There are four basic principles of pest management important in controlling house flies: sanitation, exclusion, non-chemical measures, and chemical methods. |
Of the thousands of species of flies, only a few are common pests in and around the home. Some of the more common nuisance flies are the house fly
Flies found inside a building have entered from the outside in almost all cases. Therefore, barriers preventing access to the building are the first line of defense. Cracks around windows and doors where flies may enter should be sealed.
Sanitation - Flies cannot breed in large numbers if their food sources are limited. Do not allow such materials as manure, garbage, grass clippings, weed piles or other decaying organic matter to accumulate. Keep trash cans clean and tightly covered. Be careful not to wash garbage cans where the rinse water might drain into the soil; flies can breed in soil full of organic matter. Dry out maggoty garbage or dispose of it in fly proof containers or landfills.
Exclusion - Flies can be kept outside of homes by the use of window and door screens. Make sure screens are tight-fitting without holes. Keep doors closed with no openings at the top or bottom. There should be no openings around water or gas pipes or electrical conduits that feed into the building. Caulk or plug any openings. Ventilation holes can be a way for flies to enter a building. Ventilation is important to maintaining adequate air circulation within the building, but screening must be used to exclude flies.
Non-chemical Measures - The use of such devices as ultraviolet light traps, sticky fly traps, fly swatters, baited fly traps, etc. can eliminate many flies from inside a home. A fly swatter is an economical control method for the occasional fly.
Chemical Control - Exterior applications of insecticides may offer some relief from infestations where the task of completely sealing the exterior is difficult or impossible. Applications should consist of a synthetic pyrethroid (i.e. deltamethrin, cyfluthrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, cypermethrin, sumithrin or tralomethrin) and should be applied by a licensed pest control operator when flies begin to appear. Unfortunately, because insecticides are broken down by sunlight, the residual effect of the material will be greatly decreased and may not kill flies much beyond several days or a week. If flies are numerous inside your home, you can use a space spray (aerosol) labeled for flying insects. Most space sprays contain pyrethrins for quick knockdown. Aerosols give temporary relief, however. If you have many flies inside, you would be wise to find out why they are there and take steps to relieve the problem through sanitation and exclusion.
Because flies can quickly develop resistance to insecticides, use them only as a last resort to obtain immediate control of adult flies.
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