Why are flies so obsessive about humans?

Here I sit, two rooms away from a kitchen full of dirty dishes and crumbs of various yumminess, with my past three hours having been spent being continuously dive-bombed by two obsessive/compulsive flies. I am neither wearing perfume nor any particularly strong smelling hair product. They land on my nose, on my arms and even the top of my head, and seem to adore following me to the bedroom (unless the ones in there are different – I’m speciesist enough to not be able to tell the little fellas apart) and interrupting my sleep by landing intermittently on my ear, nose, forehead and anything else unexposed.

This could not possibly be a good survival strategy that would be chosen for in evolution, when they’re obviously losing eating time by tormenting me. What the hell do flies want from humans?

I take it you haven’t spent much time around other non human mammals?

So you’re thinking they, like my dog, just want attention?

Perhaps I can find some tiny little sticks to throw – out the door…

I don’t think that’s what Santo meant.

I’ve been around horses and cattle and they will pick either over a human any day.
They like to hang around the nostrils and lap up mucous or find any scabby bits plus the larger animals only have tails and the movement of their bodies to try to dislodge the flies.
Which is probably why they are giving you are hard time, being no other sweaty, mucousy animals around.

They aren’t losing any food time by annoying you, you are the food. Mmmm… dead skin cells. Your sweat is an excellent source moisture, nutrients like salt and you are served at a delicious temperature!

Have you bathed lately?

Ding ding ding ding! This is what I have been led to believe is the primary reason for the most bothersome of fly attention - they like to drink your sweat. And once they think they’ve found a great source, they will doggedly stick around as long as they can.

It is just a standard display of affection. If I were a fly and found a human who leaves dirty dishes out for me for three hours, I sure would be grateful and happy and somehow willing to let him know how much I appreciate it.

I have been meaning to ask the exact same question as the OP.

I’ve tried observing the flies and see if they actually do anything if I allow them to land but most of the time they just take off again immediately to circle around some more.

Not sure about houseflies, but many insects are attracted to the carbon dioxide in your expelled breath. And there’s none of that coming from the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, so they come to you.

Makes sense what all of you are saying – thanks for the input! I’ve just purchased a fly swatter and am currently on murderous rampage; can’t talk right now. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hey panache - are you 12? :rolleyes:

No, but I once was . . . for a whole year.

:rolleyes:, yourself.

I hope you kill all those nasty fuckers. Don’t be dissuaded…swat away!

I agree. I smiled at panache45’s joke, especially since the question was on the way to being answered.

I know this isn’t the proper answer, but it’s one I’ve taken as a general philosopy.

If a bug lands on me repeatedly and refuses hints to ‘bug off’, I take it as a sign that the insect in question is in a suicidal depression about it’s mere existence as an insect and is asking me to kill it and end it’s misery.

Funny, I just finished reading Richard Matheson’s short story called Shoofly. Matheson’s description of that very thing is terrific. The short story is in the book The Incredible Shrinking Man.

Flies are the reincarnated souls of bill collectors. I suspect that you owe spiritual money to someone and they are merely trying to complete the task of their previous life. Not to say that these are recently deceased bill collectors engaged in unfinished business with you, but rather they have been assigned spiritual duties to collect from you and that they will keep hovering around you and on you until you metaphorically pay up. Should you swat them, within a few days, other flies will be assigned to your account. What you need to do is get right with God. Get your affairs in order and pray that you don’t transgress any further.

I’ve noticed on a cold day, or an over-air conditioned office, flies will home in on me, and not leave for long, no matter how hard I swing at them (I’m not going for a killing swat here, I don’t really want fly guts on my hands.) I’m the warmest thing around, and they know they need heat to live, so that’s another reason they just won’t leave us alone.

If you’ve recently eaten, could it not also be possible that the smell of the food coming from your mouth and gut are attracting the flies to your orifices? After all, saliva-drenched and chewed food seems like it would have much more “smell” released than the drying crumbs of a previous meal.

If you listen closely, you can hear them purring.