South African Flies
This list is non-exhaustive
Flies are very abundant across the globe and are often associated with human activity and thrive in warmer climates. They are found wherever suitable conditions for breeding allow it such as refuse areas, retail environments, agricultural situations and even domestic environments. They thrive in moist habitats and moist organic matter, along with being attracted to favourable breeding grounds such as animal housings, chicken and dairy farms, along with facilities that house horses in stables.
If effective hygiene and cleaning standards are not maintained in these scenarios, along with the introduction of effective and regular fly control programmes, these fly populations will expand and may spread into adjoining areas and then become a problem in local housing, restaurants, commerce etc.
If we know which species of fly is currently inhabiting your home or workplace we can provide you with the most accurate treatment plan. The following factors can aid in identifying a fly species: size, lifespan, habits, and seasonality.
Identification & Physical Description
Length: Approx. 6 – 8mm
Colour & description: Have whitish eggs that are approx 1mm in length. The larvae are white/yellow, feed in groups and are up to 12mm long. The pupae are egg shaped and reddish in colour and are usually found in drier areas. Once emerged the adults are greyish with pale stripes on the thorax. They have large red eyes and are approx 6mm in length.
1 to 4 weeks.
During their adult life of 1-3 months a female is capable of producing 4-5 batches of 100-150 eggs. The eggs are laid in moist decaying matter and within 8 – 48 hours hatch into maggot larvae. They progress through 3 moults before they reach maturity which may take as little as 5 days but is dependent on the conditions. The pupa is then formed and some days later the adult emerges.
Food & Water
Have a wide flight range of up to 5 miles and female house flies look to lay eggs in rotting, fermenting or moist organic matter. Rotting vegetable matter or animal faeces typically provide the ideal breeding site.
Identification & Physical Description
Length: Approx. 3.5 – 6mm
Colour & description: The eggs are a distinctive banana shape and approximately 1mm in length. The larvae are upto 8mm long and are grey/brown in colour. The pupae will tend to be located in drier locations and are darkly coloured. The adult has 3 longitudinal stripes on the thorax which are more pronounced in the male than the female and a yellowish abdomen. The adult is typically about 6 mm long.
2 to 4 weeks
Eggs are usually laid in batches of about 50 with the females laying upto 2000 in their lifetime. The eggs are laid in moist decaying organic matter and within 24 – 48 hours hatch into maggot larvae. The larvae take approximately 6 days to reach pupation dependant on the conditions and it is usually 7 – 14 days before the adults emerge.
Food & Water
The larvae feed on all types of decaying organic matter but they are commonly associated with food waste so are often found around bins and garbage depots as they provide ideal breeding sites. They may also be a pest within certain types of poultry housing.
Identification & Physical Description
Length: Adults can be up to 25mm long.
Colour & description: Horse flies are dark brown in colour with green or black eyes. The males have contiguous eyes which easily differentiates them from the females where the eyes are widely separated
Adults Horseflies have a lifespan of 30 to 60 days.
Horsefly mating is initiated mid-air and completed on the ground where the female then deposits the eggs in a shiny secretion. The secretion helps protect the eggs from water. Each egg mass usually contains 100 to 1000 eggs on a vertical surface near water or wet ground. Moist areas like these are ideal for larvae development. Horse fly eggs hatch in 5 – 7 days. The overwinter in the larval stage and hatch in the spring or early summer.
Food & Water
Horse Fly bite and feed off the blood of various types of livestock. It’s only the female of the species that drinks blood — the males consume plant nectar.
Horse fly development sites are freshwater and saltwater marshes and streams, moist forest soils and even moist decomposing wood.
Horse flies carry swamp fever. When they bite an equine animal, they can transmit this life-threatening disease. If infected, a horse may experience a fever, hemorrhaging, and general illness
Identification & Physical Description
Blue bottle flies have a blue body ,black legs and antennae. The pests are metallic blue in color with tan or white larvae that resemble grubs. They have large red eyes and clear wings.
On average the life cycle of Bluebottle Fly is about 6 weeks. However, in hot conditions the time taken for eggs of the fly to become maggots and then a fly could be as little as 7 days.
Food & Water
A female blue bottle fly lays her eggs where she feeds, usually in decaying meat, garbage, or feces. Pale whitish larvae, commonly called maggots, soon hatch from the eggs and immediately begin feeding on carcasses of dead animals and on the decomposing matter where they were hatched.
Blue Bottle flies are attracted to decaying flesh, their presence in your home may indicate that there is decaying matter
A blue bottle fly might spread illnesses like:
How fly pest control works
Effective long-term fly control requires an integrated approach that includes identifying high-risk areas where flies are likely to breed and be attracted to, locating these breeding sites and access points, and then implementing the correct environmental, procedural, mechanical, and chemical tactics.
