Kevin Parsons from Globe Pest Solutions recaps the best approach for solving clients’ fly problems.
To successfully control a fly problem requires knowledge, resources, co-operation from the client and often, a degree of imagination. You can’t just walk onto a site and start spraying whatever you have in your tank. You need to carefully examine the client’s premises before embarking upon any action.
To simply apply a chemical without addressing the underlying reasons for the fly infestation will not necessarily make a happy client. It’s important to remember that it’s not how many flies you kill, it’s how many you leave behind that matters.
Conducting a proper site evaluation
As with most pests, successful treatment of flies requires a thorough site evaluation – a good time to record key site observations is whilst you’re carrying out a standard risk assessment. Keep an eye out for any factors that will impact on fly breeding, feeding and movement including:
Geographic location – Sites near rubbish tips or farms are typically fly hotspots – anywhere which could be a fly breeding site.
Site orientation – Where sites are free standing, prevailing winds and the location of entry doors may have a decided influence upon the number of insects that enter a building. If there is a ‘high risk’ operation in the vicinity, such as an abattoir, you may have ongoing issues.
Structure – The age, nature of construction, state of repair and design of buildings will influence the site’s susceptibility to pests of any description.
Site culture – The degree of success of any pest management programme depends strongly upon co-operation from management and staff. Leaving doors and windows open, throwing food scraps on the ground and leaving garbage bins open are practices which will severely hamper your control efforts.
Keeping an eye out for these causal factors will arm you with the vital knowledge needed for a successful fly management program. The solutions to fly problems can be grouped into three areas; exclusion, restriction and destruction.
Sometimes the simplest solutions work the best and if you can physically prevent flying insects from entering a building, your worries are almost over. Your local Globe Pest Solutions branch manager can assist you with advice on exclusion methods for your particular situations, but some common exclusion methods include flyscreens placed on doors and windows, airlocks used in conjunction with aerosol dispensers, air curtains and strip curtains made of plastic of varying design and thickness. Depending on the site and the customer’s requirements a combination of one or more exclusion methods may be appropriate.
Reducing the breeding potential of the pests by eliminating food sources or potential breeding sites is a vital factor in eliminating a fly problem. The first element to look for when implementing a restriction program is waste disposal, this is best done during your site evaluation. Obviously where you have waste disposal such as rubbish bins and larger skip bins you often have food scraps, liquids and other items such as packaging material. All waste bins should be situated a distance from the building itself and not in an area where the prevailing winds will carry odours into interior areas. They should be emptied on a strict schedule and not be allowed to overflow. I know it sounds obvious but you would be surprised how rare it is to come across a site that is practicing proper waste disposal.
External lighting is also a major variable that can be restricted to reduce pest pressure. Mercury vapour lamps, fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs are all more attractive to flying insects than high-pressure sodium vapour lamps. Specially coloured ‘insect’ bulbs can be used to reduce the attraction factor and external lights should be placed 5-6m away from doorways. Ideally, high-pressure sodium vapour lamps should be used exclusively in external areas.
There is a wide range of chemical and non-chemical control measures to control flies and new insecticide formulations are being introduced fairly regularly. It’s fair to say that most insecticides will kill flies, but that doesn’t mean that you can just pick up any insecticide container from your vehicle, mix up a batch and start spraying. The first aspect to consider, of course, is whether or not the product is registered for the particular fly species you’re treating and the situation you’re spraying in. Fly baits, residual insecticides, IGRs (insect growth regulators) and metered aerosols are all great options to use in combination with exclusion and restriction practices.
As most pest managers know chemical control alone is not a sound solution and the use of flying insect traps and killers can be a great option in fly control. The positioning and installation of these varies from one model to another and is critical in the performance of the unit post installation. So take a great deal of care in understanding the ins and outs of the machine you intend to supply and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.