Most people view flies as pests. They buzz in your ear, land on your food or crawl in your house. But, did you know that those annoying flies make a tasty dinner for many animals, such as birds, frogs and snakes? Even pesky flies have a purpose.
Most flying insects have four wings, but flies have two. They can fly up and down, side to side and even backwards. Flies have hairy, sticky feet and can stick to almost any surface. They can even walk across your ceiling.
Fun Facts About Flies for Kids
- Over 100,000 species of flies live on earth.
- Flies lay their eggs on fruit, food, other animals and even rotting flesh. Their larvae are known as maggots. They look like bits of rice.
- Flies don’t have teeth. Instead, they have a long tongue called a proboscis, which sucks up food like a straw. Some flies drink nectar or blood. House flies like the food we eat. When a fly lands on your lunch, it vomits on the food. Acids in the vomit dissolve the food so the fly can suck it up. Disgusting!
- Flies like to eat manure, which is animal poop, or old garbage. Some of the germs from these materials can stay on their feet or mouth parts. When a fly lands on your food, those germs get on your food. Super disgusting!
- Flies carry disease. During the Spanish-American War, 5,000 soldiers died from typhoid, a disease spread by flies. Only 4,000 soldiers actually died in the war.
- Pest: unwanted, annoying
- Maggots: fly larva
- Proboscis: insect tongue
- Nectar: sweet liquid from flowers
- Vomit: throw up
- Manure: animal poop
Learn More All About Flies
Check out this cool video about a Venus fly trap capturing its prey – the fly:
A video of a Venus fly trap capturing a fly.
Question: Do all flies drink blood?
Answer: Only a few, such as horseflies and mosquitoes, drink blood. Only the females drink blood. They need the extra nutrients to lay eggs. Males drink nectar.
Question: How many germs can flies carry?
Answer: Scientists have estimated that flies can carry almost 2 million types of bacteria. Gross!