There are the four basic components of a fly management process that should be combined in a custom-tailored program for effective fly control to be maintained. These are namely inspection & identification, recommended procedure, communication and follow up treatments
Inspection & Identification
The first step in any fly management process is the inspection. One needs to understand what environment one is encountering the fly infestation, one needs to find the source of where the flies are breeding, establish the reason why there is a fly problem there and how best to deal with it, is the site following effective housekeeping practises or does it require attention to its housekeeping, are good hygiene practises being followed, and lastly to identify what type of fly is breeding or infesting the area at hand so the correct control measures can be determined. Factors such as temperature, moisture, airflow, odours, lighting, and food sources play a role in determining correct control methods.
By having a two angled approach in dealing with a fly problem is key. One needs effective sanitation practises followed and maintained, along with an effective fly control programme. The basic principal to obtain long-term control of flies in and around the effected site is that effective sanitation and exclusion methods are essential and that chemical fly control is a supplement to these measures, and they both work hand in hand.
Communication between the customer and Flick is vital for any form of pest management program to succeed.
You as the customer actually have a vital role in the fly management process, specifically in the areas of sanitation, building maintenance, and employee practices modification. If these factors are not addressed the program will not work effectively. As a pest professional, Flick will implement measures as per our recommendations from the start, which would be physical measures and chemical measures, if agreed to by the client, such as electronic fly units for the fly management programme to demonstrate and show you the catch rate on the device/s glue boards.
Before beginning any fly control program you need to put in writing exactly what the program will entail, what flies will be targeted, and what is expected of the customer. Additionally, if certain services are to be sold separately, such as drain cleaning, this should be clearly communicated in the contract. If equipment such as insect light traps is to be installed it should be clear to the customer if they are for sale, lease or rent. It should also be clearly stated in the contract that the customer must comply with the sanitation and building maintenance recommendations made as part of the prescription for his facility. If these are not carried out the program will be far less effective and may not work at all.
We can’t emphasise enough how vital customer co-operation and communication is, due to the health risks associated with flies. Ongoing cooperation is required from both parties for the fly programme to succeed.
Fly control is not a one-off type of treatment, it is indeed an ongoing process to maintain premises clean and to also prevent and control flies that do enter. The frequency of the fly control visits can vary depending on the industry or environment that needs control- it can vary from twice a week to weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or six weekly.
Our technicians are trained to provide clients with the necessary feedback and recommendations along the way, along with an experienced management and operational department that can help in every situation.
Methods for treating fly infestations
There is two vital sanitation requirements for fly control.
- Eradicate or reduce the fly population breeding within or around a facility. This is to prevent flies from laying their eggs. When larvae are killed in infested materials or when resources suitable for fly breeding (larval development sites) are eliminated.
- Reduce fly problem by eliminating sources of attraction.
If these two basic procedures are followed, half the battle has been won, so normally the treatment of fly breeding sites with insecticides would appear to be the most logical method for controlling fly populations, but there are several challenges faced. The biggest challenge faced is the actual breeding medium flies use in a site. The breeding medium is always accumulating and changing continuously and hence frequent intensive treatments are required to treat the various layers of the medium to kill off the larval stage of the fly.
Residual spray Insecticides are applied used as a quick knockdown of the adult fly population either indoors or outdoors. This treatment works well as it reduces the amount of egg laying adults within the facility. For this technique to be successful, other methods and areas of treatment need to be applied in and around the facility.
Outdoor granular baits that have an IGR effect (insect growth regulator) should be applied for the control of adult house flies as well as their larvae. Typically, these granules are applied to areas where the flies are known to congregate and feed. Baits can reduce fly populations and prevent larvae from pupating to adult flies; however keep in mind that frequent application is needed to maintain effective control.
We readily make use of non-toxic fly bag traps called red top fly bags. These units are installed externally away from ones premises. The idea is to allow the flies to be drawn to these units and not attract them to the facility in question
Electronic Fly Units / Monitors / Aerosol Spray Dispensers
Electronic fly units or as they commonly known as Insect light traps (ILT) are useful in various ways. Most of the units on the market utilise glue boards to capture flies and do not shock and kill flies the old conventional way. These glue boards preserve the catch for easy identification for trend analysis and accurate record keeping. More importantly is that electronic fly units provide an excellent line of defence when positioned in the correct location.
We can also provide aerosol space spray dispensers that act very much like automated air fresheners dispensers that emit a spray of the internal canister at various time intervals to kill flies or mosquitoes within the area they installed. These units are normally used in locations where electronic fly units can’t be installed and they work only indoors in contained spaces, however not by entry or exit points. They can be programmed to dispense at various intervals, whether it be a 12 or 24 hour daily cycle- depending on the facility. The product is registered to be used in food and even hospital environments.
