housefly

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housefly,

common name of the flyfly,
name commonly used for any of a variety of winged insects, but properly restricted to members of the order Diptera, the true flies, which includes the housefly, gnat, midge, mosquito, and tsetse fly.
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 Musca domestica, found in most parts of the world. The housefly, a scavenger, does not bite living animals but is dangerous because it carries bacteria and protozoans that cause many serious diseases, e.g., typhoid fevertyphoid fever
acute, generalized infection caused by Salmonella typhi. The main sources of infection are contaminated water or milk and, especially in urban communities, food handlers who are carriers.
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, choleracholera
or Asiatic cholera,
acute infectious disease caused by strains of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that have been infected by bacteriophages. The bacteria, which are found in fecal-contaminated food and water and in raw or undercooked seafood, produce a
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, and dysenterydysentery
, inflammation of the intestine characterized by the frequent passage of feces, usually with blood and mucus. The two most common causes of dysentery are infection with a bacillus (see bacteria) of the Shigella group, and infestation by an ameba,
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. The housefly feeds by depositing a drop of digestive liquid on its food, which may be garbage, excrement, or other filth. Although most of the liquid drop is sucked back again through the insect's tubelike lower lip, or labium, a residue remains that may contain disease-causing organisms from previous meals. Disease is also transmitted on the fly's sticky foot pads and hairy body. Each female lays from 100 to 200 eggs in the garbage or manure on which the white larvae feed. With favorable temperatures, one generation or more per month may be produced. Metamorphosismetamorphosis
[Gr.,=transformation], in zoology, term used to describe a form of development from egg to adult in which there is a series of distinct stages. Many insects, amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans, and fishes undergo metamorphosis, which may involve a change in habitat,
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 is complete, i.e., development is in four stages. The housefly is classified in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, class Insecta, order Diptera, family Muscidae. For methods of control see bulletins of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

Housefly

 

(Musca domestica), an insect of the family Muscidae. The body length is 6–8 mm. There are two forms, or subspecies. The subspecies Musca domestica domestica is distributed in temperate zones throughout the world. In the USSR it is found primarily in the steppe, forest-steppe, and forest zones. The subspecies Musca domestica vicina is distributed in the southern latitudes of the temperate zone, the subtropics, and the tropics. In the USSR it is found in Transcaucasia, Middle Asia, and Southern Primor’e.

At one laying a female deposits an average of 120 eggs, each measuring 1–1.2 mm long; in its lifetime it lays 900 eggs. The egg develops in eight to 50 hours. The larvae, which measure up to 13 mm long and are white, develop for three to 25 days and then metamorphose into a pupa, forming a puparium. The pupal phase lasts from three days to several months (when there is overwintering). In temperate latitudes the housefly may produce up to nine generations each year; in the subtropics and tropics, up to 15 generations. It winters in the larval or pupal phases; fertilized females winter in the adult phase.

The housefly is widespread in areas of human habitation. It is the carrier of a number of infectious diseases, particularly intestinal infections; it also transmits the ova of worms.

Prophylactic measures include keeping manure and sewage in tightly covered containers, removal of refuse every three or four days, and cleanliness in dwellings and stockyards. Extermination measures include the monthly treatment of toilets, refuse containers, stockyards, and food-preparation machinery with Dipterex preparations; the use of sweet attractants mixed with Dipterex or Formalin, and the hanging of strips of flypaper. To destroy the eggs and larvae of houseflies, breeding places are treated with preparations of malathion, Creolin, or naphtha solvent.

REFERENCES

Sukhova, M. N. Sinantropnye mukhi (Mukhi, obitaiushchie v mestakh prozhivaniia cheloveka). Moscow, 1951.
Derbeneva-Ukhova, V. P. Mukhi i ikh epidemiologicheskoe znachenie. Moscow, 1952.

A. A. SHTAKEL’BERG and K. A. BREEV

housefly

[′hau̇s‚flī]
(invertebrate zoology)
Musca domestica. A dipteran insect with lapping mouthparts commonly found near human habitations; a vector in the transmission of many disease pathogens.

housefly

a common dipterous fly, Musca domestica, that frequents human habitations, spreads disease, and lays its eggs in carrion, decaying vegetables, etc.: family Muscidae
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