Popular Science

Blow flies help us solve murders—but climate change is forcing them out

Rising temperatures are driving these crime-fighting insects from their homes.
A chrysomya megacephala, commonly known as a blow fly.

A chrysomya megacephala, commonly known as a blow fly.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Climate change has spurred the spread of invasive insects that devour crops, destroy homes, and spread disease. Now, rising temperatures are driving cadaver-eating blow flies to migrate north in search of cooler weather, with consequences for forensic scientists who rely on them to solve crimes.

Blow flies are drawn to dead bodies, both human and animal. They land on a fresh corpse within minutes of death. The females the or of suspected killers.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Popular Science

Popular Science2 min read
Four Electric Skateboards To Seriously Improve Your Commute
A man named Louie Finkle (also known as Electric Louie) first filed a patent for electric skateboards in 1999, though they weren’t commercially available until around 2005. If you haven’t tried it before, skating with an electronic boost is next-leve
Popular Science4 min readScience
SpaceX’s Cheap Internet Could Cost Us The Night Sky
The Earth just gained five dozen new artificial satellites. The newcomers represent a drop in the bucket compared with the thousands of functional machines already up there, but also an early raindrop in a deluge of tens of thousands to come.
Popular Science4 min readTech
How To Auto-reply To Text Messages When You’re Busy
Do Not Disturb is one of the best (and most underutilized) features on modern smartphones. With the press of a button, you can silence incoming calls and texts while you’re driving, in a meeting, or taking a nap. But it’d be a lot better if you could