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July 14, 2024

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Trust Not a Horse’s Heel nor a Dog’s Tooth – Deciphering the Meaning and Origins of the English Proverb

The English proverb “Trust not a horse’s heel nor a dog’s tooth” is a centuries-old piece of wisdom that serves…

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Flies, those ubiquitous buzzing insects that often seem determined to make our lives just a little bit more frustrating. Whether they’re circling around your picnic food or making unwelcome appearances in your home, flies always seem to find a way to be where we least want them. But have you ever wondered what exactly attracts flies to certain places or substances? In this article, we will explore the intriguing world of fly attraction and learn what makes these pesky insects gravitate toward specific environments and objects.

  1. Odors and Scents

One of the primary factors that draw flies to a particular area is odors and scents. Flies have highly developed olfactory senses, allowing them to detect even the faintest of smells from a considerable distance. They are particularly attracted to:

a. Rotting Organic Matter: Flies are notorious for their affinity for decomposing organic material, such as food scraps, garbage, feces, and dead animals. The odors released during decomposition act as a powerful magnet for them.

b. Sweet and Sugary Fragrances: The sweet scent of fruits, sugary drinks, and nectar is another strong attractant for many fly species. This is why fruit flies are commonly found near overripe fruits or spilled fruit juices.

c. Foul Odors: Flies are also drawn to foul-smelling substances, like spoiled meat or decaying plants. The stench serves as a signal to flies that a potential food source or breeding site is nearby.

  1. Visual Cues

Flies also rely on visual cues to find their way to attractive locations. While they may not see in the same way humans do, they are sensitive to certain colors and patterns. Flies are often attracted to:

a. Bright Colors: Flies are drawn to bright colors, especially shades of yellow and white. This is why you may notice them swarming around outdoor lighting fixtures or yellow fly traps.

b. Movement: Flies are easily attracted to moving objects. The slightest motion can pique their curiosity and lure them in. This is why they can often be found near fans or rotating objects.

  1. Temperature and Moisture

Environmental factors like temperature and moisture also play a role in fly attraction. Flies tend to be more active in warm, humid conditions. Places that offer warmth and moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and compost bins, are often favored breeding and feeding grounds for flies.

  1. Carbon Dioxide and Breath

Flies are attracted to carbon dioxide, which is an indicator of the presence of warm-blooded animals. When you exhale, you release carbon dioxide, and flies are drawn to your breath. This is why they may land on you when you’re exhaling.

  1. Human Activities

Human activities can inadvertently attract flies as well. For example:

a. Cooking: The aroma of food being prepared can attract flies into your kitchen.

b. Outdoor Gatherings: Picnics, barbecues, and outdoor gatherings with food and beverages can draw flies in large numbers.

c. Garbage and Trash Bins: Flies are naturally drawn to garbage and trash bins due to the smells emanating from them.


Flies are attracted to a variety of factors, including odors, visual cues, temperature, moisture, and human activities. Understanding what attracts flies can help you take measures to keep them at bay, whether it’s by proper food storage, regular garbage disposal, or using fly traps. By minimizing the factors that draw flies to your living spaces, you can enjoy a more fly-free environment and a less frustrating experience dealing with these persistent insects.


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