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How Dangerous Are House Flies in Baltimore?

Baltimore flies with the "no" symbol

It’s a beautiful spring afternoon in Baltimore. You’re enjoying a nice picnic outside. A little black housefly lands on your food. You swat at it and it flies away. No big deal, right? Well, that pesky housefly (Musca domestica) has possibly just contaminated your food with some pretty nasty disease…

We see house flies in Baltimore all the time and probably very rarely think twice about them. But, they can actually pose a serious health risk. 

So what dangers do houseflies pose and how can you prevent them from invading your space? 

Since we care about all things Baltimore pest control and keeping your family safe, we have some information and strategies you need to know.

Why House Flies Are Dangerous

We often associate danger with scary. But, unlike stinging insects in the Baltimore area like bees and wasps, people aren’t usually afraid of houseflies. We usually just shoo them away and then go on about our lives. 

But your food isn’t the first thing that house fly landed on that day. They could be carrying with them the remnants of the trash can, rotting food, dead animals, or animal waste they just recently visited. 

Flies can spread bacteria on their legs, feet, and wings and can spread live bacteria with every step they take. 

Pretty scary. The following diseases are just a few of the over 60 diseases house flies can transmit to humans.


E. coli from a House Fly

We already have E. coli in our digestive system. But not every type of strain. Some strains of E. coli can cause you to suffer some pretty awful symptoms. It can even kill you. 

House flies carry the Escherichia coli bacteria on their legs and when they land, they can leave it behind. If you then digest this bacteria you may experience:  

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Respiratory illness and pneumonia
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Vomiting

Cholera from a House Fly 

While rare in the United States, cholera is an intestinal infection caused by bacteria called Vibrio cholera. It is found in stagnant water, animal feces, and undercooked shellfish. It can cause:  

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration

Just like E. coli, houseflies can carry the bacteria when it gets attached to their legs and then deposit it wherever they land. Especially a sticky substance like food. Bacteria are very tiny so quite a few can fit on a fly’s leg. Maybe even a million of them! 

Dysentery From a House Fly 

Dysentery is no fun and it’s actually fairly common. There are about 200,000 cases a year. The symptoms can include: 

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Indigestion and nausea
  • Vomiting and flatulence

Dangerous Without A Stinger 

As you can see, even without a stinger, flies can be pretty scary. That’s why it’s important to have strategies in place to keep them away from your Baltimore home.

How Baltimore Homeowners Can Get Rid of House Flies

Keep Them Out of Your Yard 

A yard full of animal waste, grass clippings, and other debris will keep you from getting rid of your housefly problem. 

Pick Up After Your Pets

One of the most important things you can do is make sure you pick up after your dog after they make use of the yard. Flies love to hang around the stuff and can carry bacteria from it to wherever they land, whether that’s your arm or your kitchen table. 

Invest in a Quality Trash Can

If you’ve had your old trash can for a while and it doesn’t quite close as well as it used to, you could be harboring house flies that love to root through your garbage. Make sure your trash can seals tightly. 

Keep Your Lawn Trimmed

Flies are attracted to tall grass. So it’s important to cut your grass often so it’s not an inviting space for flies. Also, be sure to get rid of the grass clippings. 

Use Good Scents to Keep Flies Away

These scents are good for us because we like the way they smell. On the other hand, they’re bad for flies because they hate the way they smell. Sounds like a win-win! 


Relax with Lavender

Use a little lavender and you can relax in two ways. One, the smell of lavender can give you a feeling of calmness. Two, you can also relax knowing you’re helping to keep flies away from your Baltimore area backyard. 

Put Some Basil Out 

Placing basil near doors and windows will provide a nice smelling barrier to houseflies to keep them from creeping into your home. Why not plant a whole garden of it? You can also do the same with lavender. 

Enjoy Some Fruit 

The scent of citrus fruit also keeps flies away. You can peel a citrus fruit and place the peels in an area where flies usually congregate. You can also use citrus oil to keep discourage flies from invading your space. 

Place Screens On Doors and Windows 

A good way to keep flies from getting into your home is with screens on your doors and windows. However, you need to make sure that your screens stay in good condition. One little tear in a window screen and flies can come right in. And head straight for your kitchen! 

Do Flypaper Strips Work? 

Yes, flypaper and flypaper strips work. Even better, you can purchase flypaper strips or simply make them on your own. Once you have the strips ready, you’ll want to hang them up around your doorways and windows – any entryway a fly might use to get inside your home.

A word of warning: If you use flypaper strips around your doorways, make sure you cut them short so the people who walk inside your home won’t end up with the strips caught in their hair!

Keep Food Covered and Your Kitchen Clean

The last thing you want to do is leave your food out within easy reach of a housefly. So, make sure all of your food is covered, and if you have fresh produce, keep it in a bag or sealed container.

Also, avoid leaving dirty dishes in your sink. The scent of food leftovers could easily attract house flies (and other pests, like ants!).

Baltimore Housefly Pest Control

If you want more suggestions on how to keep house flies away from your home in Baltimore, or if you have a severe house fly problem and would like a team of professionals to eliminate it for you, call Brody Brothers Pest Control at 410-650-4266. We’ll get rid of those pesky house flies so you and your loved ones can stay healthy and happy at home.

2 responses to “How Dangerous Are House Flies in Baltimore?

  1. My back bedroom is infested with flies so I have closed and duck taped the door. My landlord has not gotten back. What should I do? Are all of my clothes bedding ect ever again to be used or should I throw them out along with my bed? Doesn’t fly acid destroy fabrics? Should the carpets be replaced? Is my health at risk? Should the clean-up be left to professionals? Should my landlords insurance cover my losses? Please please help me I don’t know what to do.

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