- Flies do not have teeth
- They taste food with their feet
- Ability to see things behind them
- Flies has capability to walk upside down
- Defecate and live on liquid diet
- Incredible and fast reaction time
- Short life span but efficient reproduction
- Feed on poop and garbage
- Setting up a DIY fly trap
- Using natural ingredients to repel flies
- Hanging reflective disc around the premise
- Place citronella candle to deter flies
- Eliminate with a swat or zapper
- Why are flies attracted to your environment
- Learn the signs of flies infestation
- Areas or location with flies presence
- Engage pest control services to eliminate flies
- Useful fly prevention checklist
- Pest control price for fly treatment
- What are fruit flies and where do they hide?
- Are fly infestations harmful and do they spread diseases?
- When are flies active? In the daytime or night-time?
- Are you adopting the right pest management for flies?
- Why are we experiencing recurring flies visit?
Part 1: Eight facts we did not know about flies
Flies do not have teeth
Yes, flies do not have teeth and hence they will not sting humans, but they leverage a proboscis to suck food up. Like how straw works, they will drink up the liquid, nectar or food for meals. How flies are able to convert food into liquid diet is by vomiting on this food, and thereafter dissolves it so they can consume. Hence anything moist and decaying and that is soft and mushy is what attracts that such as food waste.
They taste food with their feet
Their body structure is unique in the sense they make use of different body parts to function. Hence, instead of using their tongue to taste food, they use their feet instead. As their taste receptors are located at the lower part of their legs and feet, hence, once they land on food, they will end up “tasting with their feet”. This also emphasises the importance to ensure surfaces are free from flies’ contamination. Their swooping feet come into contact as they land with bacteria carried on them.
Ability to see things behind them
An amazing fact and capability that flies are able to see what is going on behind them. This is because of the fact that they have compound eyes. This means, they have an almost 360 view of vision around them, thus allowing them to see behind as well. This is a way for their defence mechanism to look out for predators and any danger more proactively. While they do not move their eyes, they are able to see in different directions.
Flies has capability to walk upside down
Similar to that of rats that are flexible and good climbers, flies have efficient capabilities in climbing on surfaces. This includes moving on most surfaces that are horizontal, vertical and upside down. Their feet are equipped with two fat food pads that contain tiny hairs that produce glue-like-substance. These are made of sugar and oil that enhances the grip regardless type of surface make. This is how flies leverage their sticky feet to move on challenging locations such as ceilings.
Defecate and live on liquid diet
As they do not have teeth to break down matters to feed on food like other pests, they rely on proboscis to regurgitate digestive juices on their food source into liquid form. This process enhances their digestive system and allows them to defecate more often. The danger is defecating on food sensitive items such as utensils, cutleries, kitchen or table-top and our food itself. This can lead to harmful diseases spread by flies including Salmonellosis and Gastroenteritis.
Incredible and fast reaction time
If you picture a scene of attempting to chase after a cockroach but without much success due to its speedy sprinting capability, the same goes for flies. They are equipped with incredibly quick reaction time and its agility to ward off predators. Hence, you may wonder why it is so challenging to smack and swat a fly. Houseflies in particular are able to process what they see and what to reach at incredible speed. Putting some perspective compared to humans, our brains process 60 images in a second but a fly can process around 250.
Short life span but efficient reproduction
Houseflies live around for a month and for some other species such as fruit flies have slightly longer life spans ranging 40 to 50 days. While they do not live long, they do have an efficient reproduction process, laying up to 500 eggs and batches of 75 to 150. This also means a fly infestation can turn serious quickly and with a large fly population if there is any breeding found in a premise. A common challenge is, most premises tend to focus on eliminating adult flies with installation of flytraps, however neglected on larvae and pupae. Blitz foam treatments can be carried out at breeding sites to eliminate these breeding sources effectively.
Feed on poop and garbage
You may notice how flies are always hovering above waste bins, eaten food or scrapes and decaying matter on the table or floor. Besides feeding on garbage, flies feed on poop including those of humans and animals. Hence, it is important to use garbage bins with a lid on, and to dispose of trash regularly and diligently. This is also one fly prevention measure to get rid of flies effectively with proper housekeeping regime in place.
Part 2: Fly pest control that do not work
Setting up a DIY fly trap
With videos and step-by-step guides on setting up DIY fly traps, there are some home remedies to eliminate flies. For example, an upside-down bottle of soda water with sweet liquid (that acts as a funnel placed in another bottle) is used by trapping flies. Other traps include using vinegar and soap in a soap dish and wrapping them tightly with holes poked on it to attract flies. These remedies attract flies to some extent, however, it has an efficacy challenge in eliminating flies on a few factors. This includes infestation level, level of attraction, coverage area and existing pest conditions.
