Why Do Flies Exist? (9 Reasons Why)

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Ava Medina

Ava Medina has 20 years of experience as a veterinarian assistant and is utterly obsessed with rabbits and cats. Ava also volunteers at animal shelters in her spare time.

Flies are a nuisance. These tiny insects are hard to get rid of and can be extremely annoying. This might lead you to wonder, why do flies exist? Even though flies might seem insignificant, they’re actually greatly beneficial.

They help in different ways from cleaning up after humans to medical care and vaccination. Additionally, flies have earned their right to exist due to their amazing survival skills. In this article, we’ve gone in-depth about all the different benefits of flies. So, let’s dive in.

Why Do Flies Exist?


1. Pollination

Flies are just as important as bees when it comes to pollination. Yet, people don’t give them the same attention.

In fact, flies can pollinate plants in almost every environment. Additionally, some plants specifically attract flies by giving off the smell of rotten food!

Yet, this pollination is completely accidental. Flies just travel from one flower to the other sucking the nectar, coincidentally, they happen to carry the pollen.

The pollen sticks to the hairy body of the fly, so it can rub off the next time the fly nests in a different flower.

2. Cleaning Up Our World

Flies aren’t too concerned about their diet. They eat everything, even food that no other animal would dare to touch.

That’s where flies get their bad reputation since you always find them feeding on rotting food and even feces. Yet, those tiny flies can reach the hardest places to clean, thus helping you get rid of any unpleasant remains.

Though flies can eat anything, fermented food is at the top of their menu. Any sugary substance, overripe fruits, or neglected food is considered a Michelin star meal to the small insects.

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3. They Can Survive Anywhere

Simply put, flies can survive a nuclear attack. So, it makes sense how they continue to exist until this day despite human efforts to get rid of the annoying insect.

In addition to their ability to consume the worst rotting food out there, exposure to gamma rays can actually prolong flies’ lives.

Furthermore, flies can actually develop resistance to different insecticides. It’s also not as simple as building up a tolerance. In fact, this resistance happens on a complex genetic level.

Repeated exposure to the same type of insecticide leads to mutations in flies. Naturally, this enhances their survival abilities.

4. Predators

It can be hard to believe how small insects such as flies can be predators. Yet, flies can devour even the mighty lions, once they’re already dead, of course!

Flies are the ones who get rid of all the animal remains. A world without flies would basically mean no decomposition process, or at least a much slower one.

That’s because once a fly finds a dead animal, it lays its eggs in the body. These eggs then hatch maggots, which in turn feed on the body until they mature into flies!

5. Preys

Preys

Flies are crucial for completing the food chain. That’s because they also serve as food for other insects and animals.

You’ve probably seen the fascinating sight of toads catching flies with their tongue, yet many other animals feed on flies. This includes birds, spiders, wasps, and other larger insects.

Many plants can also consume insects, particularly flies. Since flies love feeding on nectar, it makes them an easy target for carnivorous plants. A popular example of this is the Venus Flytrap.

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In fact, most of those predators double as fly eliminators. This means that if you have any fly infestation, they can easily take care of it.

6. Medicinal Uses

Flies, particularly blow flies, have been of great use in medicine. In fact, blow flies are also called surgical maggots.

The best-known use of these surgical maggots is the treatment of infected burns, ulcers, and wounds. If you’ve ever watched a historical movie or TV show, you’ll probably see how maggots are used in wound debridement.

The flies work on cleaning the wound in a unique way. The reason is that the maggots secrete enzymes that break down dead tissue. Then, they only feed on the dead tissue, leaving the healthy skin intact.

Moreover, Scientists have modified these helpful flies to secrete a human growth factor. This means that maggot therapy will help in tissue regeneration as well as the removal of infected tissue.

7. Spreading Diseases

Flies are known to be disease vectors. They can travel for miles transmitting different illnesses, most commonly food poisoning. Yet, how can insect-borne diseases be a benefit?

Well, to explain briefly, flies continuously expose us to different bacteria and viruses. This means after each exposure, our body builds up tolerance and immunity to those parasites.

Without flies, our immune system wouldn’t be as strong. So, any small bacteria can totally overpower the human body and turn into a deadly pandemic.

While you don’t want to be in a swarm of flies every single day, a disease-carrying fly can be beneficial every once in a while. Think of them as involuntary vaccination!

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8. Chocolate

If you’ve ever enjoyed a bar of chocolate, a chocolate cake, or a hot cup of cocoa, you actually have flies to thank.

As mentioned before, flies are crucial for the pollination process. Most importantly, they’re the main pollinators for cocoa. As a matter of fact, without flies, most cocoa trees would just die.

The small, chocolate-pollinators, are called chocolate midges. Since they’re so tiny, they can work their way into the small chocolate flower to pollinate it.

Moreover, due to the unique survival skills of flies, they’re able to adapt to the extreme tropical weather where cocoa trees grow, unlike other insects.

9. A Beautiful Sight

Flies, especially their wings, are a thing of beauty. Sure, they’re too small and irritating to notice, but they’re one of the most alluring insects.

For example, fireflies can transform any night into a magical scene. Holographic RuPaul soldier flies also make for a magnificent sight.

Even regular flies are beautiful if you look closely enough. The seemingly transparent wings of a fly are a kaleidoscope of rainbows under the correct light.

To Conclude

Flies aid us in many different aspects. First, they’re crucial for pollination, especially in chocolate production. Moreover, they help clean our world by eating leftovers no other animal would touch.

If you look hard enough, you can also enjoy the beauty of these small insects. Needless to say, flies are more than just a nuisance.

Author

  • Ava Medina has 20 years of experience as a veterinarian assistant and is utterly obsessed with rabbits and cats. Ava also volunteers at animal shelters in her spare time.

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