam around the food so that they can taste it before they consume. Be it animal feces to your lunch.

Credit to : Let’s Explain

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.