Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Re: house flies

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Question
Hi Jack,

I know you answered someone suspecting house flies of biting, and stated that it must have been stable flies.  But a friend was complaining of being bitten by flies that weren't biting the rest of us.  Is it possible that there are exceptions to the rule, for some reason, when it comes to house flies not biting?  Have you ever heard of it?

         Ty

Answer
Ty,

House flies lack the type of mouthparts to bite. They have essentially a sponge that can only "mop up" liquids - no teeth or mandibles, so it is not possible for them to bite. Stable flies, however, look like house flies and do bite.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology

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