The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Sewer WHAT?

I’ve invented a fun new game at work.

It’s called Gross Out Your Colleagues With Bug-related TMI.

This is how you play:

1. wait for a co-worker to notice, then comment on, the strange-looking little flies crawling on their window pane, desk, or coffee mug

2. wait for the co-worker to swat at or otherwise shoo away the strange-looking little flies as they mutter something along the lines of : “damn fruit flies”

3. smile nicely and say “those aren’t fruit flies, they’re SEWER flies”

4. wait for the pause, then your co-worker’s cautious words: “what do you mean, ‘sewer flies’?

5. share the following fun factoids:

  • sewer flies (also called “drain flies”) are typically found in moist areas ladden with highly organic debris, such as sink drains, sewage treatment facilities, storm drains, dung and rotten vegetation.
  • female sewer flies lay their eggs in the sludge lining drain and sewer pipes
  • the larvae FEED on decaying organic material found in the pipes

6.  enjoy the look of disgust that slowly creeps over your co-worker’s face and laugh as they scamper off to find the nearest bottle of hand sanitizer.

I’m having too much fun with this game to mention what is obviously a pretty bad infestation to the building services/sanitation peeps.    Does that make me evil?

(for the Geekalicious: Sewer flies = true flies (Diptera) of the suborder Nematocera, which contains flies with largely aquatic larvae and includes the mosquitoes and crane flies.  Too cool for school with the bad-ass family name “Psychodidae”…but also a tad too fuzzy-wuzzy and cute to take them seriously).

3 responses to “Sewer WHAT?

  1. Ted C. MacRae November 28, 2009 at 12:33 AM

    I work with entomologists, so I can’t pull this stuff on them, but I pull it on my friends all the time, and even my family (all girls) still falls for it every now and then. The tarantula hawk story always gets them pretty good, but I’ll have to give sewer flies a try.

    True story – when my brother-in-law came out to California with his new partner to visit us, we met them at the airport. Amidst awkward silence, I swatted at some fruit flies (actually vinegar flies) buzzing my face and said, “Man, what’s with these fruit flies?” BIL’s partner looked at him and said, “I can see the comments are starting already.” We all broke out laughing hysterically and had the best weekend!

    • The Geek In Question November 28, 2009 at 10:40 AM

      *regains enough composure to type a response*

      “Fruit flies”, hee.


      Fantastic story, thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Just looked up the tarantula hawk, I don’t think I’d heard of it before (up here in the Great White North we don’t get cool things like tarantulas)…..that’s one bad-ass wasp!!!

  2. dragonflywoman November 19, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    I have actually done the exact same thing! I therefore do not think it is evil, but maybe I’m trying to justify my actions to myself… 🙂 Psychodids are super cute as adults though! Sometimes I can almost overlook the fact that the few places I’ve found them are in the locker room at my University’s rec center and around the wastewater treatment plant outfall.

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