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Pest Control - Flies

Note: We do not offer a service to deal with flies, this page is to offer advice and information only

About flies and are they a health hazard

Most flies don't have biting mouthparts; they suck their food through a tube called a 'proboscis' and are therefore unable to cope with solids.

When a fly lands on your food it will vomit on it to soften it up and then tread it in transmitting a selection of germs for good measure. This will probably be after visiting excrement, a dustbin or other rotting organic matter. After the fly has finished feeding, it is of course then your turn.

The flies that you will most frequently encounter are likely to be 'houseflies' and 'blowflies'.

Blowfly is a general description of a number of species of large buzzing flies, which include the 'Bluebottle', the 'Greenbottle' and the 'Flesh fly'. They are attracted to meat or carrion, and all may be found around dustbins during the summer months collecting large amounts of bacteria along the way.

Some flies, such as horseflies and blandford flies (or black flies) can bite and these can be painful - see also:

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Lifecycle

In warm weather, female Bluebottles will deposit their eggs in clusters on any fresh or older meat, meat products and offal, or even excrement, laying up to 600 eggs which can hatch in less than 24 hours.

After hatching the larvae will burrow into the food source where they will moult about three times, this takes about a week; the larvae will then leave the food material in search of a suitable site to pupate.

On average the adult fly will emerge from the puparium in approximately two weeks.

Female Houseflies lay their eggs on a suitable larval food source in batches of up to 150 at one time, which depending on temperature, can hatch between 8 to 48 hours later.

Under favourable conditions larval development can be completed in five days.

The larvae will migrate to dryer areas for pupation; the adult fly will emerge some days later.

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How do I deal with flies?

Prevention will always be better than cure so to this end hygiene is of the utmost importance:

  • All food that is not in the process of being prepared or eaten should be covered and not left exposed.
  • All food waste should be disposed of in a dustbin with a tight fitting lid; all dustbins should be cleaned after emptying and would also benefit from regular dusting with an insecticide powder.
  • One level tablespoon of moist food debris is sufficient to support 100 houseflies from egg to adult.

If flies are still a problem then it will be necessary to carry out a detailed inspection of the premises in order to find and remove any potential fly breeding material.

If you live in an area that has a high risk of infestation from an external source then it would be a wise precaution to fit fly screen windows and doors in order to reduce the risk of infestation.

Domestic premises: If only one or two flies are present in domestic premises, then before resorting to the use of insecticides physical methods of control may be used, i.e. try using a fly swat or a rolled up newspaper.

Commercial premises: It is essential that all commercial food premises be covered by a pest control contract with a reputable pest control company who will carry out regular inspections and treatments as necessary. They will also give hygiene and proofing advice. Commercial premises would also benefit by the fitting of ultraviolet electric fly killers.

Adur & Worthing Councils do not offer a service for the control of flies but if you require any further information please contact our Pest Control Department.

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