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The Dangers of Picnic Flies

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The Dangers of Picnic Flies

December 04
21:06 2017

There are several running lines about picnics. One is that no matter where you have a picnic, the ants will find you. The other is that it’s impossible to eat anywhere outside without attracting flies. Perhaps that’s because there are so many flies in the world.

I was curious and found several sources and it seems the average is about 17 quadrillion flies in the world. Most of us have no concept of how many that is, so here it is with all the zeros: 17 quadrillion = 17,000,000,000,000,000. That’s a lot of flies and depending upon which species of fly one is speaking of, they do play very important roles in the earth’s ecosystem.

Some flies are responsible for pollinating may different plants. Did you know that one species of fly is the ONLY insect that knows the secret of how to pollinate the vanilla orchid so as to produce the tasty vanilla beans?

Other flies help the process of decomposition which results in the recycling of valuable nutrients for plants and animals.

Some experts say that flies are more important than bees and if every fly in the world suddenly died, that it would result in worldwide famine in a relatively short period of time.

But what about the flies that love to invade your picnics, backyard cookouts and even inside your home? What do you do when they suddenly appear and land on your sandwich, fried chicken, cake or cookies? Most of us just shoo them away and continue on with our meal. After all, a small little fly just landing for a second or two on our food can’t hurt anything, can it?

“A new study suggests the insects carry far more dangerous bacteria than previously thought, meaning sandwiches are best avoided if they have been contaminated by flies.”

“Researchers at Penn State Eberly College of Science in the United States found that common houseflies carry salmonella, e-coli and even bacteria which lead to stomach ulcers and deadly sepsis.”

“The researchers say flies may have been overlooked by public health officials as a source of disease outbreaks.”

However, if you are a picnic lover and don’t want to give up the joy of eating outside, there is a recommendation you may want to pay attention to. It seems that urban flies carry far more harmful bacteria than rural flies do.

Flies in urban areas were found to carry more bacteria than the countryside leading scientists to suggest avoiding city parks for a picnic, and eating food into more rural locations.”

Dr. Donald Bryant, Professor of Biotechnology at Penn State University, commented:

“‘People had some notion that there were pathogens that were carried by flies but had no idea of the extent to which this is true and the extent to which they are transferred’.”

“‘We believe that this may show a mechanism for pathogen transmission that has been overlooked by public health officials’.”

“‘It will really make you think twice about eating that potato salad that’s been sitting out at your next picnic’.”

“‘It might be better to have that picnic in the woods, far away from urban environments, not a central park’.”

Avoiding city parks isn’t the only thing to consider. If you live in the city and want to have a backyard cookout, you may want to rethink about eating outside or taking some kind of precautions to try to reduce the number of flies in the area, which is a near impossible job.

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