||Integrated Fly Management
also our Flash presentation
on this subject!
The Enemy - Dipterans
A few facts about dipterans (flies, mosquitoes, and gnats) illuminate the obstacles to be
overcome in an Integrated Fly Management Program. Dipterans all undergo complete
metamorphosis through maggot, pupal, and adult stages.
The maggot stage may be mobile within 3-4 days, meaning that refuse collected only once
a week may provide opportunity to migrate and continue development.
The pupal stage is basically invulnerable to insecticide, and therefore a frequent
cause of unprofitable call-backs, as well as an unavoidable lag time in the eventual
control of the infestation.
Adults have high reproductive capacity: 200-2000 eggs in a few days. This, combined
with wide genetic variability, accounts for a tendency to develop resistance to chemical
methods fairly rapidly.
Awareness of these general characteristics, plus specific knowledge of the cycles and
habits of particular species will allow a cost effective containment.
A general inspection of the site is necessary to assess the extent of the problem, and its
causes. The three basic elements of sanitation, exclusion, and suppression hinge on the
information gleaned from this audit.
Samples must be taken to identify the species involved. This is essential because of
the variations in breeding sites, attractants, and flight habits for different species.
The use of a portable ILT (insect light trap) might be appropriate for this purpose.
This is the cornerstone of an Integrated Fly Management program. While the nature
of a particular business may not allow an ideal level to be achieved, this is the area
that is most crucial to success.
It is also an area where the client's cooperation and
continued vigilance is critical. Perhaps pricing local cleaning services might be
appreciated. And establishing a clear understanding with the client regarding their
responsibilities would be wise.
Identifying the problem at the maggot stage means eliminating the problem, assuming the
breeding sites are accessible. In some cases considerations of cost and practicality may
force emphasis on exclusion and suppression. Some less obvious sources such as rotting
overwatered plant roots, refrigerator drain pans, water leaks, condensation on cooler
motors pooling under machines etc. should not be overlooked. In general terms, moisture is
the key factor. The situation must be optimized in the following areas:
- Increase refuse removal to twice weekly
- Distance garbage container or dumpster from access points
- Make sure refuse containers are open as little as possible and drain plugs are in place
- Drain, pave, or seal areas where organic wastes accumulate
- Clean and clear the area of debris, and vegetation
- Ensure the cleanliness of surfaces and janitorial implements
- Provide for disposal of scraps, garbage, and beverage containers in plastic bags or
- Minimize exposed food
- Clean drains and food disposals in dishwashing areas, treating with strong bleach
The population that manages to breed after sanitation has been optimized must be
intercepted before entering the premises where possible.
In the case of indoor breeders
such as fruit flies and drain flies which are often small enough to slip through screen
mesh this is not generally practical. But reducing access for the larger varieties, and
herding them toward traps, is still an important variable in the overall equation.
Since flies gravitate towards many things that attract humans, it is natural that many
business establishments should have difficulties with them. Aromas, shelter from the
weather, even visually interesting areas entice them.
The initial audit of the premises once again comes into play in determining where the
client's cooperation can be enlisted in exclusion. If it is practical to modify operations
to restrict access for pests, this can greatly augment control efforts.
- Effective screens at all access points such as windows, service doors, intake and
exhaust vents, skylights etc.
- Properly functioning door closing devices
- Plastic strips and door sweeps
- Lighting directed away from doorways
- Inspection of incoming items
- Air curtains to deflect flying insects when a door
must be open
- Blowers and make-up-air fans to counter indrafts.
Since ideal sanitation and exclusion are seldom achievable, measures to deal
with the remaining populations of flying insects are needed. And of course once again the
initial determination of the species involved is vital. Profitable and effective service
is difficult without it, due to varying habits and life cycles.
The PCO must decide
which intervention(s) will be most effective. Instructing the client in the application of
General Use type insecticides is one option. These must be used in strict accordance with
the printed directions. Space sprays of both hand-held and intermittent automatic
dispenser varieties are available in this category. Dry fly baits might be effective in
outdoor breeding and feeding areas.
Use Insecticide Deployment
- Dry fly baits in garbage collection areas
- Intermittent aerosol space sprays in dining, bar, and entry areas
- Hand spray aerosols during non-business hours in public areas
Use Insecticide Deployment
Restricted Use class insecticides require the supervision of state certified personnel.
They are generally liquid surface sprays that leave residues which kill flies on contact.
Areas where flies breed or rest are targeted such as:
- Upper walls
- Door jambs
- High resting areas
- Windows and skylights
- Food preparation area drains and cracks
(Insect Light Traps)
Because of the tendency to develop resistance quickly, however, the most dependable weapon
in the war is probably the insect light trap.
In order to
function efficiently, ILT's must be properly maintained. This involves:
- Periodic glueboard replacement. Make sure that the adhesive catch
surfaces do not become clogged.
- UV lamp replacement. The UV lamps which serve to attract the insects
deteriorate over time in any ILT and must be replaced periodically. Since the lamp's
average useful life is about 12 months, scheduling replacements for early spring before
"fly season" starts is common practice. However, depending on the
situation, more frequent replacement may be indicated. A UV-meter can assist in determining optimum lamp replacement
The other critical factor is placement. There are many considerations to take into account
- Species habits, including flight patterns
- Proximity to competing sources of ambient UV light.
- Congregating areas
- Natural routes of migration - hallways, receiving areas
- Social, commercial, and aesthetic acceptability of some varieties such as the
high-voltage grid with its "zaps"
- Health concerns and regulations (high-voltage fragmentation)
By now it should be obvious that IFM is not a 1-2-3 proposition. But with proper
planning, cooperation, and continuity, a PCO can provide a successful Integrated Fly
Management Program to his clients. Actron offers an innovative line of products to assist you.