The Disgusting Truth About Flies on Your Food

updated May 30, 2019
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(Image credit: WITSALUN)

It might be months before you have to worry about the onslaught of flies bugging you on your outdoor picnics, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of some unfortunate truths. Last week Business Insider shared one of their classic horrifying-yet-informative videos on Twitter highlighting the germs that lurk in everyday life. BI says that simply swatting away a fly chilling on your potato salad or fruity frozen drink is no longer an option without knowledge of consequence.

“What happens when a housefly lands on your food?” starts the video, which already has more than 323,000 views on Twitter. Over deceptively peppy accompanying music, Business Insider continues, “First, houseflies have no teeth. They eat by slurping fluids through a trunk-like nose. When they land on solid food, they regurgitate saliva on it. The saliva liquefies the food for them to drink.”

But, that’s not the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to flies landing on your food. There is something quite obvious that comes to mind when you think of where a fly has been before it started swimming in your Frappuccino.

“Flies enjoy eating more than what’s on your picnic table,” Business Insider continues, “They feast on nasty things like feces and rotting meat, which can be teeming with harmful, infectious bacteria. This bacteria can get in, and on, the fly.”

(It’s probably a good thing to mention here that flies have hairs all over their bodies, some of which can taste food, and lil’ bits often get caught in them.)

Just think: Kafka the Fly could have had breakfast on your egg sandwich, and then for lunch, enjoyed a nice dumpster dive behind the Piggly Wiggly with his pals. Keeping in mind that flies have been responsible for transmitting up to 65 diseases to humans including cholera, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, and leprosy, we really should consider if it’s worth it to take that bite.

And, if after all that, you think swatting Kafka away is going to clear the germs from your outdoor meal, then I’ll just have to skip the food and make myself a margarita at your BBQ.