In their day-to-day lives, flies feed on pollen and other materials in their environment. At night, they rest on the ground, fence wires, and other objects. They also consume blood and shoe polish. Their mouthparts are highly variable, ranging from long sucking tubes to disc-shaped hoovers. One species, Moegistorhynchus longirostris, has the longest proboscis in the world. It is about as long as the human tongue.
Although they’re generally considered nuisance pests, some species of flies are important to humans. Flies may contain pathogenic bacteria, and are important in the control of bacteria and other pathogens. In addition to their nuisance value, flies can act as beneficial insect pests. Their feeding habits help keep the environment clean, as they recycle waste materials, and pollinate plants.
Black flies are part of the Simuliidae family and have over 30 species in New York. They are also known as turkey flies and buffalo flies, and can transmit serious diseases to ducks and turkeys. While they are not harmful to humans, black flies can cause severe skin irritation and itching.
Honeybees perform much of the pollination work in our food crops, but flies also play a vital role. Flies have a much faster reproduction rate than honeybees, and can reach high densities under ideal conditions. In addition, some species of flies are migratory, meaning they can quickly fly from one crop to another.