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  #1  
Old 06-09-2006, 01:20 PM
sabrinabr sabrinabr is offline
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Why do flies land on humans?

Are we just a nice resting spot? I don't think we taste good. What is the point to the aggravation?
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2006, 01:27 PM
CC CC is offline
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Doofus. YOU don't have to think we taste good. THEY do. Do you like the taste of dog shit? The flies land us to A) see if there's anything worth eating, and/or B) see if there's a good place to lay eggs. Probably, occasionally to rest. Sometimes, there's A. Seldom B, unless we're dead. Never to aggravate us. That's anthropomorphizing to extremes. Like a fly cares what you think. Get a grip, Looie.
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:41 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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I wonder, can they can smell us? I've never heard anything about flies and their sense of smell. I imagine we'd have to smell pretty tasty, covered in sweat and dead skin cells, with fats from lotions and traces of flower and animal oils in perfumes.
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:45 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Flies in fact are tasting us, just to find out how full of shit a given individual might be. (I might worry if one keeps coming back. ) However, they are also probably getting necessary nutrients by licking up liquid or dried perspiration, dead cells, and skin oils or other secretions.
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:48 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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They will take a bite and drink your blood. Nothing ruins a hike more than deer and horse flies. The swarms of black flies can drive people insane in the northern areas.
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Old 06-09-2006, 02:46 PM
Rico Rico is offline
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<mod>

CC, this is GQ.

Drop the vitriol a few notches, OK?

</mod>
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  #7  
Old 06-09-2006, 03:33 PM
blinkingblinking blinkingblinking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrinabr
Are we just a nice resting spot? I don't think we taste good. What is the point to the aggravation?
I would like a serious answer to this. The fly never gets any food from us (does it?). So why land on us. There are other resting places.
And, why do they keep buzzing and buzzing around our face. What does that achieve for the fly?
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:51 PM
CC CC is offline
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to mods and dopers and guest...

Yes, I apologize. I was a most ungracious and unwelcoming host. I only meant to convey, well, never mind. I was unnecessarily crass. A terrible ambassador for a marvellous location on the net. I'm truly sorry.
Flies hover because they sense the heat and odors that indicate the liklihood of something potentially nourishing - the gunk that grows on our surface when we sweat and the bacteria starts up on it, and probably the lovely CO2 and our breath that also indicates spoilage (i.e. lunchtime for muscus domesticus). If they can set down for a few moments to rest, so much the better. But they're really looking for rot, and probably to a fly, that's what we smell like, especially when we're warm, and especially when we've got our mouths open. Go outside and sleep with your mouth open and see how long it takes before you get visited by a six-legged dental hygenist.
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2006, 03:57 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkingblinking
I would like a serious answer to this. The fly never gets any food from us (does it?). So why land on us. There are other resting places.
And, why do they keep buzzing and buzzing around our face. What does that achieve for the fly?
According to Bill Bass, the creator of the "Body Farm" at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, in his book Death's Acre, flies that come to investigate a corpse they've put out for decomposition observation will also check out any living observers, especially around the faces. He says that faces and wounds provide nice soft tissue for eating and for laying eggs in. So flies are hoping you'll provide dinner for them, and probably for their future offspring maggots.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2006, 04:06 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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I was serious. They want your blood. I still have a dent in my wrist where a horse fly took out a chunk. Flies are merciless to animals ears. They will chew them until thy are tattered. Then more show up for the blood from the wounds.
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  #11  
Old 06-09-2006, 05:58 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkingblinking
I would like a serious answer to this. The fly never gets any food from us (does it?). So why land on us. There are other resting places.
See my post above. Yes, they probably do obtain some nutrients simply by licking our skin when they land. In the tropics, "sweat bees" can be real pests because they will land on you just to drink your sweat for the salt. Butterflies do this to.
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:08 PM
LiveOnAPlane LiveOnAPlane is offline
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Uh, you do realize that we are talking about different flies here, right. What sabrinabr is talking about seems to be "regular" flies, and what Harmonious Discard is talking about is biting flies.

Completely different situation.
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2006, 09:22 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveOnAPlane
Uh, you do realize that we are talking about different flies here, right. What sabrinabr is talking about seems to be "regular" flies, and what Harmonious Discard is talking about is biting flies.

