Updated: May 31, 2023

Flies are common insects found in every corner of the world. They are small, agile and highly annoying creatures that seem to have a knack for buzzing around our faces and food. But do flies attack, bite or sting? This is a question that has puzzled many people over the years. In this article, we will take a closer look at the behavior of flies and determine whether they are harmful to humans.

Types of Flies

There are over 120,000 species of flies in the world, and they all have different characteristics and behavior. Some of the most common types of flies include house flies, fruit flies, blowflies, horseflies and mosquitoes. Each of these flies has a different way of feeding and interacting with their environment.

Feeding Habits

Flies are primarily attracted to decaying organic matter such as garbage, feces, and dead animals. They use their sharp sense of smell to locate these sources of food from a distance. Once they find a suitable source of food, they land on it and use their proboscis to suck up any liquids they can find. This is where they get their reputation as disease carriers because they can pick up bacteria and viruses on their feet and spread them to other surfaces.

Do Flies Bite?

The short answer is no, flies do not bite in the traditional sense. Unlike mosquitoes or ticks, flies do not have mouthparts designed to pierce skin and suck blood. However, some species of flies such as horseflies and deer flies have mouthparts that can cut through skin and feed on blood. These types of flies are more commonly found in rural areas near fields or forests.

Do Flies Sting?

Again, the answer is no. Flies do not have stingers like bees or wasps. They cannot inject venom into human skin or cause any harm in that way.

Do Flies Attack?

Flies do not attack humans in the same way that a predator would. They are not aggressive insects and do not have the ability to harm humans intentionally. However, flies can be very persistent in their quest for food and may become annoyingly pesky.

The Dangers of Flies

While flies may not attack, bite or sting, they can still pose a danger to human health. As previously mentioned, flies are attracted to decaying organic matter, which can harbor dangerous bacteria and viruses. When a fly lands on these surfaces, they can pick up these harmful pathogens on their feet and carry them to other surfaces, including food and drink. This is how diseases such as salmonella, cholera and typhoid fever are spread.

How to Prevent Fly Infestations

Preventing fly infestations is key to maintaining good hygiene and health. Here are some tips to keep flies away from your home:

  • Keep your home clean and free of clutter
  • Clean up spills and crumbs immediately
  • Seal all trash cans and dispose of garbage regularly
  • Keep doors and windows closed or use screens
  • Use insect repellent when spending time outdoors


In conclusion, flies do not attack, bite or sting humans in a harmful way. While they may be annoying pests, they do not pose a direct threat to human health. However, flies can carry harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause serious illness if ingested. By taking preventative measures to keep flies away from your home, you can reduce the risk of disease transmission and maintain good hygiene.