You’ve all seen the picture: some dog poop lying on the street with a group of flies (sometimes hundreds) swarming around it. Why?
Okay i know; that’s a disgusting topic to raise, but i’m pretty sure a lot of you useless info junkies have wondered this one: why on Earth, do flies like feces so much?
Well, here’s the answer but before we get into it, here’s a little fun fact for you: the question “why do flies like poop” is the most-Googled “why do” question for users in California. Go figure! (the article continues after the ad)
Anyway, flies like poop because they are attracted to moist organic material and they also feed on the decaying matter. In it, they lay their eggs and their larvae will grow by getting all the nutrients they need. In addition, some adult flies will feed from it too.
That being said, not all flies like poop as different species are attracted to different food sources. For example, some are attracted to ripe fruit, some to meat scraps while other to milk products or yeast. In fact, the only two species that are attracted to feces are house flies:
and flesh flies:
By the way, flies can only digest food when it’s in a liquid state and that’s why you’ll only see them on fresh poop (that’s also the reason why they use saliva or stomach acids to dissolve solids).
For the record, flies are not attracted to their own feces – only those of larger vertebrates.