Completely different situation.
Yes, sabrinar would seem to be talking about House Flies Musca domestica, and perhaps some other kinds of flies, while Harmonious Discord is talking about biting flies, some of which belong to the family Tabanidae and some to other families. It is estimated that there are more than 200,000 species in the family Diptera, which includes flies, mosquitoes, and other kinds of insects.
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:58 PM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri
See my post above. Yes, they probably do obtain some nutrients simply by licking our skin when they land. In the tropics, "sweat bees" can be real pests because they will land on you just to drink your sweat for the salt. Butterflies do this to.
Does Indiana count as the tropics? Because there are insects here like tiny bees that always hover around sweaty people--and my mother always called them sweat bees. I don't know if they sting or not. I don't think their wings make an audible buzz, either. But they're striped.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:07 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sattua
Does Indiana count as the tropics? Because there are insects here like tiny bees that always hover around sweaty people--and my mother always called them sweat bees. I don't know if they sting or not. I don't think their wings make an audible buzz, either. But they're striped.
There are plenty of sweat bees in temperate areas, they are just a particular nuisance in the tropics.
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  #16  
Old 06-09-2006, 10:25 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Though I mention the bite of a horse or deer fly, Idon't exclude house flies. The house flies are the same ones as the farmers call barn flies, and they do eat the ears of cattle and other livestock. You have to stay diligent in spraying and use bug zappers.
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  #17  
Old 06-09-2006, 11:33 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord
Though I mention the bite of a horse or deer fly, Idon't exclude house flies. The house flies are the same ones as the farmers call barn flies, and they do eat the ears of cattle and other livestock. You have to stay diligent in spraying and use bug zappers.
I don't know what species you are referring to as a "barn fly," and a quick google search doesn't produce any clear information on it. However, the stable fly closely resembles the house fly, but is a different genus. It has biting mouthparts, and is a pest of cattle in stables and barns. The true House Fly Musca domestica lacks biting mouthparts, and can only basically sponge stuff up. If the flies you mention bite or chew, then they are definitely not House Flies.
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  #18  
Old 06-10-2006, 07:34 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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That is a sweat bee page.

Barn flies are just a local term I guess to refere to the black flies found in a cattle barns. They may not start the wounds but they make them bigger, by sucking on the wounds. They may be stable flies, I don't know. They also scower the hairs for the sweat.
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Old 06-10-2006, 12:55 PM
spingears spingears is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkingblinking
I would like a serious answer to this. The fly never gets any food from us (does it?). So why land on us. There are other resting places.
And, why do they keep buzzing and buzzing around our face. What does that achieve for the fly?
We sweat, we smell (emit odors), they smell (sense odors) in some way. And here they come.
Sniff some fly trap attractant, just for kicks! Nasty smelling, isn't it?
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  #20  
Old 06-11-2006, 12:09 AM
FlyingRamenMonster FlyingRamenMonster is offline
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And occasionally, they land on people to take a shit.

This has happened to my dad. Twice.
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  #21  
Old 06-11-2006, 12:20 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord
I was serious. They want your blood. I still have a dent in my wrist where a horse fly took out a chunk.
How big was this horse fly?
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  #22  
Old 06-11-2006, 06:50 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marley23
How big was this horse fly?
Something over an inch. No ruler used at the time.
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  #23  
Old 06-11-2006, 07:04 AM
ianzin ianzin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri
t is estimated that there are more than 200,000 species in the family Diptera, which includes flies, mosquitoes, and other kinds of insects.
And then some. Earlier this year I stayed with friends in a beautiful, secluded part of Melbourne. The height of Summer, with temperatures hitting 109 degrees. I swear I was bitten alive by every single one of these 200,000 species. Nothing bad happened to me (no infections or anything), and besides my holiday was truly wonderful in every way. But yeah, this world has plenty of beasts that fly and bite, and Oz is a great place to meet them.

Oh, minor correction to the above. I'm one of those people whom mosquitoes ignore. I've walked around in warm 'mozzie season' weather in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, seldom attracting so much as a single mozzie. They just don't want to know. But everything else seems to just live to bite me.
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  #24  
Old 06-11-2006, 08:27 AM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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I had a good thread about flies, picnics, and how long until the food has maggots at a picnic. I think it was 8 hours to hatch. It was for the all day company picnic, which ran about 14 hours.
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  #25  
Old 06-11-2006, 04:27 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harmonious Discord
That is a sweat bee page.
Sorry about that, I pasted the wrong URL. Here's one about stable flies.

Quote:
Barn flies are just a local term I guess to refere to the black flies found in a cattle barns. They may not start the wounds but they make them bigger, by sucking on the wounds. They may be stable flies, I don't know. They also scower the hairs for the sweat.
My main point was just that there are flies that look very much like House Flies but differ in that they bite. You would have to look rather closely at the fly and its mouthparts to tell them apart. House Flies (that is, the particular species that goes by that common name, Musca domestica) don't have biting mouthparts and can only sort of lap stuff up.
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Old 06-11-2006, 07:35 PM
Cardinal Cardinal is offline
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Out here in the irrigated desert, the house flies seem to love your hair the most. Everyone I've mentioned this to seems to have noticed it. Why would they like that most?
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