Why Do Flies Like Poop? Find Out Here!

Prasenjit Das
Apr 19, 2024 By Prasenjit Das
Originally Published on Mar 20, 2023
Fact-checked by Dolly Chhatwani
(We will explore the behaviors of flies and find out in detail why they are so much in love with poop.

The love story of flies and poop is quite popular.

Almost everyone has witnessed this scenario once in their lifetime, however, hasn't this question come to your mind why do flies like poop so much? You will be amazed to learn that this strange love story is not a quirk, but it has much science in it.

In this article, we will explore the behaviors of flies and find out in detail why they are so much in love with poop. Flies like to feed on moist, organic matter. That's why they are attracted to animal feces, especially fresh ones.

Besides eating poop, flies also use it as a breeding ground. Poops provide the perfect habitat to fly larvae. Upon hatching, they eat the feces to survive.

Not all fly species feed on poop. Some also eat ripe fruit, milk, and meat. The ones that eat feces are flesh flies and house flies.

Why do flies like the smell of poop?

In this section, we will learn why flies are attracted to the smell of poop.

Before we begin, it is important to know why humans find poop repulsive. There are many ways you can answer this question. But the most relevant one is that a poop diet is harmful to humans.

Poop contains parasites and bacteria that can turn out to be fatal for humans. That's the reason why we cannot stand poop or its smell.

Having said that, you can apply this logic to flies as well. Yes, the content of poop possesses many health benefits for flies. As a result, these insects find poop delicious and are attracted to its smell.

Feces contain small amounts of minerals, protein, indigestible carbohydrates, bacteria, and fat. These may be insignificant for humans but are a source of nutrition for flies. For this reason, other insects like butterflies and beetles are also attracted to poop.

Besides this, there are also some other reasons why poops attract flies. The first one is that feces make a great breeding ground for flies. Flies love to lay their eggs in moist, nutrient-rich, and organic matter, and feces meet all these requirements. For similar reasons, flies also lay their eggs in carcasses and trash bins.

On the same note, it is crucial to remember that not all flies feed on a poop diet. Some species relish feces and lay eggs in them, such as flesh flies and house flies.

Also, there are some others that feed on milk and fruit nectars and use poops only as a breeding ground. One such example is the fruit fly.

Why do flies like dog poop so much?

Before we begin this section, it is crucial to clarify the misconception that flies are particularly attracted to dog poop. No, they are not. Flies find any fresh poop attractive, whether it belongs to dogs, humans, or any other animals. We mostly see them swarming around dog feces because they remain in the open for a long time.

As stated earlier, flies like moist, organic matter. They feed on these objects and also use them as a breeding ground.

Poops of any animal contain trace amounts of indigestible carbohydrates, fats, minerals, bacteria, and protein. These are the primary food sources of adult flies. However, it is also essential to mention that not all fly species relish excrement. Some also feed on milk, meat, and ripe fruit.

Besides being a food source, there is also another reason why flies find poop attractive. It is because poops make the perfect breeding ground for flies.

Adult flies lay hundreds of eggs in dog poop. The warmth and moistness of fresh poop create a perfect habitat for fly eggs.

When the eggs hatch, the larvae find themselves on top of warm, nutrient-rich (for flies) organic matter. They feed on dog poop in order to survive. That's the reason why you see a swarm of flies around a dog poop that has been in the open for a long time.

This whole thing may sound disgusting, but this is one of the primary reasons why flies are so attracted to dog poop.

Why do flies sit on poop?

There are two reasons why flies sit on dog poop or any poop. In this section, we will discuss both of them.

The first reason is that flies sit on poop to eat. In order to understand it completely, you must have a clear concept regarding flies' eating procedure. So, flies do not, or rather cannot eat solid food like other animals. They only take their meal in a liquid form. Yes, all flies survive on a liquid diet.

At this point, it may sound confusing because you may have seen flies sitting on your bread, right? Here, here is what these insects actually do. When flies sit on food, they first secrete their digestive juices.

This substance is often, informally, called fly vomit. The digestive juices break down the food particles and turn them into liquid. Then, flies use their proboscis and suck the food inside their bodies.

This is also why flies are more attracted to fresh poop than dried ones. Fresh feces are moist and warm and are easier for flies to feed on. This is one of the reasons why flies sit on poop.