Prevention & Exclusion
Physical methods of preventing fly entry as a control technique is often practiced by the screening of doors and windows, installing door sweeps, installing air curtains on entry doors to factories or retail shops, sealing of cracks and crevices in exterior building surfaces. Making use of sealed bins in refuse areas assists, along with continual and regular waste removal with refuse being kept in sealed bags.
Interesting fly facts
- Over 100,000 species of flies have been discovered.
- Flies, like butterflies, taste their food with their feet.
- A house fly beats it’swings up to 1000 times per minute.
- House flies, the most common and the most human-interactive type of fly, defecate an estimated 3-5 minutes every day.
- House flies defecate every couple of minutes. A major carrier of diseases, they spread bacteria and infectious organisms to the public.
- In areas of the world which have a lack of bees to pollinate flowers (arctic & alpine regions) flies act as pollinators.
- Fruit flies, a subspecies of fly, can live for several days without their wings, or their heads (but not both)! Some laboratories have genetically engineered a fruit fly generation that lives a mostly normal fly’s life (in a lab, at least), unaccompanied by wings. Female fruit flies have also been documented in genetic labs to live for a few days completely headless, and still doing activities such as preening themselves, walking, and flying. The males will still try to court the females.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fly Pest Control
There are a number of factors to consider when looking at fly control and providing a cost on a service, or the control measures needed for it. As a result in the cost of the required control measures will vary from site to site, it is advised that the premises get assessed first to find the cause of the fly problem, as well as providing you with a solution and a tailor-made quote for their control. Our trained Sales representative will be able to provide you with a quotation when requested after a site inspection, as it’s not possible to provide a straightforward answer on the costs of such a service.
As there are various control measures that we can undertake to control the number of flies at a premises, it’s almost impossible to completely eradicate flies, especially if the breeding source is not controlled or removed. It is therefore more of an approach of keeping flies out and controlling them.
Unfortunately with any flying insect such as flies, we don’t offer a guarantee on the service due to them being flying insects, but the hardware used for controlling purposes such as fly traps or electronic fly units are a means to control and monitor their numbers. The treatment type varies from site to site, as well as if it’s a residential or commercial premises.
Flick recommends that the premises get inspected first, and the correct recommendations and treatment plan be put forward to ensure effective control measures are implemented from the start. This could be a residual spray to surface areas flies typically land on, supplying and servicing fly traps whether it be dry granular bait measures, or wet bait traps in the form of bags, or the supply and servicing of electronic fly units, and lastly the supply and servicing of space spray aerosol dispensers, that operate very similar to an automated air freshener dispenser.
Typical service intervals can vary from weekly service, bi-weekly, monthly or a six weekly service, but this again is dependent on the environment one is treating, as well as taking all health and safety measures into account.
A fly control service normally works in conjunction with a routine pest control programme for commercial clients, so there is no definitive answer in how long the fly service will take. It all depends on how many fly units, bags etc may need servicing, as well as taking into consideration if a wet spray application is required or dry bait is required for effective control. This will always vary from site to site with factors such as the level of infestation, areas to treat, access, as well as safety factors to consider etc.
When treating for flies, and external spraying takes place, this is normally conducted on walls from about 1.5 metres above the ground, where flies are most likely to rest when flying and resting.
In terms of safety, when our Flick technician undertakes the service to control the target pest, this being flies, and all safety precautions are considered for the specific site application when any spraying takes place. These precautions are factors such as wind drift, the surface being sprayed, and ensuring people and pets are away from the immediate area of application before spraying takes place. Other forms of fly control, such as dry granular baiting, replacement of glue boards in electronic fly units, or replacement of canisters within aerosol fly dispensers are completely safe and can be done with no risk for specific site treatment.
All insecticides Flick applies are SABS tested and approved and registered by the Department of Agriculture, and are applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s dosage rates.
When you choose Flick as your company of choice to control your ant problems, you will have the peace of mind that you are using a company that has the experience, the backup service, a good reputation, which has been in existence for a number of years to honour their guarantee of service, and most importantly, that we only employ trained and registered service technicians, that are registered with the Department of Agriculture, as well as our Company having public liability insurance in place for any unforeseen circumstances. All of these factors do contribute to the cost of the service. At the end of the day, you need to have peace of mind that the company you choose meets all these criteria to ensure that all safety protocols are followed and effective and reliable service is offered, of which you will obtain all of these when choosing Flick. Our service philosophy is that we believe in doing the job right the first time, and strive for service excellence in every aspect of our business.