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The Common House Fly is not always the best choice of conversation around a dinner table, but getting to know them a bit better will make one realize the importance of avoiding them within your home or business; not just because of their annoying nature of buzzing around, but rather about the risk they pose in spreading diseases and pathogens.

To sum up how much of a health risk flies pose we can look at the common house fly and how they go about their daily feeding routine. We all know they land on our plates, glasses and food, but do you actually realize what they are doing?

Firstly Flies cannot chew- they possess mouth parts that absorb food much like a sponge absorbs water. Their food needs to be consumed in a liquid form in order for them to be able to eat it. Flies’ tongues are shaped almost like drinking straws which enables them to slurp up their meals. Other species of flies that consume nectar or blood do so in a similar way by using their straw typed tongue which is called a proboscis.

Other species of predatory flies eat other insects and they consume their prey in a similar fashion by sucking out the insides of their victims.

When the common house fly lands on our food it regurgitates on the food that it finds. The digestive juices, enzymes and saliva in the vomit begin to break down and dissolve the food to a liquid form the fly can feed on. The fly then ingests the liquid food with its sponge and straw-like mouth parts.

Consider the areas that flies commonly frequent- ranging from waste areas, rotting vegetable matter, abattoirs, agriculture holdings, manure heaps, hospitals, restaurants and various homes.  If flies consume food products or waste from garbage areas or any other source of contaminated food, some of those germs stick to the fly’s mouth-parts and when the fly vomits on its next targeted food source (your lunch perhaps?) it will then transfer some of those germs.

Their Danger

In years gone by it would have been rather difficult to show and prove the medical importance and risks the Common House Fly is as a pest and vector in the home or a business. This has changed with the advent of technology and advancement in medical technology over the years. Flies have been proven to be carriers of disease – brought about by their habit of flying between waste areas and related areas associated with filth, along with areas as already mentioned above including flying between animal and human feces, and then onto food for human consumption.

Such disease organisms associated with these insects include typhoid, dysentery, summer diarrhea, infantile paralysis and other diseases that are transferred from fecal matter to food by vomit drops, in fly excrement or by organisms adhering to the fly’s feet. The eggs of certain parasitic worms are also transferred in this manner. In tropical and sub-tropical areas, in addition to these diseases, the House Fly is responsible for the spread of cholera, yaws and Ophthalmia. The adult fly will feed on both solid and liquid matter which can be lapped up by the sponge-like proboscis; the familiar ‘fly-spots’ are drops of liquid regurgitated and deposited on the surface by the fly.

Their Lifecycle

Adult stage: 15 – 30 days

500 eggs in 3 – 4 day periods

Eggs: hatch 8 – 20 hours

Larvae: develop fully 4 – 10 days

Move to drier soil and become pupa

Pupa:  flies emerge 3 – 6 days

Flies can travel up to 6KM in 24 hours

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Their Control

Flick has various forms of control for flies ranging from wet application residual spray applications to dry applications, fly traps and providing electronic fly units and even aerosol dispenser units, depending on the situation at hand.

  • A residual application is applied to specific areas where flies would rest and our registered products applied have an insect growth regulator within the active ingredient to prevent the fly from multiplying, or alternatively a quick knock down pesticide application can be applied.
  • A dry application entails making use of granular bait that flies are attracted to and this is placed in strategic points away from the area one is trying to keep flies away from. This product also contains an insect growth regulator and prevents the fly from multiplying.
  • Fly traps can be strategically positioned externally away from the area flies would be attracted to. The trap is non-toxic and contains a bait that attracts flies. The trap is hung up in external points away from the home or business to draw the flies to the traps and away from your premises.
  • Electronic Fly Units are positioned within premises that have continued fly problems and require fly control by law and for health and sanitary standards. Flick supplies electronic fly units that make use of a glue board to capture flies and flying insects which are attracted to the units by the UV specific tubes within the units. The old style zapper type grid system is no longer used as it is unhygienic due to those types of units causing the flies bodies to explode and spread various diseases and bacteria. Here is an example of just some of the new products that we can offer for electronic fly control that are HACCP certified for use in all food facilities.

Author: Stuart Steele

Whatever the situation, Flick has solution to cater for your fly control headaches and challenges. Feel free to contact us at enquiries@flickpest.co.za or contact me directly on 087 820 7008 or even pop me an email at stuart@flickpest.co.za and we will be sure to be in touch with you.

“Remember One Flick and they are gone”