Study: Flies On Your Food Are Way More Disgusting Than Cockroaches

Bugs and food don’t mix. But would you rather see a cockroach scramble over your eggs or a fly alight for a few seconds before taking off? Though the housefly might appear less scary than a roach, a new study says we should be more worried about the former walking around on our food.

Pest-control company Orkin surveyed 300 people [PDF], with 61% responding that they’d drop their forks on seeing a cockroach at ar restaurant, while only 3% would do so at the sight of a fly, reports USA Today.

But Orkin says we shouldn’t be so complacent about those flying pests, as they’re veritable Trojan horses of yuckiness.

“Many restaurant patrons may not be aware that houseflies are twice as filthy as cockroaches,” Orkin entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D., said in a press release about the survey. “It’s important that everyone understands the magnitude of the health threats flies pose so that they can help prevent the transmission of dangerous diseases and bacteria.”

Orkin points out that flies carry communicable disease around on their legs and mouths, after the females lay eggs on gross stuff like rotting food, feces and roadkill.

In an instant, flies can drop those disease from their legs and the little hairs on their bodies, delivering it neatly to your table, hamburger bun or utensils.

Now if someone could just tell the flies to stop being so dang squirrelly to swat, I’d get rid of the three disease-carrying pests currently refusing to leave my kitchen.

Drop that fork when a fly lands on your food [USA Today]