Fish flies emerge from beneath the waters each spring and indiscriminately mate, then die. Their dead bodies are left behind, stuck to sidewalks, houses, and littering the streets. They also are known to emit a horrible popping sound if stepped on. This tiny creature can make even the toughest guy a little squeamish, once they get a whiff of the stench the dead bodies of these insects emit when stepped on. There are approximately three-hundred types of fish flies found all over the world.
This creature can live for several years, spending the majority of its life as larva. They are able to survive in both quickly flowing waters and still waters. Most types of fish flies need an aquatic environment that features a high oxygen content, in order to allow them to breathe. This insect only lives in water during the larval stage, however, once they reach adulthood they tend to live close to aquatic habitats.
During their annual invasion, the amount of dead fish flies is just staggering. People who live in parts of the country where these flies are prevalent can often be seen using a shovel and garbage bags to remove these insects off their property, before they turn into a mucky, smelly grease. This grease can actually become a hazard to both pedestrians and drivers.
Depending on where you live and the type of species that afflicts your area, the invasion can last for just a few days or it can run for as long as one to two weeks.
According to biologists, mating season is in full swing once you spot large blobs of brownish stuff on the surface of the water, near shore. These blobs are actually the eggs. The females mate with the males by flying through a swarm of males. Next, they head to the water and lay approximately three to four-thousand eggs. These eggs sink to the bottom and hatch.
This type of insect exists only to mate. The lifespan of an adult is anywhere from one hour to one day, depending on the type of fly. Dead or alive, this insect will stick to patio furniture, or decks like Velcro. Many people are forced to pressure wash these flies off their houses. However, doing so will release the powerful dead fish smell. Some experts recommend gently sweeping off your house using a broom, or simply leaving them attached until they dry up and blow away.
The invasion of these insects actually indicates a healthy marine ecosystem. According to biologists, these flies are actually highly sensitive to pollution, requiring a lot of oxygen in order to survive until they hatch. A healthier body of water, with less algae, holds more oxygen. Because of this, the fish fly is often called an indicator species of a healthy ecosystem. Fish flies that are healthy are better for fish to feed on, which in turn is better for those who fish.