Using natural ingredients to repel flies
Natural ingredients and essential oils or smells are used to repel pests, not just flies alone. To deter them, drops of lavender, lemongrass, mint and eucalyptus are used. They are placed at common areas with flies activities or entries to deter them from entering or hovering around. Some also use smell that flies detest such as basils, cloves, cinnamon and vinegar to repel flies. However, it is important to note that repel simply works by relocating them temporarily before returning to seek a food source.
Hanging reflective disc around the premise
Do you remember seeing round shiny discs or bags or water hung at food establishments? While it is a pest myth, there is a science behind this myth. Flies are attracted to lights and the light reflection that emits by the disc and water bag might do some trick. The light rays and refraction confuse the flies, thus they fly away instead of flying towards for landing. Once they resume their orientation and navigation, they will return via another path and for some, this refraction does not work on them. Read more on how reflective disc might not work on flies repel.
Place citronella candle to deter flies
There are practices around using citronella on flies besides mosquitoes, especially at alfresco or outdoor dining areas. The business will light a candle with a citronella scent to chase these flies away. However, this repellent technique may work to some effect at a small area but seen ineffective in a larger compound. In addition, huge quantities of candles are required to cover the entire premise, and are dangerous with fire involvement, inefficient and cost ineffective.
Eliminate with a swat or zapper
For those who are able to have their hands on fly swatter, that looks like a racket with zapping function, they may soon realise swatting flies is a challenge. This is because of their fast reaction time, that allows them to escape from your swat to get themselves incinerated. While the voltage is not a potentially high volume, there are still some form of health and safety concerns in using these electric swats. In addition, it may be operational disrupting with minimal pest efficacy towards fly pest control. Particularly if you are running a food business or high dependency nature, it is recommended to engage a pest control company to exercise zero-tolerance to flies.
Part 3: How to get rid of flies with pest control
Why are flies attracted to your environment?
Flies are highly associated with hygiene and sanitation where vast food supplies are available. As they feed on most matters from organic ingredients to even decaying matters, a food related environment is where they are drawn. For example, the trash bins and food scraps at the kitchen, exposed ingredients left on counter tops or debris and leftovers scattered on the floor. They are attracted to odour and faeces, smell from rotting items and overripe fruits and vegetables as well.
Learn the signs of flies’ infestation
Firstly, one obvious sign to observe is the buzzing flies flying around your premise, especially at key risk areas such as bins, trash areas, gutters and machinery. Secondly, you may also find maggots in their larvae stage at breeding sites, such as grease traps, waste areas, decayed food, trolleys, gaps and drainage systems. Thirdly, you may find small and dark clusters of pinhead spots on surfaces such as wall, light fittings and upper parts of the room. These are actually flies’ droppings and are often found in areas that are difficult to reach and clean. For example, gully traps, sink area and below damaged floor tiling.
Areas or location with flies presence
In terms of the nature of the environment, flies are often present in food and waste areas. They tend to linger at places with filth, food preparation, consumption and disposal. For instance, restaurants, kitchens, canteen, food manufacturing and disposal centres. Some of their hot spots include:
- Garbage and waste area
- Drain and sewers, gully traps
- Wall and ceilings
- Spaces with food serving
- Cracks and crevices
- Outdoor, plants and fence areas
Engage pest control services to eliminate flies
Flies infestation not only causes financial and business impact to a company, but also damaging brand reputation when the media reports a food poisoning case. Particularly for a food establishment business, a pest control specialist is here to ensure they meet regulatory compliance. There are complexities in running a food-sensitive business, without professional recommendation, we may miss some critical checklist. Fly pest control consists of the following services:
- A detailed site inspection of the premise to determine location nature and risk factor
- Proper study of the business, daily operations and compliance needs
- Pest control service recommendation include type and number of fly traps, service frequency and location
- Additional flush out programmes targeting at breeding sites
- Monthly residual sprays at critical and specific area
- Inspection and monitoring on trend analysis, infestation level and housekeeping tips
- Review on overall pest management of the premise
Rentokil LED Technology Fly Control Unit – LUMNIA
The LUMNIA unit utilises LED technology to heighten attraction and catch rate for flies. Especially with the rising operating costs in Singapore, energy savings will help businesses enjoy some cost savings benefits. Its energy adaptive mode changes its settings to adapt to day and night and uses lesser energy consumptions. How is LED different is its ability to produce intense beams of UV-A light and penetrate further to a surrounding. This works effectively well for pest types such as house flies that are sensitive to the wavelength emitted from Lumnia. Enquire on LUMNIA fly control today.
Flies foaming small flies blitz treatment
It is an enhanced formulation in the form of foaming instead of residual spraying conducted by specialists from Rentokil Initial. It is especially suitable for spaces that have clutters or narrow corners such as the kitchen to reach these difficult to reach spots. The efficacy of foaming is its ability to lather and slip through any gaps and stick on surfaces better, which promotes longer and better efficacy. The foam blitz contains bacteria with organic matter, which are food source for flies, thus feeding on them for destruction purposes. Contact one of our pest control specialist for more information.
