Scientific Name: Diptera
Other than having one of the most fascinating optical systems in the world (thousands of eyes being capable of picking up movements 6 times faster than humans), the presence of flies in your environment is a health hazard because they carry over 200 different microbes and spread over 65 known illnesses.
Out of over 110,000 species found worldwide, the most commonly found flies in UAE are –
- Fruit Flies – Thy are pale yellow to reddish brown or black and breed on decaying plant matter including fruits and barks.
- House Fly – It is usually dull gray in color. They are the most commonly found species and feed on a variety of foods including cheeses, fruits, meat and even feces.
- Bluebottle Fly (Blow Fly) – 1.5 cms in length. They are metallic blue/ green in color and are scavengers. They primarily feed on dead animals and rotting food. Large numbers of these flies at a site usually indicates the presence of a dead creature.
- Drain Flies (Moth Fly) – These flies are covered with fine hair. They breed and live in drains, sewers and bathrooms. Despite feeding on and living in sewage, these flies do not transmit diseases
- Due to their diet, flies are capable of spreading over 200 pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes)
- They are thus a vector for variety of diseases such as food poisoning, typhoid fever, cholera, leprosy
- Flies found in cities and urban areas carry more pathogens than those in rural areas
- Their presence is a direct indicator of bad hygiene and poor waste management practices
Depending on the type of fly, they infest areas with decomposing organic matter like garbage bins, or unhygienic and poorly maintained kitchens and bathrooms. They also breed in stagnant water sources.
All species of flies are typically attracted to decaying organic substances. This includes dead animals (meat), human and animal feces. Other than contaminating through contact, flies regurgitate the contents of its stomach to digest the new food better. During feeding, they also defecate on food.
- The most obvious sign of an infestation is regular sighting of flies buzzing around.
- Larvae of flies on rotting food, animal manure and garbage.
- A cluster of flies sitting in a spot
Almost all species of flies’ breed on and live around decaying and rotting organic matter. Around the home, dirty dustbins with rotting fruits and vegetables, fruit peels or any kind of leftovers and animal manure are common breeding sites.
Each female house fly can lay around 900 eggs in her lifetime in batches of approximately 150 each. During summers, an egg can develop into an adult in just 7 days. Most flies have a lifespan of around 28 days.
Scientific Name: Lepidoptera
Moths are flying Insects that are not butterflies. Most species of moths are active during the night. Some moths, particularly their caterpillars, can be major agricultural pests in many parts of the world.
The two most common types of moths are the
- Brown House Moths
- Common Clothes Moths
- Pantry Moths
- Moth caterpillars have a great impact on plants by eating their leaves.
- Several moths in the family Tineidae are commonly regarded as pests because their larvae eat fabric such as clothes and blankets made from natural proteinaceous fibers such as wool or silk. They are less likely to eat mixed materials containing some artificial fibers.
Pantry moths eat dry goods, including grains, nuts, flours, spices, and chocolate. Clothes moths infest items like clothing and upholstery made of animal-based materials. Moths caterpillars cause plant damage by eating their leaves, especially fruiting crops.
Female moths lay their eggs in batches or singly. They may lay them inside plant tissues, cloths, goods like nuts, floors chocolates, etc. stick them to objects or drop the eggs from the air while they are flying. In cooler areas the eggs will not hatch until summer or spring.
There are four stages in the life cycle of a moth: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Depending on the environmental temperature and humidity levels, the total life cycle will take anywhere from a couple weeks to many months.
Moth’s life cycle on average takes 11-13 months depending on conditions but they will only spend 2 – 4 months of that as an adult moth.
Scientific Name: Culicidae
Despite being in existence over 30 million years, mosquitoes which are a commonly found, natural pest to the tropics, are a recent nuisance for the citizens and residents of UAE. An increase in their numbers has been credited to all the beautiful greening initiatives undertaken in the country and standing water near human dwellings.
The three most prevalent types of mosquitos that bite humans are the
- Anopheles – A vector for Malaria diseases
- Culex – A vector for filaria diseases like Encephalitis
- Aedes – A vector for viruses like Dengue, Zika Virus, Yellow Fever
They are airborne pests that are active from dusk to dawn or at night.
- Mosquitoes spread potentially life-threatening diseases like Malaria, Dengue, Zika Virus, West Nile Virus, Yellow Fever
- Mosquitoes are human parasites that bite humans and suck their blood. Their bite causes a stinging sensation and leave a red mark on the body
- The saliva of mosquitoes triggers an allergic reaction in some humans, especially babies
- Mosquitoes require some amount of stagnant water to breed. Due to this, they usually infest uncovered water tanks, fountains, sewage systems, pools, unused toilets, well-watered plants or gardens, ponds, lakes, desert creeks etc.
Anthropophilic Anopheles feed on humans
Zoophilic Anopheles prefer feeding on cattle and animals
Male mosquitoes usually feed on plants
They locate their victims by detecting the levels of carbon dioxide exhaled by humans and animals in the air.
Mosquitoes usually breed in standing pools of water. Different species choose different types of water to breed in – The Aedes species breed in fresh water while Anopheles and Culex prefer stagnant water.
A female mosquito lays 100-400 eggs at a time. These eggs take 2-3 days to hatch or may take up to 2 weeks in cooler temperatures. Mosquitoes have a lifespan of about 2 weeks.
Scientific Name: Curculionoidea
Weevils are a type of flying insects they can infest pantries and make their way into dry food products. They are small and less than 6 mm in size.
The most common types of weevils are the
- Red Palm Weevil
- Flour Weevil
- Rice Weevil
- Bean Weevil
- Wheat Weevil
- Maize Weevil
Out of these, the red palm weevil has become a destructive pest of date palm in the middle east which causes enormous financial losses to the country and farmers.
- Weevil’s larvae are often found in packaged food, such as flour, cornmeal and cereals, and can appear in dog food. These young weevils don’t make their way into sealed packages; they are already in the food as eggs. Weevils, whether in larval or adult stage, are not harmful to humans or animals. Although it may seem unsavory to you, they can be eaten along with any food they have infested without causing any ill effects. The biggest problem weevils pose is to food producers, who sometimes have to take action to keep them out of crops and processes.
Weevils often live and feed inside the food similar to other pantry pests. They will infect and feed on whole grains, rice, nuts, beans, cereals, seeds, corn, other such foods and plants.
Female weevil laid high percentage of eggs on the outside of the cotton square, while mated females deposited the majority of eggs inside the square. The females which were mated only once, laid eggs normally for approximately 19 to 21 days and then reverted to an unmated behavior pattern.
All stages (egg, larva, pupa and adult) ae spent inside the food product itself and the life cycle can’t be completed elsewhere. The female deposit about 300 eggs. Eggs hatch in 2 to 5 days into eggless grubs. The larval period varies from 1 to 3 months. The grubs pupate in elongate oval, cylindrical cocoons made of fibrous strand. At the end of the pupation period, which last 14 to 21 days, the adult weevils emerge. Thus the life cycle is about 4 months.
On average, an adult weevil has a lifespan of two to three months depends on the environment condition where it lives. During this period they mate and lay eggs multiple times. A few species of Weevils can produce eggs even without mating.