What makes you put down your fork? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

What makes you put down your fork?

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KHQ.COM - What makes you lose your appetite? What grosses you out to the point you have no problem passing up your meal and waiting for the next one? Click through the photos above and ask yourself: If you were at a restaurant and saw one of the above creatures on your table while enjoying a nice meal, which would most definitely make you put down your fork?

An NBC station in Colorado posed a similar question after reading a report from the pest control company, Orkin.  The findings of the report prompted us to ask the same thing because what most likely makes your skin crawl is probably the last thing you should be worried about when it comes your health and well-being.

Orkin found that out of 300 people polled, 61% said that seeing a cockroach would make them toss their forks or perhaps their cookies. Only 3% though said they'd have the same reaction if they saw a fly. Why does this matter? Well, according to Orkin, flies actually carry five times more germs than the tap-dancing cockroaches.

According to pest control expert, Lisa Jo Lupo who wrote an article for about.com called "The Filthy House Fly," another word for the house fly should be the "filth fly" because it can contaminate foods and surfaces just by landing on them.

Just for a second, let's remember where we see flies land. Inside your home they may be seen on your ceiling, window, kitchen counter or worse, your lunch, but every fly in your home most likely came from outside where they most likely enjoyed visiting and nibbling on anything that emitted a foul odor (garbage, manure and deceased animals are just a few pleasant examples).

In addition to feeding on garbage and foul smelling, rotting material, house flies also lay their eggs on waste. Their not-so-cute off-spring, also known as maggots, hatch and enjoy feasting on that waste for about a week until they grow into the, perhaps slightly more attractive, house fly!

Lupo says the flies are capable of traveling up to 20 miles but typically stay within a two mile range of where they hatch. In their short lifespan of just one month, a single female fly can lay up to 2,000 eggs in batches of 75-100.

Now that we all know some fun facts about flies, let's take a closer look at why they are really a problem and more importantly a health hazard:

1.) They throw up on your food.
        Did you know flies can only consume a liquid diet? To do this they repeatedly have to regurgitate saliva onto the "food" they are attempting to consume to make it moist enough for them to suck down. That food could be the waste in the yard or your delicious sandwich. Or perhaps, first the waste in the yard...and then your sandwich! Once they are finished, there's a good chance a trace of that saliva was left behind for your next bite!

2.)  Those little specks they leave behind...
          Yes...those are their feces. Enough said.

3.) Bacteria!
         Flies can carry up to one million bacteria on their feet and body! Again...enough said.

4.) They can carry diseases.
        According to Lupo, University of Rhode Island and Penn state have both reported that 65 diseases have been associated with house flies. Wondering where you may have gotten food poisoning, diarrhea, an eye infection, dysentery, cholera, or tuberculosis? It could very well be that annoying little "house fly" buzzing around in your window sill right now.

***NOTE*** Fly swatters and fly traps can be purchased at your local hardware store.


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