When controlling small flies, especially in commercial premises, selecting the right product for the pest and situation is vital for success. 


Several small fly species can become a major problem, particularly in commercial accounts such as food preparation and processing facilities, commercial kitchens, garbage areas and also public toilets and animal housing areas. Small fly control can be a big challenge; since small flies breed within the customer’s premises and have a short life cycle, they can multiply quickly when plentiful food sources and breeding sites are available. Even small amounts of organic debris can support a significant small fly population.

The presence of moisture and organic matter creates special challenges for sanitation management in commercial facilities. If left unaddressed, it can result in a nuisance infestation at best, and a threat to health and safety at worst. Manual removal of organic waste such as washing down and wet mopping can only go so far. Manual cleaning tends to push food or other organic matter and moisture into cracks and crevices. When enough build-up occurs, problems can arise with the appearance of small flies.

It is important to identify the pest fly species as this will help with locating the source of the problem. Fruit flies and vinegar/fermentation flies (Drosophila spp.) tend to live on rotting and decaying fruit and vegetables and are attracted to beer and wine spillages.

Drosophila spp.


Phorid flies, from the Phoridae family (main image, above), are also known as humpback flies or scuttle flies, and are normally found in sites where moist organic matter has been allowed to accumulate for five days or more. Drain or sewer flies (Psychoda spp.) have a fuzzy, moth-like appearance and live in areas where water and organic matter is allowed to pool, such as in drains and uncleaned drip trays.


Psychoda spp.


Effective control of small flies will commonly require a well-planned IPM program which begins with identification, monitoring and inspection. This is followed by the elimination of conducive conditions through appropriate sanitation practices, including physical removal, followed by chemical control and finally, evaluation. As small flies survive and breed on decaying organic matter, good housekeeping and sanitation are quite possibly the most important part of a successful IPM program. Using the right products for the species and situation is essential.

Available from Agserv, Invade Bio Drain Cleaner and Invade Bio Foam are specialised drain cleaners that use natural microbes and citrus oil to cling to the sides of drains. The microbes break down and destroy the organic build-up, therefore eliminating potential breeding sites on drain walls.

Adult flies can be effectively controlled with the use of traps and sprays. The Brandenburg range of insect light traps and the Py-Matic automatic insecticide mister are both good options. Particularly suited to sensitive accounts and food preparation areas, the Drop-Ins Fruit Fly Trap uses a pre-baited, non-toxic, food-grade lure that effectively draws adult fruit flies towards a discreet trap designed for indoor use.

Once control is established, it is necessary to spray hard to reach areas, and cracks and crevices, as part of a preventative measure to target potential future breeding sites. Agserv stocks a wide range of residual insecticide sprays that are ideal for ongoing adult small fly control.