Filth flies often feed and lay eggs on garbage, manure and carrion before contaminating human foods and food preparation surfaces by landing on them. Several kinds of non-biting flies can be found in and around farms, residences, and food-handling establishments. These flies can be harmful to health, causing annoyance and discomfort. |
Filth flies are usually scavengers in nature and many are capable of transmitting diseases to man. Filth flies can usually be grouped according to their habits and appearance as: houseflies and their relatives; flesh flies, blow flies and bottle flies, filter flies, soldier flies, and vinegar or fruit flies.
The key to managing all filth flies is sanitation. Eliminating fly breeding sites, i.e., the material to which they are attracted to and on which they lay eggs, is usually sufficient to eliminate and prevent fly infestations. Conversely, without thorough sanitation, other control methods are largely ineffective. Therefore, trash should be kept in sealed containers maybe in trash bags and/or cans with tight-fitting lids. Dumpsters should be kept as clean as possible, emptied regularly and kept as far away from buildings as is practical. Manure and other decaying plant and animal material should be promptly removed. Also, eliminate areas of excessive moisture.
Flies seek breeding places where garbage, animal droppings, or vegetation residues accumulate. Locate and thoroughly clean such places. Dry, spread or somehow dispose of dog, cat, or other animal excrement. Do not let garbage accumulate in the open and make sure garbage cans have sound bottoms and tight fitting lids.
Good fitting screens on windows and doors are essential in preventing flies from entering homes and kitchens. In areas with high humidity screens last longer when made of aluminum, plastic, or fiberglass.
Just as sanitation is the key to successful filth fly management, inspection is the key to sanitation. To eliminate fly breeding sites, one must first locate the attracting material. Often this can only be accomplished by conducting a thorough inspection of the premises, and by knowing what to look for and where to look. First, identify the flies involved, inspect for material that attracts that species and then eliminate the material.
Another important step in fly management is to exclude them from the premises. This is done by keeping doors, windows and vents closed as much is practical, and by screening and sealing around these and other fly entry points. Automatic door closing devices and air curtains that blow air away from doorways also can be installed to supplement an integrated fly management program.
In addition to fly swatting, mechanical fly control includes trapping. Sticky fly paper is one type of fly trap. Ultraviolet light traps are another, often used to supplement fly control in commercial buildings. To be effective light traps must be properly placed. This type of trap should be placed where it cannot be seen from outside the building, no more than 5 feet above the floor where most flies fly, and away from competing light sources and food preparation areas. Bulbs should be changed at least once per year.
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