Fighting flies and mosquitoes: basic methods and means


Flies and mosquitoes are very annoying insects that bother everyone. The issue becomes especially relevant in spring and summer, when synanthropes become more active. Their bites and endless buzzing are annoying, and in addition, these little nasty creatures can carry various diseases. Residents of rural areas suffer more from flying insects than urban residents. How to get rid of annoying pests?

  • Description of insects
  • Ways to control flies
  • Ways to control mosquitoes

Species and habitat

Some species of dipterans that live near humans are among the most ancient insects. This is exactly what the common housefly is, which, according to scientists, has been living on the planet for 145 million years.

Diptera are widespread on the planet, numbering more than 5 thousand species, of which a fifth lives in Russia. The most famous: domestic (indoor), meat, etc. They all have a similar body structure, differing only in size, color and habitat.

On a note!

The smallest flies in the world are Megaphragma caribea (length 0.17 mm) and representatives of the family Myrmaridae (2.1 mm), the largest are the South American Mydas hero (grow up to 6 cm in length with a wingspan of up to 12 cm) and the New Zealand species Egsul up to 5 cm long.

Anatomy of a fly

Like all insects, the body of dipterans consists of 3 separate sections:

  • the head of the fly is hemispherical in shape with lateral eyes of a facet type, in front there is a mouthparts of the licking-sucking type and 3-segmented eyes;
  • the chest consists of a prothorax and metathorax, the mesothorax contains the muscles that hold the wings,
  • The abdomen is sessile (less often stalked), consisting of 4-10 segments; inside it are located various organs of the fly (for reproduction, respiration and digestion).

The fly has no bones, and instead of them the insect has a chitinous shell that covers the entire body. It is the skeleton of a fly: very strong, so it performs protective functions, and light, so it allows the insect to fly. It is quite elastic and can stretch after eating or during pregnancy in females.

Order Diptera: general characteristics

Diptera are invertebrate animals belonging to the class of insects, the characteristic feature of which is the presence of one pair of full wings and the presence of complete metamorphosis. Almost every person learns about this definition after reading the textbook “Biology”. Diptera is also an order that unites more than one hundred and fifty families and one hundred thousand species of insects. Midges, mosquitoes, flies, and horse flies are especially famous.

Scientists do not classify dipterans as social animals, but there are exceptional cases when representatives of this order form flocks. Usually these are situations caused by the presence of an attractive aroma of food, a convenient location of the territory for mating or rest.

But the majority of dipterous insects prefer solitary existence. Each of them goes through a certain cycle, thanks to which they transform into a full-fledged individual of the order Diptera. Representatives of this order are initially at the egg stage, then pass into the larva, followed by the pupa and only then the imago.

At the larval stage, the body of the individual is like a worm without legs. The only protrusion on their body are non-segmented structures on the abdomen. They are also characterized by the presence of an oral apparatus. An adult imago is capable of living only in air space. Larvae are not picky in this regard. They are comfortable in soil, in water, and in the bodies of plants and animals. Adults belonging to the order Diptera feed on nectar and pollen of plants. They are predatory and blood-sucking.

Head structure

The individual parts of the fly's head have their own names:

  • forehead - located between the eyes, at the top it turns into the crown, at the bottom of it there are antennae;
  • the fly's face is located below the whiskers and looks like a facial plate bounded by the forehead and frontogenal suture;
  • there are cheeks under the eyes;
  • the back surface of the head is convex or flat (in some species it is concave);
  • the eyes are convex faceted, formed from many facets; in males and females the facets are different - in the former they are holaptic and very close together; eye color varies between species;
  • in the oral cavity there is a proboscis instead of the lower lip with sucking lobules at the end, here the salivary gland channel passes;
  • The fly's jaws (upper and 1 pair of lower) are atrophied.

The organs of smell and taste are much more advanced and subtle compared to humans. The sharpness and their cricketing ability are associated with a large number of “nostrils,” although the olfactory organs are separated from the respiratory organs and are located on the antennae; some species of dipterans also sense taste with their paws, or rather, with their last segments on the legs.

Role in nature

Many insects belonging to the order Diptera are capable of harming the health of humans or animals. First of all, this is due to the fact that representatives such as mosquitoes, flies, sand flies, horse flies and live flies tend to carry all sorts of infectious diseases. There are a number of individuals that can cause harm to plants while at the larval stage. In this state, they often parasitize the human body and the body of domestic animals. In turn, dipterous representatives of this order, which pollinate plants and act as soil formers, bring benefits. There are also species of dipterous insects that are destroyers of farmland.

One hundred thousand species of Diptera are grouped into several groups:

  • mosquitoes and biting midges;
  • thicklegs and fungus gnats;
  • butterflies;
  • centipedes;
  • lions;
  • stem beetles;
  • horseflies;
  • balls;
  • humpbacks;
  • hoverflies;
  • dung and house flies;
  • gadflies and tahini.

Respiratory and digestive organs

The structure of the respiratory system is very different from the human one. You can explain how a fly breathes as follows. The fly has no blood. She inhales air through holes located on the sides between the head and the rear end of the body. Each “nostril” turns into a tube that forms a network of air inside the body. Such air vessels supply oxygen to all other organs, i.e., the heart of a fly is the same thin tube that periodically contracts and pushes air inside.

