Why Do Flies Land On Me? How Do I Get Rid Of Them?

Shirin Biswas
Feb 18, 2023 By Shirin Biswas
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2021
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Closeup of a fly insect on a human hand

At some point in their lives, everyone has swatted a fly away only to watch it return within a matter of seconds.

As much as we may try to make a housefly or fruit fly understand that human faces are not somewhere they should rest, this insect does not seem to be taking notes! Constantly buzzing around people and food, these creatures can be a real pest.

A fly's sense of smell is as much of a joy for it as it is a curse for human beings. In spite of its tiny body and the fact that it does not bite, a house fly will always be around to ruin a picnic or Sunday barbecue.

One of most annoying facts about these insects is that they are not only attracted to dead and rotting animals but also to human skin and sweat!

If you enjoy reading this article, why not also check out some more fun facts with Kidadl and read about why do bees sting and why do wasps exist.

What are flies doing when they land on you?

No matter how skilled you are at swatting, there will always be times when a house fly or gnat won't leave you alone. So, how can we get these house flies and gnats to stop being so interested in us?

These annoying insects have been irritating humans for as long as we can remember! While they do not bite, their buzzing sound and desire to land on all of our food are enough for us to do all we can to keep these insects out of our house!

However, it isn't just our food that they love to land on; houseflies also love to land of humans. This is not because you smell bad or anything like that.

The reason why these insects have probably been chasing you in spite of all the swatting is that they are attracted to your scent!

As absurd as it may seem, flies and gnats think of human beings as food sources. The sweat and dead skin cells on human bodies are just as much of a tasty food for these flies as any open garbage can.

So, what are house flies and fruit flies trying to do when they land on you? When a fly lands on you, it is attracted to all of the sweat and oils on your body that it could possibly eat for lunch or dinner.

The oil secreted by humans' skin is an excellent food sources for this pest and is the reason why they are so determined to sit on your body.

They don't just like to sit on your arms or legs.

A fly may often have the audacity to sit near your eyes and nose, the most likely reason being that they are drawn to the moisture in these areas. Humans are also usually warm, and flies see them as the perfect meal for a nice sunny day!

Why do flies like to land on humans?

The simple reason why flies like to land on humans, despite the obvious threat that they pose, is that a fly hardly thinks beyond its need to acquire a meal.

Not only are the sweat and skin oils attractive to flies, these insects are also interested in moisture and dead cells.

While the flesh and blood of rotting, dead animals does attract them, humans provide the perfect environment for houseflies to get some much needed nourishment. One of the most revolting facts is that when a member of this pest family sits on you, it is probably looking for a moist surface to vomit on and eat it.

Flies and gnats are infamous for their habit of eating their own regurgitated food.

More often than not, houseflies are the hardest flies to kill because they are fast and have perfect vision.

While it is a relief that flies are not blood-feeding insects like mosquitoes, it would still be amazing to prevent our surroundings from becoming a fly zone! To add to the array of reasons why a fly would like to sit on you, the carbon dioxide that humans breathe out is also attractive to house-flies and fruit flies!

If you have noticed that a fly is incessantly trying to reach your nose or find its way into your mouth, carbon dioxide is probably the reason!

House fly on human skin hand

How To Avoid Flies

Flies all around the world are known to have an amazing sense of smell. Any type of fly, whether blood-feeding (like a mosquito) or otherwise, has the ability to smell food from a long distance away.

While this ability is quite irritating to us humans, it is obviously very beneficial for the fly itself. A house fly or fruit fly will try to make its way into your house the moment that it smells fresh or rotting food matter.

Outside, food matter and rotting animal waste is also likely to have an entire army of flies and insects around it.

The most effective way to control flies and be left alone is to first and foremost make sure that your house is cleaned of any garbage. Make sure that you do not leave any food lying around for them to vomit or lay eggs on.

Cover leftovers or any freshly cooked food and clean the dishes as soon as possible.

The smell coming from any solid food that may have been left on dirty dishes is likely to attract a fly or two to the sink.

Another great thing to do is to regularly clear out all of the trash cans inside and outside of your house so that flies don't see your home as a place to feed on leftovers.

You may also want to consider having a few nets installed at the doors and windows so you can still enjoy the fresh air while flies are barred from coming in.

While it may seem a little extreme, if you think there are too many flies buzzing around your house, consider wiping off the outsides of the trash cans and taking out the garbage at least three times a week. This will discourage flies from viewing your house as a restaurant that gives away free food!

Another great way to control flies and their population is to make sure that, if you have a pet, any animal feces aren't left to lay on the porch or driveway.

Flies of all sorts think of dog feces as the perfect place to lay eggs, and so, by cleaning them away, the world might be saved from a couple of dozen extra flies buzzing around! Most importantly, make sure that any extra food is always covered and that you even clean your dog's feeding bowl after each meal.

If you do a little deep cleaning every week, your house should soon become a haven that is free of any buzzing pests.

Why do flies rub their hands together after they land on you?

While it is impossible for a common housefly to be able to bite through your flesh, it can be quite concerning to watch it rub its hands as it sits there on your leg.

However, it doesn't mean that the fly is planning something evil and there is a simple reason behind it. The fly's legs are the first thing to touch your skin, which is covered in oil and sweat.

As the insect rubs its hands together and brings them to its mouth, it is able to smell your skin and detect how much of a delectable dish you would be!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly factsfor everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do flies land on me then why not take a look at why do crickets chirp, or are crickets good luck.

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Written by Shirin Biswas

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Shirin Biswas picture

Shirin BiswasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi Raturi picture

Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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