The overall philosophy of fly control is to reduce the attraction of flies to the general exterior environment (zone #1) by all practical means and control those that get near the building(s) before they are able to gain entry. |
When evaluating flying insect management strategies, each building is different and as such will have different needs and problems which must be addressed through an integrated program to achieve satisfactory flying insect control. To accomplish adequate fly control it is helpful to divide the environment into three basic zones, keeping in mind during each aspect of the evaluation, what can be done in each zone to reduce the overall fly activity in each of the critical areas. The first area of concern is the exterior environment. The second zone is the structural barrier between the exterior and the interior; that is the walls, entry doors, overhead doors, and conveyor entries that separate the exterior from the interior working area. The third zone is the basic interior working areas.
The second priority is to set up and maintain the structure in such a way as to prevent as much fly entry as possible. Finally the third step is to pick up flies on the interior with insect light traps and other control methods before they reach more sensitive storage or manufacturing areas where food or other product contamination may occur.
THE EXTERIOR ZONE IS THE "STARTING POINT"
The place to start when making such an evaluation is on the exterior because no matter what steps are taken, there will always be flies on the outside of the building(s). The exterior zone is inspected first because the more that is done to reduce the number of flies on the outside, the fewer the number of flies that will be able to gain entry.
SOME ASPECTS ARE NOT CONTROLLABLE
Not all aspects of the plant environment that might affect the level of fly activity can be controlled by our efforts. Examples include exterior temperature, humidity, or odors issuing from the plant. It is important therefore to identify these attributes of the plant environment and take steps to control fly activity on the exterior applying control approaches that effectively compete with these factors.
GARBAGE AREAS & OTHER AREA(S) OF ATTRACTIVE PRODUCT SPILLAGE
Another aspect of the plant environment that is critical in keeping fly activity under control is proper maintenance of garbage areas. This includes the covering of dumpsters, the hosing down of those areas in which excessive spillage may occur or wet garbage may be present, and careful inspection to assure that any drainage associated with the garbage is free-flowing and cleaned at least on a daily basis. In addition, to keeping the area around garbage dumpsters clean, steps should be taken to prevent harborage and breeding of flies inside the garbage containers themselves. Complete emptying and cleaning of the dumpsters at regular intervals can best achieve this; as well as keeping dumpsters covered when not actually being used.
ACCUMULATION OF DEBRIS & EXTERIOR STORAGE
Excessive accumulation of debris and other material near the building will only serve to harbor insects and rodents and contribute to pest problems on the interior of the structure. These materials should be sorted and any unnecessary items discarded. Those items that cannot be discarded should be moved away from the building as far as possible and stacked in an organized manner elevated off the ground. These measures will help reduce the tendency of insects and rodents to harbor and breed among the debris.
VEGETATION NEAR BUILDING
Excessive vegetation and weeds growing near the structure are not only unsightly, but serve as a prime harborage and breeding area for a wide variety of flying insects, and invite the presence of many other insects as well as rodents. Any vegetation (grass, shrubs, etc.) should be carefully landscaped - upkeep is the key word! When mowing near the building, grass clippings should not be blown up against the building forming a pest supporting mulch. In all non-landscaped areas, a soil sterilized or bare stone border should be maintained around the perimeter of the structure. This is best achieved by enlisting a properly trained weed control specialist to treat these areas on a yearly basis.
EXTERIOR RESIDUAL TREATMENT
In addition to sanitation and engineering controls, it is important to consider what chemical steps or treatment methods can be used to further reduce the fly population during the warm months of the year. The first step in an exterior chemical control program is the application of materials to exterior structural surfaces that the flies land on before they enter the building. Engineering controls and satisfactory sanitation are the first tools to use to reduce fly activity to acceptable levels in exterior areas. If fly activity prevails in spite of these measures, residual insecticide applications should be made to exterior building surfaces as well as the ground and vegetation immediately adjacent to the structure. Flies frequently harbor in vegetation next to buildings and usually land on the structural surfaces adjacent to entry points before flying in. For these reasons residual applications to these surfaces will yield the best results. The need for this service, as well as the frequency and scope of the actual treatments will depend on structural design and operation. New spray-on bait is useful for those situations where flies can be expected to land and feed on surfaces on or near the building. The spray-on bait is typically most effective for flying insects that feed on sugars such as house flies, wasps, and yellow-jackets.
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