Parasitology

Parasitology

Flat Fly Life History and Zoonoses

Flat flies, also known as louse flies, pigeon flies or filth flies, are seen mainly on birds but occasionally use mammals as a host. They are obligate blood feeders. They are not attracted to humans but may bite in desperation. They are well adapted for clinging and moving through feathers and fur with strong claws. A mother fly produces one larva at a time that stays in her body until it is time to pupate. The larva then feeds on the secretions of a “milk gland” in the uterus of its mother. The mother then gives birth to the pupae who is rapidly self-sufficient and finds another host quickly. For this reason, large infestations are rare

Zoonosis Risk: Low.

There is a possible passing of pathogens, especially in a setting with many caged birds.