What Will Happen if a Human Swallowed a Fly

What will happen if a human swallowed a fly?

Overall, nothing catastrophic will happen. There is no danger in this since the fly will reach the stomach and get digested, just like any food product.

In some instances, the worst that could happen is that you would probably choke on it.

Would You Get Sick if You Swallowed a Fly?

For the most part, you will probably not fall sick. Generally accidentally swallowing a bug or an insect such as a fly should be cause for worry. The body has the right mechanisms that can help to digest such things, just the way it does with food.

However, this doesn’t eliminate the fact that flies can cause serious health problems. It should be noted that these insects usually visit multiple food sources throughout the day. As a result, they usually carry harmful bacteria that are picked from human waste and other dirty materials.

So, if you accidentally swallow a fly, you risk ending up with a bacterial infection. Some of the bacterial infection that an ingested fly can transmit to human beings include:


It’s the most common type of bacteria that usually results in foodborne illnesses. In case you swallow a fly and end up developing Salmonella, then some of the symptoms that you might manifest include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • abdominal cramps
  • Fever and diarrhea

Generally, you can suffer from salmonella and get better without seeking treatment. Symptoms typically start to show up after 12 hours.

E.coli poisoning

This is another common bacterial infection that can be caused by maggots from flies. Note that there are multiple strains of E.coli, however, most of them are usually harmless. This bacteria may manifest itself in the form of:

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Slight fever
  • Bloodstained faces or diarrhea

Generally, E.coli symptoms usually develop within 1 to 10 days. Its severity can also range from mild to severe.

Intestinal myiasis

This is another possible infection that you may suffer from. Myiasis normally occurs when a person orally consumes larvae found in insects such as flies and they happen to survive in the gastrointestinal tract. Common symptoms of myiasis include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching in the anus
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding

If you are healthy and you accidentally swallow a fly, chances are that you won’t experience any side effects. This is because your body will naturally deal with any bacteria present in the fly.

However, those at a high risk of suffering from unwanted infects include:

  • Older adults
  • Young children
  • Those with compromised immune systems

How Can You Remove a Fly That’s Stuck in Your Throat?

This is what happens in most cases when you accidentally swallow a bug. It ends up getting in your throat and now you don’t know if you can effectively throw it up or just go ahead and swallow. However, the easiest way to do this is to actually “push” it down your stomach.

To remove the fly, you just have to use the same solutions as those involved in removing food stuck in the throat.

i.Take a moist piece of food

Having a bug stuck inside your throat is one of the most irritating feelings ever. This means that it might actually feel uncomfortable to swallow other food varieties. However, a moist piece of food is one of the most effective solutions that you can employ.

For instance, you can moisten a piece of bread in milk and then consume the soft piece. It will be efficient in ensuring that the fly gets out of the way.

ii.Take Butter

This sounds weird, right? Well, sometimes things tend to get stuck in the throat due to the lack of proper lubrication. Well, butter is an edible that’s a good lubricant. So, simply take a tablespoon of butter and the fly will quickly move into your stomach.

iii.Drink water!

Yes! This is the simplest and straightforward thing that you could do. If there is no butter or any other moistened food, take a glass of water or any other beverage and you will be good to go.

Note: what you should not do is to try and insert your fingers down the throat. They are probably dirty and you risk increasing your chances of contracting serious infections. Additionally, do not use a stick or anything else for that matter. You might end up injuring your throat and this can result in serious health complications.

Where in the World Do People Eat Flies in Their Regular Diet?

Do you think that there are actually people who eat flies? Like they actually incorporate it into their diets? Well, if flies were edible, then they would definitely be good sources of protein.

That means that we would be trapping a bunch of them and simply feast to get all the protein that the body needs to repair cells and develop lean muscle mass.

Personally, I have never heard or even seen anyone who eats these insects. However, it’s quite surprising that people actually eat maggots which are also found in flies. There are numerous types of diets where maggots are incorporated into different cuisines.

But I get it. Maggots actually have a high-fat content. Flies, on the other hand, have high microbial content and this means that they can never be treated such as edibles.

Can You Breed Flies?

Well, the current industries that use flies do so in order to create fish and livestock feed. Well, there is actually a need for more industries to be opened in relation to this. According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, there is a need for institutions to invest in animal protein crunch.

This is an investment opportunity designed to attract more investors. According to this organization, the world population is expected to increase by more than 2 billion people. This is a staggering number and it means that the demand for animal protein feed will significantly increase.

On the other hand, there has been a massive increase in the demand for fish, chicken, beef, and pork. So, how can this be effectively managed? Well, if livestock and fish can feed on fly protein then we should invest in this in order to have a sufficient supply of food.

Naturally, we can’t eat flies, but the way the food chain is set up, we can give flies to fish and other livestock. In return, we can eat those animals. It should be noted that chicken can also feed on these insects. So, it’s a win-win situation for use.

Do Flies Have Benefits?

We all know that house flies are annoying. That’s why if one lands on your food, you will either have to re-heat it or simply dispose it off. These pests are also known to significantly ruin any outdoor or indoor experience.

But does this mean that they don’t have some benefits? Well, there are some farmers who actually breed these insects. This is because they are said to have some benefits, especially the maggot which is normally used for the following:

Maggot Therapy

There are farmers who breed flies solely for the production of maggots. In some instances, maggot debridement therapy involves the use of the fly maggots to clean or manage bone infects or even wounds. Sounds interesting, right?

But how exactly does this work? Well, the maggots obtained from these flies are normally used to eat the dead tissues in bones and wounds. Besides that, these maggots also help to enhance the production of calcium carbonate and ammonia all of which are important in enhancing the healing process.

Placing these maggots in such an area, can, therefore, help to disinfect the affected body parts.

Note: however, only a few species of flies are actually effective for this task. One of them is the Musca domestica fly. While maggot therapy seems like something strange, it has actually been around for many years. It was used during the Napoleon times as well as the Civil War.


Like I stated above, maggots are also good sources of protein. Besides being eaten by human beings, these protein-rich edibles are also ideal for making livestock feed. Additionally, there are those who use it to make commercial fish feed.

Maggot meals used to make animal or fish feed is normally known as magmeal. Generally, it’s much cheaper and highly nutritious.

It normally has more than 40% crude protein which makes it effective in naturally promoting healthy growth. This food variety is also usually high in B complex vitamins, phosphorus, and trace elements.

The Bottom Line

Is it possible to accidentally swallow a fly? Definitely. This is something that can happen numerous times in your lifetime. Flies are uncouth and dirty insects and it’s irritating if they find your way into your stomach. Generally, the stomach usually contains acids that help to breakdown harmful components as bacteria.

So, chances are that you might not fall sick even if you swallow a fly. However, those with weak immune systems may end up with serious complications. Until now, no one or culture incorporates these insects into their diet. It’s because flies are dirty with many microbes.

If you want to learn more about various insects, then checkout our site categories, we have a bunch of articles there that are totally worth reading:



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All the best


Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page https://schoolofbugs.com/about-steve-foster/

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