Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image This fly was seen perched on a leaf in a Tooele County yard. Flies are able to hover, spin in one place and fly backward and upside down.

November 1, 2012
Flies aren’t just pests — they help the world’s ecosystem, too

Flies are very gifted insects. Their talented flight patterns are one of the reasons why their order is called “Diptera,” meaning “two wings.” They are able to fly backward, upside down, hover and spin in one place. They are not only one of the greatest aerialists of the insect world, but they have the highest wing-beat frequency — about 200 flaps per second — of any living thing on earth.

To many annoyed citizens, flies are only meant to eat gross things, be a pest and spread diseases. This is not fully true, although it is true that their diets contain garbage and other unpleasant meals.

As a matter of fact, flies play an important role in the world’s ecosystem. Just like bees, they are one of the most pollinating insects for the earth’s flowers and plants. They also eat other insects that are considered pests to the environment preventing them from overpopulating towns and cities like Tooele.

Many of you might know that flies cannot chew. Instead they vomit on their food to melt it, allowing them to suck it in with their proboscis (tongue). Their diet includes nectar, manure, garbage, rotting fruits, dead animal flesh, blood and food crumbs from houses. For the most part, flies will eat anything they can melt with their vomit.


Addie T. Lindsay is 16 years old. She is an accomplished writer and photographer of wildlife creatures, big and small. She can be reached at

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