Flies are on the short list of pests we all hate most. In fact, the more you learn about flies, the more you dislike them. At best they can be a huge nuisance pest, at worse they can be a serious health risk to you and your family. For businesses, especially those in the food and healthcare industries, they can be considered the worse enemy. Here are some facts about how to prevent flies and things that you’ll probably wish you never knew about them .
Flies taste with their feet
Like some other insects, flies taste receptors are actually on their legs and feet. This means that in order to taste your dinner to see if they like it, they land and walk around on it. Often times they taste your food after walking around tasting things like animal feces or rotting matter. If that wasn’t gross enough, flies are unable to eat solids, which means they need to turn your food into liquid before they drink it.
Flies have a special way of accomplishing this, they vomit acid that dissolves the food. Is there anything you’d like on your food less than a flies vomit?
Flies love to defecate
Well, not sure if they “love it” per say… but they sure do it a lot. Since flies don’t consume solid food, they don’t need a long time to finish digesting a meal. Because of this, flies go to the bathroom extremely regularly. In fact, it’s suspected flies go to the bathroom nearly every time they land. So not only are they bringing germs with them on their feet, but they’re also they are creating new ones. If that’s not enough to make you want to prevent flies from coming in the house, what is?
Fly populations grow fast
When we say fast we mean it! Common house flies can take as short as 6 days to reach maturity. Combine this extremely fast life cycle with the fact that female flies lay 120 or more eggs at one time and the numbers grow exponentially.
In one study scientist calculated that if two flies were able to reproduce in ideal conditions without morality of their offsprings from natural causes or predators, then in just 5 short months two would turn into 191,010,000,000,000,000,000 flies! That’s right 191 quintillions! Thankfully most fly species live only eight days to two months.
\Flies spread a whole range of diseases
Flies are the source of many dangerous diseases. Since flies walk on and eat the most disgusting things we can imagine, it’s no wonder they have been found to have hundreds of different bacteria on them at one time. Every time a fly lands, thousands of microbes fall off its body.
Some of the dangerous bacteria that we may be familiar with carried on common flies are Salmonella, E. Coli, and Shigella. Some diseases caused by them are typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, and hepatitis. When one of these bacterias are found in commercial food establishments, they immediately shut down and must launch a full investigation to find the source in order to protect the public.
Yet, a fly will bring these right in our homes endangering our families. By now you probably see why we at Barrier Pest Solutions do everything possible to keep flies away. But what can a homeowner or businesses do to prevent fly infestations themselves?
How to get rid of flies
Remove sources of attraction
Since house, drain and fruit flies are most common we will focus on them for this blog. The first step to preventing flies is always to identify and remove things that attract flies. Some of these attractants can be obvious such as emptying the trash, cleaning/throwing out items that have old food or other organic matter on them such as plates, food trays, stovetops, barbeques, animal food bowls, dog feces in the backyard and so on.
It’s vital to the success of your fly program to be through in this inspection. Inspecting behind ovens and fridges can often lead to discovering small food leftovers you were not aware of. People often think they would smell food items a fly would search out, but we have found that often to not be the case. Food items in your pantry that are not yet obviously rotten and smelly can very well be a source of fly infestation, so don’t be afraid to turn over that bag of potatoes that’s been at the bottom of your pantry for a few months. Yes, that’s personal experience talking.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to hose down areas pets use the bathroom even after you dispose of feces, as small amounts leftover will be enough to attract a fly.
Be sure to clean out drains, garbage disposals, and the inside of trash cans. Grit and grime tend to build up in these areas over time and are a perfect place for flies to lay their eggs. Remember it won’t take long for those eggs to become adults.
Pro Tip: Exterior trash cans and dumpsters will ensure fly activity is nearby. Keep these as far away from doors and windows as possible.
Now that you have identified the sources of attraction and removed them, it’s time to prevent flies from being able to get inside of the house in the first place. The most common areas that flies enter homes and businesses are doors and windows, thus ensuring these areas are in good order can be a huge long-term solution.
Front doors now have wonderfully tight security screens available for purchase at your local hardware stores. These new style doors can often eliminate fly entry points for those who like to keep their front doors open for air throughout the day. Be sure to carefully inspect all sliding door and window screens, replacing any that are a problem. Even if most of the screen is in perfect shape, a small hole can be an entry point for flies.
Fly traps can be a great way to prevent flies around your property, not only allowing you to enjoy your yards more freely, but also lowering the chance one of these pests finds its way inside to start an infestation. Fly traps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from liquid filled bags, golden sticky tubes, to hanging tapes. The solutions that tend to work best are ones that come with a lure. You guessed it, these lures stink! So ensure you have enough yard space to place the traps far enough away from guest areas, otherwise, your next spring BBQ might end sooner than you planned.
Fly baits can be another helpful tool in your fly control bag. Depending on what state you live in, baits available to you will change. However, baiting as a control method of all pests has been on the rise. Not only does baiting provide one of the lowest impact methods of fly control, but it also gives flies something to consume besides your dinner.
Fly baits can come in liquid or solid form and all share one unique characteristic, yes you probably guessed it, they stink. So ensure you place them away from eating areas.
Fly Pest Control
At Barrier Pest Solutions we may not like flies but we sure like helping to get rid of them for our customers. If all these DIY ways to prevent flies prove to not be enough, never hesitate to give us a call and discuss if a customized fly control program can help you.