Why Flies Are So Attracted to Humans
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Why Flies Are So Attracted to Humans

Darling, I received your letter. After all we’ve been to each other, how
can you ask me to “bug off?” You are my world. At 150 times my length, you are a veritable
planet to me. Next to you, I feel as tiny as a fly. Because… I am a fly. Yes, it is me buzzing your face again. You call me Percy the Pest, but rather, I’m
Percy the Persistent; the fly who loves your face. Shall I count the reasons why? FIRST: I love your face, not just for your
charming smile, but for its exposed skin. I cannot know if I love your arm, tucked deep
within its sleeve, but I find face irresistibly accessible. Landing there, I fall in love. SECOND: I love “the breath that from my
mistress reeks” (that’s Shakespeare! A very Fly Guy)
Do not chew mints on my account, Dear. They will not drive me away. It is not halitosis, but the Carbon Dioxide
you exhale that draws me. So long as you breathe, you cannot change
that. THIRD: You are an oasis in the desert. I am not being poetic. Flies swarm the desert, the beach, and parched
parking lots. Like you, we get thirsty. So, we drink your sweat. Why not? Your sweat teams with proteins and salts and
you are not using it. Down with waste! Up with flies! And, Darling, I hate to see you unhappy, but
if you must cry—I will drink your tears. Slurp slurp. There. Now they are tears of joy; joy in having refreshed
a fly! Thus turning your symbol of pain into a fountain
of love. Isn’t that beautiful? You know what else is beautiful? Fresh skin. I know you think so. You spend a fortune on scrubs and exfoliants
but— FOURTH: I love to eat your flaking skin cells. They are munchy fly snack chips! Go ahead! Bat me away! I will return and eat until I burst! That is why I bring my friends. There is so much of you to go around. I could never finish even one scab in a life
time— For, Sweetness, my life is short. That is one reason that I can dodge your fingers. Living but a few days, I experience time differently. Unlike the 7 dog years to 1 human year formula,
scientists haven’t worked out fly-time yet: but suffice it to say that while, for humans—time
flies, for flies—humans operate like romantic movies… in slow motion. You can never catch me. OK, that swatter doesn’t count. Don’t brush this off as a fly-by-night affair. When I see your lovely face, refracted in
my 12,000 eyes (I have 6,000 little eyes in each of my two simple eyes) I fall in love
with… Every. Single. Image. It’s easy for me to doge your swatting fingers. I see you coming in all 12,000 directions. If you sorrow over having only two eyes, think
of this: You have two eyes in each image of your face that is reflected in my 12,000 eyes. Meaning: In my eyes you have 24,000 eyes! Can any other lover say that? And—my special wings help me dodge around
too. Flapping up and down is for the birds. Fly wings flap forward and back. Changing their pitch, or angle, I pirouette,
dive, and dance. And I flap my wings hundreds of times per
second, creating that buzz sound that drives you crazy. The feeling is mutual! Buzzzzzzzzzz. Oh! You saved me a fleck of peanut butter under
your nail! Darling! Thank you! And why must I crawl across your cheek? Because I have taste receptors in my feet! They help me locate the most saturated sweaty
spots of skin. I don’t have teeth so, before I eat, I spit
out a little digestive fluid (Just a little. You don’t mind, do you?) to soften up the
flaking skin or crumb of toast I find on your chin before I have a go at it. You know the expression “you catch more
flies with honey than vinegar”? —well,
you drive my cousins the fruit-flies bananas with your honey face wash, strawberry scented
shampoo and sweet perfume! You cannot blame them. They are not alone. That flowery perfume drives bees—who are
not flies—plumb crazy. If I told you that flies pollinate lots of
fruit and flowers —just like bees! — would you love us? Plus! We never sting! Bite, yes, but never sting. I won’t sting, bush flies like me have the
soft fleshy mouths of collagen injected movie stars. Mmmm kiss-kiss-slurp. But my cousin, Skeeter, bites. She can’t resist the warmth that you, and
all warm-blooded—with an accent on the blood— animals, emanate. So that’s five: Some flies love you for
your hot, sweet, blood. And you are especially attractive in the summer
when more of your tender skin is exposed. Yes, Dahling, Skeeter is a mosquito but did
you know that mosquitoes are flies? A fly, or order Diptera, is a flying insect
with —of course six legs and—two pairs of wings: one set for flying, and one kind
of a knobby pair that we use for balance. I know that I am not the first fly to love
your face, nor do I expect to be your last dipteric suitor. There is just one of you and so many of me. 30,000 species. I, personally, am a Musca Vetutissima, sometimes
called a bush fly, and I look a lot like my cousin, the house fly. You don’t like him, but he isn’t interested
in you either, he just eats stuff around your house like fruit. Put away the swatter. Forget him. Live and let live. I, Percy the Persistent, will never bite you! I simply seek the proteins, carbohydrates,
salts, and sugars in your skin, sweat, and tears. But Skeeter wants your blood – for her babies! She’s such a good mother! (It’s only the female mosquitos who bite. Your blood contains the proteins their developing
offspring require.) It won’t hurt. Skeeter’s proboscis is delicate, and her
motherly touch so gentle, that—should you be sleeping when she sips your plasma—she’ll
not wake you. Though you may itch later. I know you want to sleep in peace, but we
can’t leave you alone at night because we only live a few days. Therefore, we are neither nocturnal, that
is night-active, nor diurnal, active in the daytime, but must rest, feed, and fly around
the clock. Look! there is the clock, right there. Compared to Skeeter, Cousin Morgan, the Horsefly,
embarrasses me. Morgan chomps. You might even bleed. It might hurt. It feels like Morgan has teeth, but he doesn’t. Morgan has knife-like lips that slash at your
skin. Then he, too, slurps. But he leaves a mess. The good news is, Horse flies are not known
to transmit disease to humans. I desire only your happiness, but if you really
don’t want to share the few hours of my short life, here is how you can deter me: Get one of those “cork hats,” so popular
in Australia. They are essentially safari hats with dangling
corks all around the brim. The idea is that the corks will swing and
keep me from your face. They don’t work, but Darling, I’d love
to see you in one! You will look cute! And I will know it’s just for me! I am not a fan of bug spray. Mostly because —if it’s toxic enough to
harm me, it could hurt you. I am also not a fan of…. fans. Although my cousin, Sandy, enjoys surfing
on the air currents, they buffet smaller flies like yours -forever yours! -truly. They will keep me away. If you really want to dissuade me, you could
take a shower, but what a waste! All that lovely sweat and those sloughed off
cells—down the drain! It makes me cry. And who, I ask you, will drink my tears? Please darling, write me back, only this time,
not on fly paper. You misunderstand its purpose. Hey, if you learned something new today, then
give the video a like and share it with a friend! And here are some other cool videos I think
you’ll enjoy. Just click to the left or right, and stay
on the Bright Side of life!


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