Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses Page: 27
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TEXAS NATURE OBSERVATIONS AND REMINISCENCES. 27
The Fly Nuisance.
There exist in all communities
and outside of these, two main
types of pestiferous flies-the com-
mon housefly and the socalled
blowfly-or dumpingfly, as they
dump myriads of eggs on decaying
and offensive material, as well
as on meat of all kinds. Both of
these fly species are a great public
nuisance, for various reasons. Both
of them can be kept outside of
dwellings by properly screening
the houses, stables, etc. The call
is to exterminate them-kill as
many as possible, as thereby mil-
lions of offspring will not exist
in the near future, which would
perhaps molest you or contaminate
your food-articles or transmit dis-
ease germs directly.
Just now again sanitarians and
our health department are giving
considerable thought to the eradi-
cation of the fly nuisance, and
they urge to screen the houses
and premises and keep them clean
and in a sanitary condition. Sta-
bles especially, and outhouses,
slaughter houses, hog pens, and
in fact all such places where
decaying and offensive material
is liable to accumulate, should
constantly receive sanitary atten-
tion, as flies and other injurious
insects breed therein. By keeping
such places as clean as possible
and occasionally through sprink-
ling with lime and coal oil, carbolic
acid, etc., much good can be
With our common houseflies,
always more or less flies with
sting-weapons commingle, and
many such, especially of the stable
variety, resemble the common house
fly very closely. The cluster-fly
also often commingles with the
housefly; it is somewhat larger,
with smooth colored dark abdomen
and studded with yellowish hair.
It is, however, not as active
as our common fly and is often
subjected to a peculiar reddish
fungoid growth or parasite, which
often kills the fly and is thus
seen adhering to the window panes,
A large variety of other obnoxious
fly species are the blowflies, those
large and shining flies, with glitter-
ing blue or green body. The
majority of them belong to the
viviparous insects, the 'eggs being
matured inside the fly's abdomen,
and deposited in form of minute,
wriggling yellowish-white worms.
Some such species, however, lay a
large number of very minute,
oval-shaped and elongated eggs,.
depositing same on all sorts of
fresh or decaying meats and food-
stuffs, and with much preference
also on venison of all kinds,
and they therefore are the most
disgusting flies on record.
In slaughter-houses (not screened)
hog pens and on dead animals;
they swarm by the millions and
they breed and multiply
in an exceedingly short time and
in immense numbers. On the prai-
ries and plains dead animals are-
usually covered with them, black
masses of such flies and billions
of their larvae, and while feeding
on such decaying animal matter
they are liable to be swept by the
wind currents into inhabited places:
and here infect occupants of dwell-
ings or the domestic animals.
By their immense numbers and
multiplication they also do some
good in absorbing putfid fluids
and tissues, but our common
turkey buzzard-that great sanita-
ry scavenger of the prairies and
plains-does vastly better serv-
ice in disposing of a dead animal.
These so-called "dumping flies"
or blowflies are also and especially
a great nuisance at certain seasons-
of the year in camp, during
outings, fishing time, hunting, etc.,
and parties attempting a pro-
longed outing trip in the woods
should provide themselves with
mosquito netting or wire screens-
to cover the foodstuffs and game-
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Menger, R. Texas Nature Observations and Reminiscenses, book, 1913; San Antonio, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143558/m1/31/?q=menger: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.