One fly isn’t a problem, is it?

Pest control has been in the news recently with flies now known to carry many more bacteria than was previously thought.  This should make no difference to how a business treats flies, wasps or any other flying insect.  They all carry bacteria that could potentially cause food-bourne illness, after all they constantly urinate on anything they land on!

It’s important to have an effective pest control strategy.

Many businesses like to install their own electronic fly detectors (EFK’s) with UV lights as they are relatively cheap, however there are some things you must be aware of.

·         Siting is important.  It’s no good putting them beside an open door or window as they will attract flying pests in from the outside when its dim or dark outside.

·         If they are the type that electrocutes the flies do not put them above or near food preparation or service areas as small particles of dead fly can spit off the unit and land in food or on surfaces.

·         The EFK should be included on the cleaning schedule.  Both the bars that parts of dead fly stick to and the tray at the bottom that will fill with flies and dust over time.  This should be removed carefully (and safely if the unit is high up) and cleaned before replacing.

·         Ultra violet tubes will stay blue but lose their effectiveness over time.  The bulbs should be changed every 6-9 months to maintain their effectiveness.  Check the manufacturers manual.

·         The peak for flying insect activity is spring through to summer, so it’s advisable to change the bulbs and ensure machines are serviced in April/May time.

·         There are more modern units that have a sticky board behind the UV light that flies will stick to and prevent fly parts being ejected.  The fly board can be changed as needed.

·         Be aware some species do not respond to EFK’s so it is essential to talk to a pest controller if you have a particular problem.

If you have a fly chain at a door that is left open then be aware that this does nothing to stop rodents or low flying pests entering underneath.  The best option is to keep the door closed or use a fly door.  A fly door is an additional outer or inner door that is made of fly screen material.  The original door can be left open for additional ventilation if needed (with the fly door closed) without the risk of pest entry.  Of course, any fly door or fly screen must be kept in good condition and clean.

Rodent boxes.  I often see these in businesses upside down, on their end, away from the wall or facing into the wall with one end blocked.  Staff (particularly those who clean) should be told where these are located and how they should re-position them if they are moved.

Whatever your strategy don’t just think about inside but outside as well.  Waste management and housekeeping are important to reduce the likelihood of rats and wasps which like flies carry a lot of bacteria.