Now that summer is looming, we all know that in addition to the no school and warm weather, there is a catch — bugs! So it's time to run to CVS and grab some After Bite in bulk so you don't scratch your skin off. In addition to those nasty bug bites, there's something we don't usually address — what do flies do when they land on food.

This has never stopped me from enjoying whatever I had been eating, because let's be real, we all think it means nothing. But you may want to reconsider this mentality. So what do flies do when they land on food? Here's what you should know. 

Why do flies land on food?

So here's the lowdown: as we know, flies aren't the most pleasing bug to look at. Flies are attracted to incredibly gross things like corpses, garbage, dirty water, and so much more. As a result, when a fly lands on your food, it's fair to assume that it's just come from landing on something that your food should never be near.

The reason flies land on food and on humans is because of the way that they taste is through their feet. To be more specific, flies use what is called a labella to examine their potential meals. What's even grosser is that to be able to eat solid foods like us, flies liquify what they touch so they can eat it — but more in this in a minute.

The Whole Vomiting Thing

We all know the classic line, "don't eat that, when a fly lands on your food it poops." Another common thought is that a fly will vomit every time it lands on your food — which is actually probably true. Flies don't have the ability to chew, so they will throw up enzymes to dissolve any food they're about to eat to liquify it, as mentioned previously. Then, they will slurp it up — ew. 

Some Crazy Stats

Out of all the gross things like cockroaches, rats, and flies, I would say flies seem the least threatening to most of us. When you're at a restaurant, I bet you don't equate a cockroach crawling on your chicken with a fly landing on it. Am I right?

It turns out flies are twice as likely to spread germs than cockroaches. Unlike cockroaches, flies consume a lot of poop. Cockroaches may be disgusting, but they eat slightly cleaner things. So when the flies eat, the bacteria and viruses get all over them, and when they land on food it spreads right into our mouths. 

What's more interesting, is that according to USA Today, only 3 percent of people said the presence of a fly would make them drop their fork. But even if a fly is only on your food for seconds, that's all it takes for bad bacteria to come into contact with your food. 


Hopefully, I've shed some light on what's actually happening in the 0.3 seconds that a fly spends on your food. Despite all of the bacteria and potential infections lying in our food, we do have to be thankful for one thing — at least they're not laying any eggs when they land. I'm personally relieved by that. Nothing unsettles my stomach more than the thought of a fly growing inside my belly! So take this new insight and enjoy your summer noms (unless a fly lands on it, of course).