Have you ever wondered where do flies go when it rains and why do they suddenly disappear during bad weather conditions?
In this article, you’ll learn the behavior mechanisms of flies before, during, and after rainy situations.
During rainfall or thunderous weather, most flies seek shelter under leaves or bark, in small crevices, or in other small sheltered spots where they are protected from the rain. Some tiny types of flies or very large types may continue to fly. Other flies dodge and deflect the drops, sometimes riding on air currents that result from the falling raindrops.
Where Flies Come From
Flies, attracted to structures by light and heat, can enter the home through broken or damaged weather stripping or torn screens.
Flies look for warm, moist locations to lay their eggs in, such as compost piles, garbage cans, and decomposing fruit.
Flies of the family Muscidae and other genera, including the common housefly, lay from 75 to 150 eggs at a time. The eggs are small (about one-twelfth of an inch), spherical, and transparent.
When laid together with other eggs in a mass, about one-twelfth of an inch in diameter, they can be seen with a hand lens as tiny white pebbles.
Fact: Horse flies do not commonly enter homes and generally don’t feed indoors; however, sometimes, they enter homes through windows and doors by accident.
Flies Also Welcome Rain
Humans react to the rain in many different ways; some people use umbrellas, others get dressed in waterproof clothing, and there are those who stay indoors.
Many other creatures don’t have those options and instead must deal with the rain.
It is estimated that there are more than 300 billion insects in the world, most of which can fly. Like birds and bats, many insects must deal with rain, so they have adaptations to help them fly.
Insects have survived for millions of years by flying and falling through rain, snow, and other weather elements. Sometimes, the falling water droplets are so dense that they form into deadly hailstorms.
Summer can be oppressive, even deadly for flies, especially when the weather is hot and humid.
Like other insects, flies prefer the hot seasons or weather to be countered by occasional thunderstorms and rain.
Challenges for Flies
Because of their small size, agility, and ability to fly, flies have several advantages over other small animals.
But flies are ectothermic. In cold weather, the temperatures of insects’ minute bodies react to outside surroundings.
Thus, their metabolisms slowdown in cold weather, creating lethargy in the flies, but in warm conditions, they are often energized and active.
1. Rain and Increased Weight in Flies
Flies are generally much heavier when wet than when they are dry. So how do flies go away when it rains?
Rain can be especially problematic if they need to fly or climb. If their wings get stuck together with water, it will also be harder for them to stay on track.
Fact: If the weather is cold or damp, the insect may not have enough energy to fly at all.
Common winds during storms can further exacerbate insects’ flight woes.
2. Taking Shelter
The wind and rain can threaten flies, so they make a habit of taking shelter to avoid being blown away or drowned by water.
Flies and many other insects, including ants, bumblebees, and cockroaches, can sense air pressure changes to predict coming weather.
Flies, usually seeking shelter from the rain, burrow into logs, dig underground, or hide under leaves and other items in order to wait out the storm.
They may become waterlogged and lose their flight abilities, so they try to get away from an area where there is no cover.
3. Weathering the Storm
Size is an advantage among larger flies, such as the house fly: they are less likely to be knocked off course by large droplets of rain.
So, they can still fly and “weather the storms.”
Smaller flies, such as midges and gnats, are at a disadvantage: they cannot take advantage of air currents as efficiently as larger flies.
In general, small flies that can withstand more powerful rainstorms than larger flies quickly perish. It’s not uncommon to see pockets of water with dead flies after some rain.
Note: Because the smaller flies’ flapping wings cannot generate sufficient lift for the flies to maintain flight control in a heavier downpour, they’ll be knocked off and die.
Water Resistant Flies
Some flies have been found to withstand the impact of raindrops quite well, even though their small weight and size should make them more vulnerable.
Some scientists have suggested that flies do not slow the drop-down much and take less hit from the drop itself.
It is thought that instead of resisting the force of the falling raindrop, flies “ride” the wave and sometimes fly close to the ground before escaping out from beneath the drop and continuing on its flight towards the nearest source of food.
Fact: Some flies are able to break free of the water and continue flying thanks to a unique kind of hair that is already resistant to water.
Mate Selection after Rain
Flies seem helpless and inescapable as they are hurled towards the earth by raindrops, but they do have some tricks up their sleeves.
To understand where do flies go when it rain, you also have to understand the role rain plays in their mating patterns.
While it has been observed that female flies will often mate with other males while knocked down by a raindrop, summer storms are also an indicator to the more aggressive males that the time has come to search for a mate.
After so many weeks of staying hidden, flies know that the rains mean that spring is coming and it is time to look out for a mate.
The flies signal their readiness for mating with pheromones released into the air and will also emerge when there is a storm, knowing that it is mating season.
Flies also feel cold, but they typically don’t respond by shivering.
However, if the temperature drops below a certain range, they will cluster together to keep warm by huddling.
They’ve also been seen to close their wings to conserve heat.
Important Facts about Flies
If you’ve ever been outside on a warm day and felt a fly land on your arm, you know why they are pests. The flies that most people know are strong fliers.
But did you know that all flies have one pair of wings and three pairs of legs?
Here are more interesting facts about flies:
1. Flies are also important because they help decompose waste and pollinate flowers, contributing to biodiversity and the environment’s health.
2. Flies are standard insects in many parts of the world.
3. There are 18,000 flies distributed throughout North America, and more than 120,000 species are found globally.
4. Flies have a brief lifespan, but they can produce many offspring in only a few days and spread various dangerous diseases, including malaria, salmonella, and tuberculosis.
5. They may travel as far as 20 miles from where they were hatched but usually remain within one mile of the place where they were born.
6. Fruit flies typically enter homes through windows and doors that face the outdoors; they are drawn to food waste like overripe or rotten produce.
7. Different flies behave differently in inoculant weather conditions.
Because humans are relatively big and furry and because most insects are much smaller and hairless, humans tend to dislike the feeling of being wet.
Likewise, many flies have a strong aversion to adverse weather conditions such as precipitation and extreme heat or cold.
Insects like flies are interesting, and it’s valid to ask where do flies go when it rain.
However, some species of beetles whose exoskeleton materials allow them to flourish on rainy days; this is largely due to their hydrophilic (or water-loving) properties.