Whether they're buzzing around your head while you read or chasing you down as you tend to your garden, flies are, at best, annoying. At worst, they are dangerous. Certain types of flies can bite and cause blisters, and even harmless houseflies aren't so harmless in the long run. Learn about the flies in Louisiana and how to go about fly control in this quick guide.
Types of Flies in Louisiana
Louisiana is home to hundreds of insect and arachnid species, including several types of flies:
● Bee-Like Tachinid Fly: These flies are lethal predators, but only to insects that most humans find to be problematic anyway. They mostly feed on moth species and often do it from the inside out. These flies are typically found in marshes and flowers.
● Deer Fly: Although related to the horse fly, deer flies are smaller. Even so, their bite is still painful and can cause welts. As the name implies, these flies usually feed on deer, but have no problem gnawing on a human if presented with one. Once they settle into a habitat, it is difficult to get rid of them.
● Fishfly: Large in size and seeming to be uncoordinated in the air, fishflies' jaws look like saw-like teeth. They are often found near the vegetation above moving water and are mostly active at night. They eat other aquatic insects, worms and algae.
● Yellow Fly: These flies look much like deer flies and are just as unwelcome. The females prefer to eat blood and will quickly target a human's head and ears. They also bother the backs, legs and faces of farm animals. Bites from a yellow fly become red and irritated and are often painful. Many humans are allergic and end up with painful blisters. These flies are most active around dusk in the months of May and June and a big reason for fly control needs.
● Common Green Bottle Fly: These flies are, as the name implies, common and likely to be found in and around your home. They eat dead animals and rotting foods. They not only carry disease, but also attack healthy sheep on occasion. These attacks can result in death if not treated.
● Flesh Fly: Like the common greenbottle fly, flesh flies feed on the skin and organs of dying animals, including humans. They may also eat feces and rotting foods. They are most active in spring and summer, and can be found anywhere from fields to parking lots.
Why Flies Are a Problem
When it comes to bacteria and disease, common houseflies are the biggest problem. These flies have always been known to carry diseases, but in recent years, researchers from the United States, Brazil, Germany and Singapore have discovered that flies are an even larger problem than previously thought. Not only do they transfer bacteria simply by landing on food or other surfaces, but they transfer many more types than previously thought. This means they are particularly problematic for businesses that rely on food production to survive. Fly control is an essential aspect of doing business for these companies.
Potential Diseases Flies Can Carry
The various fly species found in homes and businesses transfer a wide variety of bacteria. The most common bacterium in flies is Psychrobacter sp. Prwf-1. This bacterium is in about 25 percent of housefly samples. While normally existing in cold environments, the strain easily adapts to warm ones and is closely associated with food spoilage. A range of other problematic bacteria was found as well:
● Enterobacter cloacae: This bacterium is widespread and can cause a range of health problems, including lower respiratory issues, skin and soft tissue infections. It can also contaminate intravenous medical devices.
● Staphylococcus: Increasingly common, this bacterium is often found in hospitals, but can be in homes as well. It typically infects open wounds and may lead to more serious issues.
● Acinetobacter baumannii: Widely found in nature, this bacterium is known for causing urinary tract infections, secondary meningitis and several other health issues typically picked up in hospitals.
● Enterococcus faecalis: This is a normal component of the gut, but can cause serious issues when there is too much of it. Infections can be life-threatening due to the bacterium's resistance to antibiotics.
● E. coli: There are many types of E. coli, and six of them can cause gastroenteritis if you have contact with contaminated food or water.
● Salmonella enterica: Salmonella is a common cause of food poisoning and one of the most important reasons that fly control is important.
Other common bacteria found in flies includes Bacillus cereus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Helicobacter pylori.
How Flies Contaminate Your Space
Flies transmit bacteria in one of three ways. Most commonly, they contaminate food, humans and surfaces when they land. However, they also transmit bacteria when they regurgitate during feeding or via excrement. Their legs and feet are most commonly covered in the microorganisms.
How to Prevent Flies
It is nearly impossible to completely prevent houseflies. They tend to follow you in as you enter and exit your home or business. However, there are ways to keep them from multiplying and becoming a problem. The easiest way to prevent houseflies or fruit flies from taking over your home or business is to keep it clean. If you use a garbage disposal, keep it clean and run it often. Never leave organic material in the drain. Take the garbage out often, and use disinfectants to prevent bacteria from traveling throughout your home or business. Clean your garbage cans often, and never leave standing water, such as that in buckets, around for flies to land in.
When to Call Pest Control
No matter how hard you try to prevent flies, sometimes, do-it-yourself fly control simply isn't enough. If keeping food put away and cleaning often hasn't helped you to get rid of the housefly or fruit fly problem on your property, it is important to call a professional. Pest control companies have the tools, knowledge and experience necessary to remove the problem and help you find ways to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Without the proper fly control, these insects can easily take over your home or business, leaving you and your family sick, or your company unable to operate properly. When at-home remedies don't work, hire a reputable and licensed Baton Rouge pest control company. Doing so could mean the difference between saving your business and going bankrupt.
