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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 10 (January 2, 1939)

Health Notes. — “Safety Week” In The Home

Health Notes.
“Safety Week” In The Home

Every week should be a “Safety Week” in regard to the preservation of health. One positive danger to health is the house fly. This human enemy is the carrier of many infectious diseases, and is the greatest menace in the home in the summer time.

A single fly lays from 100 to 150 eggs at a time and does this five or six times in a season. In selecting a site for the laying of the eggs, the fly prefers the medium which will provide heat and food for the development of the maggot, the ideal being decaying vegetable matter such as kitchen refuse, etc.

In structure, the fly has a proboscis, salivary glands, a large crop which holds food laden with germs, and a stomach. Now the salivary glands are the only digestive glands and can deal only with the starches and sugars, therefore it must get its proteid foods in a pre-digested form. The former it gets from the dining table and the latter from refuse, etc.

Unfortunately, the fly has but few natural enemies and therefore it falls upon all to exert every effort in its destruction. Therefore, the only way to minimise the danger, is to “starve it out.”

Firstly, we must see that we do not provide suitable breeding grounds and should never leave rubbish unexposed. Burn what can be burnt, wrap up in paper what has to be put in the dust bin, and bury deeply (if you can) whatever cannot be disposed of otherwise. Make free use of the various contrivances for the destruction of the fly, and above all, see to the protection of the food. Safes should be protected by fly-proof netting, and foods, especially those which do not require cooking, such as bread or sugar, should be carefully guarded.

Of course, we all know, that we should never sit down to a meal without first washing the hands carefully, and we usually follow this time-honoured custom. However, we should always be careful that our hands are clean when we have the “bits and pieces” between meal times.

If we allow six flies to escape us at the beginning of the season, then the homes have to cope with a progeny of 3,600. If these 3,600 flies also escape destruction, then their progeny results in millions of flies being produced to perform their deadly mission as germ carriers.

The life history of the fly makes gruesome reading, but unless we face the facts, we are somewhat inclined to waiver in our effort to rid the home of this enemy to health and cleanliness.

Swat That Fly is a phrase that cannot be too strongly stressed, for the fly is definitely detrimental to health. Destroy the fly and the health of the nation benefits accordingly.