The digestive system of these insects is even more interesting. Their main diet consists of human food remains and organic matter. The fly's mouth secretes saliva, which contains specific enzymes that can dissolve tissues and solids. First, with the help of a proboscis, the fly injects saliva into the food it finds and waits for its action. After the food turns into liquid, the insect begins to lick it with its mouth. After saturation, the insect begins to defecate frequently - almost every 5-15 minutes. She regurgitates the digested contents of the stomach, leaving small black discharge on various objects, dishes and food.

Ways to control mosquitoes

The main way to control mosquitoes is to repel or eliminate them. All chemical and folk remedies are aimed at this. In addition, along with physical methods of repelling, for example, mosquito nets, curtains and other obstacles to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house, they also use high-tech devices such as ultrasonic repellers. Typically, they are used in a large space, such as in a house, on a porch or even outdoors. The disadvantage of such devices is their high cost. Let's look at how to effectively fight mosquitoes using folk and chemical means.

Folk remedies

Essential oils. Blood-sucking animals cannot tolerate odors such as lavender, mint, eucalyptus, and cloves. To repel mosquitoes, you just need to moisten a cotton ball with essential oil and spread it around the room. You can also mix essential oil and any nourishing cream to create a homemade natural repellent. Just do not apply essential oils to your skin in their pure form. They are very concentrated and can cause skin irritation.

Vanilla. A tablespoon of vanillin should be diluted in half a glass of water, and the resulting solution should be sprayed onto clothing and exposed areas of the body. You can mix vanillin with baby cream - another option for a natural repellent.

Lemon with cloves. Cut the lemon into halves and stick cloves into them. Distribute throughout the room. This will not only repel insects, but also fill the room with a pleasant aroma.

Lemon with cloves

Herbs. Can be used as personal protective equipment. To do this, you need to pour boiling water over a small amount of herb, cook for a while, then remove from the stove, cool and spray the resulting decoction onto your clothes or exposed areas of the body. In this way you can use bird cherry flowers, wormwood root, and basil leaves. To protect your home, bunches of herbs can be placed around the room; their smell will also repel mosquitoes. In a private house, under the windows you can plant basil, elderberries, tomatoes or Caucasian chamomile. The latter contains the substance pyrethrum, which is included in many repellents and perfectly repels insects.


There are a huge number of different chemical repellents on the market that provide excellent protection against the ubiquitous mosquitoes. You can choose any product, even for children. Conventionally, chemical preparations can be divided into two “camps”:

Skin repellents. Many people probably know how to use such drugs. They are produced in the form of sprays, gels, and ointments. Products should be applied to exposed skin and reapplied periodically. The substance leaves a film on the skin that protects against blood-sucking insects. The most common products are Raptor, Moskitol, Moskill, Gardex.


Fumigators. Available in the form of tablets, liquids and spirals. The principle of operation of fumigators is that the device contains an element that heats up when the device is plugged into an outlet. When heated, chemicals are released that kill mosquitoes. With a spiral, the principle of operation is slightly different - the spiral needs to be set on fire, then it will go out and smolder, releasing a substance into the air that is poisonous to mosquitoes. When using such products, for safety reasons, always read the instructions for use.

Brain structure

Flies have a ganglion nervous system, which consists of individual nodes (ganglia), which are connected to each other by trunks and cords. The anterior 3 nodes are united into the suprapharyngeal ganglion, which can roughly be called the brain. It consists of 3 sections and performs a coordinating function in choosing the behavior of a dipteran insect.

Reflexes are performed by another organ - the reflex arc. However, even such a simple structure allows the insect to achieve unique results when changing body position and choosing the direction of flight. But their memory is very short and is only 2.7 seconds.

Some brain functions in flies that fascinate scientists:

  • it helps to accurately choose the direction of flight;
  • controls several functions of the body at once: the fly can consume food, clean the body with its paws and move along the surface - all at the same time;
  • allows you to process more than 100 images per second. (for comparison, for a person this figure is 25 frames/sec.);
  • According to scientists, the fly brain has a “map with coordinates” on which one can quickly carry out calculations to rearrange the body and change the flight speed, based on this they are trying to create artificial intelligence of the fly, which can be used in technology;
  • Although the behavior of insects is often related to instincts, but in accordance with the experiments conducted, they learn skills throughout their lives and are perfectly oriented in various situations.

The above information about the structure of the fly’s body and the properties of its body proves that all living beings on the planet bring both benefit and harm. They are original and interesting, as proven by research by scientists and biologists.

Order Diptera: reproduction

The larvae and adult representatives included in this order have striking differences in the anatomical and physiological structure. The period of acute reproduction for a number of dipteran insects is not easy. Often, males ready to breed create a kind of swarm, the noise of which can attract many females.

The majority of dipterans are oviparous. But in nature there are flies that are characterized by ovoviviparity. In this case, the insect lays an egg in which the finally formed dipteran larvae are located. After hatching, they immediately begin life processes such as feeding.

There are also flies capable of viviparity. In this case, there are two possible outcomes. In the first, an older larva is born, which requires some time to feed; in the second, the larva is born in full readiness for pupation.

Also, reproduction of dipterans can occur at the larval stage. This phenomenon is called pedogenesis. It is based on the maturation of approximately sixty daughter larvae in the pedogenetic body. Daughter larvae emerge through breaks in the maternal integument. Reproduction in favorable conditions allows insects belonging to the order Diptera to produce up to 10 new generations per year.

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