The second reason is to lay eggs. As stated earlier, poop or dog poop is more than just food for flies. It also acts as a breeding ground for these insects. The warmth and moistness of poop create the perfect habitat for fly larvae. Upon bathing, hundreds of fly larvae eat the dog poop to survive.

A fly sitting on some surface.

How To Get Rid Of Poop Flies

Flesh flies and house flies are perhaps the only species that relish feces. Seeing them in your house or in the backyard is quite common.

However, remember that they can easily contaminate your food because the last place they sat on was perhaps some fresh poop. So, it is crucial to get rid of them for the sake of your health and that of your family members.

In the rest of this section, we will discuss some effective ways to repel poop flies from your house and backyard.

The first step to take is to dispose of the flies' food sources. Previously, we have discussed in detail what attracts flies and why it does so.

Now, you have a firm idea about why the flies are targeting your backyard. So, dispose of all moist and organic matter from your garden.

If you have a pet dog, then ensure that the dog poop does not remain in the open for a long time. The longer it sits in your yard, the more flies it will attract. For this reason, many dog owners carry plastic bags with them when they take their dogs out walking.

This way, they can get rid of the dog poops immediately. Having said that, burying the dog poop is also a good idea to avoid flies.

Just take a garden shovel and bury the feces underground. This way, you can get rid of both the excrement and the unwanted flies.

Another great way to get rid of flies from your yard is to plant fly-repelling plants. But, before you choose a plant, ensure that it is not harmful to dogs.

There are many plants that repel flies, such as basil, lavender, and marigolds. For best results, plant them near the place your dog walks. They will keep the flies away and give you enough time to dispose of the dog excrement.

Besides the plants, you can also use fly-repellent sprays. These sprays work like a charm when it comes to getting rid of flies. You can apply them to specific locations, such as your deck or porch, to keep them free of flies.

Some people also apply the spray on dog poop. So, when the flies approach and eat the excrement, they die. In lieu of fly-repellent sprays, you can also use bug sprays for a similar result.

The next alternative is to keep your yard clean. As is already mentioned, flies always target moist, organic matter.

Not only do they relish such objects, but they also use them as a breeding ground. So, it will be a great idea to remove fallen leaves from the yard and empty trash bins regularly to keep unwanted guests at bay. You also need to remove dead plants and wood to prevent them from rotting in your backyard.

Lastly, you should check the remote parts of the yard to ensure that no dead animals are rotting there. Carcasses are also one of the favorite diets of flies.

Even after taking all these steps, you may still fail to prevent flies from entering your backyard. It is also natural because you cannot possibly control the outdoors.

Nature is home to flies as well. However, you can successfully prevent these insects from invading your house and contaminating your food.

In order to do so, you will need to work on the open passages that link the indoors to your yard. For starters, you should install tight-fitting window screens that won't provide enough space for flies to intrude into your house.

Finally, the last option is to use flytraps. You can purchase commercial flytraps from a store. You can also make them at home if you want. The procedure is quite easy.

First, take a bowl and fill it with dish soap, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Then, add some food bits to the mixture. Your homemade flytrap is ready to attract flies.

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Written by Prasenjit Das

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Prasenjit Das picture

Prasenjit DasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Having obtained a Bachelor's degree in English language and literature from West Bengal State University - Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College, followed by a Master's degree in English language and literature from Calcutta University, Prasenjit has several years of experience as a content writer, Prasenjit has mastered the art of producing cohesive and coherent copy. To further refine his skills and continuously challenge his creativity, Prasenjit successfully completed the "Introduction to Creative Writing Course" offered by British Council. Outside of his professional pursuits, Prasenjit finds inspiration in engaging in various creative activities, including writing poetry.

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Fact-checked by Dolly Chhatwani

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in English Literature

Dolly Chhatwani picture

Dolly ChhatwaniBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in English Literature

A skilled professional-client manager, Dolly brings a wealth of experience to any team. Holding a Master's in English Literature, she has worked in various customer relations and operations management roles throughout her career. With a degree in both English and Psychology, she is passionate about promoting mental health. Dolly is an avid reader, particularly of classic literature, and enjoys writing book reviews. Additionally, she maintains a food blog and is active on social media.

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