Useful fly prevention checklist
There are many factors causing an infestation or worsening the current fly infestation. Even with pest control services in place, there is every possibility for a fly to turn up at your premise. For instance:
- Flies that came from tenant next door or external sources
- Failure to keep the doors closed especially between preparation and public area
- Poor housekeeping and sanitation standards – leads to increase in food source
- Odour emission through decomposed and decaying matter from garbage
- Breeding sites developed that goes unnoticed – developed into an infestation
- Integrity of the premise is compromised – flies entry via cracks and crevices
- Presence of dead animals, pests or carcass such as rats that leads to flies feeding
- Maintain good and clean drainage system to avoid attraction and breeding
- Water, moisture, spills and leaks that flies require – through hand or dish washing activities
- Fly treatments show signs of efficacy issues or lapse in service routine
These challenges can be minimised by ensuring fly prevention measures have adhered closely. Firstly, ensure consistent and regular housekeeping and facility maintenance. Secondly, all waste, garbage and food waste are out of sight. Thirdly, apply proofing to areas where there are structure defects, or gaps among entries such as doors and windows. Fourthly, critical to constantly detect for possible signs of fly infestation to take quick and proactive actions. Finally, review the service treatment quality and efficacy standard by the pest control company. Above all, raise adequate awareness of flies fact and their causes of infestation among users to bring optimal control to the flies population.
Pest control price for fly treatment
Price of pest control to carry out fly treatments consist of various components:
- Cost of rental of fly trap units and servicing of the units to replace glue-board and unit maintenance (typically monthly basis, however frequency may differ depending on various situations)
- Prices differ on different brand choice of unit, coverage area and features specification. For instance, a front of house fly trap covers a generally small area and there are units that is designed for huge compound such as warehouse and production plants
- Weekly to monthly residual spraying the premise depending on site assessment
- Type of treatments, chemicals, delivery mode, number of treatments and frequency required
- Professional services that includes field biologist analysis, pest trend analysis and detailed reporting
- Additional ad-hoc treatments are recommended for intensive flush-out programme to clear up serious breeding or infestation problem
Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions about fly pest control
What are fruit flies and where do they hide?
Fruit flies are another type of species that favour fermented, overripe, rotting or decay items such as fruits and vegetables. They are often lurking around drains, gully traps, garbage cans and toilets and have a longer lifespan than a house fly. They are as harmful because they can land on your food that comprises fruit and other sugary diets. Thus spreading diseases through the bacteria and they got into contact from unhygienic habitats.
Are fly infestations harmful and do they spread diseases?
All pests are harmful for both an individual’s health and safety, the business health and overall structural condition of the premise. Likewise, for flies, they pose harmful threats such as diseases including Cholera, dysentery, gastroenteritis, salmonellosis, tuberculosis and typhoid fever. The pathogens that they pick up on filthy sites and their regurgitation habits on food is a way of transmitting these bacteria to us. This includes landing on any surfaces that impacts food safety, such as cutleries and utensils, cooking pots, drinking cups, chopping board and physical food and dishes lying on the table. Above all, it is possible to transmit via an open wound like a cut, or scratch.
When are flies active? Which part of the day they surface?
While pests such as rats and cockroaches are nocturnal and surface at night for their food sourcing activities, flies are similar to humans in terms of sleep patterns. They will sleep anywhere they land and rest and turn active the following day. Fruit flies may be slightly different where they will remain active during dawn and dusk with cool temperature. Otherwise, most flies prefer warm climates and are most active during this environment. This means, detecting flies presence much easier and helps in understanding flies infestation condition better.
Are you adopting the right pest management for flies?
There is a misconception that we are safe and the job is done so long as there is a flytrap installed and some form of pest control done. However, it is important to evaluate if you are adopting the right pest management for your premise. For instance, do you have adequate treatments to keep infestation under control? Are the units placed at strategic and correct locations that can lure and trap flies effectively? Do you have integrated pest management in place, as there is a combination of pests invading a food-nature environment. Above all, has the pest control plan well complemented with proofing and housekeeping?
Why are we experiencing recurring flies visit?
Recurring pest problems are frustration faced by many, especially if there is a pest control regime in place. There are several factors affecting efficacy of pest elimination.
- Are the users practising housekeeping, sanitation and cleanliness of the facility?
- Is there proofing in place to guard against pest entries and cross infestation issues?
- Any potential breeding sites and hot spots missed out during the detection phase.
- Has there been a compromise in terms of active ingredient efficacy and quality?
- Is the drainage and sewer system functioning well to avoid chokes, leaks and odour?
Call Rentokil Singapore at 6347 8138 to get rid of houseflies today.