You want a healthy and happy life for your pets, but sometimes nature itself poses a risk to your furry friends. Even a brief encounter with common insects could have potentially deadly consequences for animals. Prevention is your best defense against disaster, and a Baton Rouge pest control company can help eliminate these threats before they cause a problem. However, if an incident should occur, knowing what to look for and when to intervene and seek medical attention could mean the difference between life and death for your animals.
Bugs That Bite
It’s not easy for bugs to get a bite through an animal’s thick fur. If they do, the consequences can range from slight discomfort to something much more serious.
Most spider bites cause minor reactions with a small area of painful inflammation, but some arachnid varieties have highly toxic venom that can be extremely dangerous for your pets. A bite from a black widow can cause aggressive symptoms, including muscle pain, difficulty breathing, and paralysis. A brown recluse bite causes cell damage that spreads from the initial puncture wound, so early intervention is critical to prevent significant tissue death that may require surgical removal or amputation. Brown recluse spiders tend not to attack unless agitated, so cats that explore small, dark spaces where these arachnids hide are more at risk.
In typical cases, flea bites cause nothing more than local itching and irritation, but a more severe reaction called allergic dermatitis can occur. Your pet may resort to excessive scratching to ease the itch, causing sores, bleeding, and bald patches. Preventative treatments are widely available, but topical reactions to flea bites can be alleviated with antibiotics prescribed by your vet.
Bed bug bites can make you and your pets itchy and uncomfortable, but they tend to be more of an annoyance than a threat. Some other biting or stinging insects, such as ants or bees, are also most likely to cause minor symptoms. However, in some cases, a more serious allergic reaction like anaphylaxis can occur, which will require medical attention. If you find bed bugs in your home, a Baton Rouge pest control service can help clear them out to protect you and your animals.
Bugs That Transmit Disease
With some insects, their bite doesn’t cause much damage on its own. However, even tiny bugs with weak bites can transmit potentially deadly pathogens.
Mosquitoes are a common nuisance for humans, but they can be a bother to your pets as well. Furred animals have protection on most of their bodies, but some areas, such as their noses or ears, are more susceptible to bites. Common mosquito-related symptoms include the expected itching and irritation, which can be treated topically. A greater risk that mosquitoes pose is the spreading of disease. Illnesses that affect humans, such as West Nile virus, may also impact your pets, as well as some diseases that are more common in animals. Heartworm is a common risk for dogs and cats while Eastern equine encephalitis, a much rarer condition, can have deadly consequences for horses. If you live near still or stagnant water, your pets are especially at risk of exposure to mosquitoes. Animals that spend a lot of time outdoors, particularly at night, are also more likely to be bitten.
Ticks are a common problem for pets that spend a lot of time in wooded areas, especially if they’re unsupervised. An expert in Baton Rouge pest control is familiar with local species of ticks and has the tools to keep them under control. A well-known tick-borne illness in humans, Lyme disease, can also be contracted by your animals. If you find a tick on your pet, you should carefully remove it as soon as possible, as a prolonged bite can cause tick paralysis. Symptoms of this condition include vomiting and difficulty breathing, and if left untreated, it can even result in death.
A lesser-known pest with lethal potential is the kissing bug. This insect tends to bite humans and animals near the mouth, transmitting parasites that cause an illness known as Chagas disease. This condition can progress in your pets for months or even years without being detected, often leading to heart failure. Chagas disease affects more dogs than cats, and there is currently no known cure for animals, so prevention is vital. Sealing points of entry to your home and clearing out areas where the bugs can hide may reduce the possibility of infection.
Bugs That Are Dangerous To Eat
Curious pets aren’t just prone to bites or stings. If your dog or cat likes to eat everything in sight, including insects, you should be aware that some of them could cause a toxic reaction.
Butterflies and Caterpillars
There are some insects that you would never expect are harmful, but a Baton Rouge pest control professional has the expertise to minimize even unlikely threats. The monarch butterfly itself isn’t poisonous, but its caterpillar form, as well as the milkweed plants it tends to hide in, can be dangerous to eat. Some other caterpillars, such as the woolly bear, are also harmful if ingested.
Crickets, beetles and cockroaches are known carriers of parasites, and ingesting one of these creatures could cause stomach worms. Using an insecticide to eliminate June bugs can make them toxic to eat, and the foul-smelling fluid produced by stink bugs can cause irritation in the mouth, as well as nausea. Insects with a carapace are hard to digest, so if your pet consumes a lot of them, it could develop a mass called a bezoar that will need to be surgically removed from his intestines.
The chemical that causes a firefly’s glow can also be harmful to animals if eaten. Larger pets will most likely just experience an upset stomach or vomiting, but smaller pets such as cats and even lizards or birds may be fatally poisoned.
Keep Your Pets Safe
There’s no reason to put your pets’ health at risk. While some household treatments may be effective in relieving your pet’s symptoms, some of them may cause further harm, so you should seek the help of a veterinarian for medical intervention. The assistance of a Baton Rouge pest control company can get rid of dangerous pests before they have a chance to harm your furry family members.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.