Flies are probably one of the most hated insects in the world. We poison them, swat them, and screen them out of our homes, designating them as enemy number one of the human race. However, one entomologist, Dr. Bryan Lessard, is on a mission to change people’s perception of this insect. He even called a horsefly sexy, comparing the golden hairs on its stomach to Beyonce’s famous booty. He stated that the horsefly is the “bootylicious ambassador” for flies everywhere. And with that one statement he launched a worldwide conversation about the importance of flies.
He makes some really good points. Flies are central to decomposition, helping to accelerate the process, which would otherwise take much longer. Without flies we would see many more dead animals and plants just hanging around waiting for some help to decompose. Imagine walking around the park only to regularly stumble over all sorts of dead animals…and I don’t want to even think about how much more road kill we’d be seeing on a daily basis.
Believe it or not flies are also pollinators, the gum tree being just one of the plants they help out. Flies also help us fight disease. Have you ever heard of maggot therapy? Well, by placing sterile blow fly larvae in rotting wounds, the maggots will actually clean the rotting flesh and help the wound heal. Maybe we need to give these guys another chance?
What are some other ways flies are beneficial to the world?