No Fly Zone: A Guide to Preventing Winged Insects in Your Building

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In the food manufacturing and processing world, flies are a major issue, spreading thousands of bacteria everywhere they land. Having these pests near your products can lead to food contamination and failed audits. That’s why it’s crucial to know the different types of flies and how they can harm your business.

Fly Sizes

There are two main types of flies: large and small. Both can have negative effects on your operations.

The most common small flies are fruit flies, phorid flies and drain flies. If you see these flies, it typically means they’re living and reproducing inside the facility, which suggests an existing sanitation deficiency.

Conversely, large flies—including house flies and blow flies—usually come from outside the facility. They can sneak in through open doors and travel miles to gain access to your building.

Signs to Look For

You may not know immediately when a fly problem begins, but it’s crucial to keep an eye out, as early action can help keep a small introduction from becoming a full infestation.

Specific indicators can include an observable spike in fly sightings or fly trap captures throughout the facility and/or fly trap captures deep within the facility or in a part of the building away from normal entrances.

Setting Up a Defense

Proper prevention measures can help preemptively stop flies. A cornerstone of fly prevention is exclusion, which means keeping doors closed and ensuring sanitation both indoors and out.

Another useful method for keeping large flies out is to install insect light traps (ILTs). These ILTs are designed for large flies, although they can trap several other insects as well.

Options for Treatment

Even with the right plan, there’s a possibility that flies will get into your facility. An existing fly problem can be dealt with in numerous ways, including:

  1. Developing a master cleaning schedule (ideally on a weekly cycle), which should include drains and other high-risk areas.
  2. Aerosol pesticide treatments, which can provide immediate relief indoors (and are mostly intended for large flies) but are not an ideal long-term solution.
  3. Attractant/bait products for use indoors and outdoors.

Prevention and treatment will  take different forms at every facility. Consult with a pest management provider to assess your building’s unique situation and provide a comprehensive plan suited for your needs.

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