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8 Fly FAQs to Help With Commercial Fly Pest Control

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Orkin Pros™ are routinely asked about how to handle summer pests, especially flies. These filthy insects can harm your business reputation, contaminate your facility and food supply, and spread diseases. But learning more about flies can help reduce the chances of an infestation that can put your staff, customers and facility at risk.

Here are eight frequently asked questions about flies with answers from the experts at Orkin. For more information on flies and commercial fly control, download our free Comprehensive Guide to Flies & Fly Control Strategy.

1. What are flies and how are they different from other pests?

Flies are one of the most diverse and adaptable groups of insects. Some fly species are known to deposit thousands of bacteria each time they land on surfaces and will feed on almost anything — garbage, sewage, decaying matter and feces. Certain fly species are also fast breeders and, in the right conditions, can lay hundreds of eggs within a few weeks.

2. Where do flies come from?

While flies are highly adaptable, their specific habitats and preferred conditions vary widely by species. For example:

  • Fruit flies thrive in moist environments with overripe or decaying fruits and vegetables.

  • Fuzzy drain flies prefer semi-aquatic environments like septic tanks and sewer inject pits and can be found indoors in bathrooms where they breed in the organic film building in floor drains, sinks and rarely used toilets.

In general, flies are particularly active during the warmer months with higher temperatures and increased precipitation.

3. Does it matter what type of fly I have?

Yes; different flies have different preferences for food and breeding sites, so identifying the species is critical to help solve the problem. Identifying the species may also help reveal another more significant threat to your business.

For example, blow flies often gather in large numbers around carrion on animal carcasses, so they could be a sign of a rodent trapped in a wall void or attic. Your pest control provider should identify the kind of flies you have before starting any treatment.

4. Besides tarnishing your business reputation, what is the tangible threat of a fly infestation?

Fly sightings can hurt your bottom line, but filth fly infestations present a significant public health concern. A filth fly, such as house flies, blow flies or flesh flies; are known to carry pathogens and contribute to the spread of food-borne parasitic diseases. Some fly species feed on garbage, sewage, decaying matter and feces, which means they can easily transmit pathogens (e.g., Salmonella, E. coli and shingles) from contaminated food or surfaces they come in contact with, including human skin. Certain species are also known to carry diseases that can cause respiratory infections and food poisoning.

5. What attracts flies and where are they commonly found?

Certain fly species are attracted to environments that are moist with decaying organic matter, so they tend to lay eggs in rotting food, feces and trash bins. Open garbage and food containers are prime attractants. Even if you don’t prepare food, your building can attract flies through access points like entrances, storage areas and loading docks. Flies are also often attracted to areas with direct sunlight or warmer indoor environments like kitchens and bathrooms.

6. What are the best preventive measures to reduce the likelihood of a fly infestation?

Since flies are attracted to decomposing organic matter, proper waste control and maintenance can help limit infestations, including:

  • Routinely removing indoor and outdoor trash

  • Keeping garbage containers clean and covered

  • Disposing of rotting food properly

  • Sweeping kitchens of stray food debris

  • Moving dumpsters as far away from buildings as possible

  • Ensuring drains are clear of obstructions and working properly

  • Sanitizing garbage disposals and drains often

  • Keeping all exterior doors and windows closed when not in use

  • Checking window seals often

There are several different ways to help get rid of flies. Business owners should employ a pest control professional to schedule regular inspections which will identify conducive conditions proactively. They may also suggest preventive equipment like air curtains or monitoring devices like wall-mounted insect light traps.

7. What is a fly attracting light, and how does it work?

Orkin uses state-of-the-art LED Insect Light Traps (ILTs) to help monitor flying insects. ILTs attract flies using ultraviolet (UV) light and trap insects with an internal, non-toxic sticky board. ILTs are best placed near facility entrances or in areas that are prone to flying insect issues such as food processing rooms. The effectiveness of ILTs can vary and should be part of an integrated fly control program, so your Orkin Pro will determine how best to place and monitor the system to fit your needs.

8. Can pest control get rid of flies?

Orkin prefers preventive methods that are part of your Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan over traditional pest control treatments. But as a last resort, products like fly bait, residual and non-residual treatment options may be used to remediate an active infestation. One option for managing a fly problem is Orkin’s Small Fly Foam Service, a bioremediation technique that dissolves debris and greasy buildup to minimize fly food sources and breeding sites, stopping the fly lifecycle. After the source of the infestation is identified and addressed, exclusion services will help fortify your building against future infestations by sealing holes and cracks, installing door sweeps or weather stripping, replacing screens and repairing vent covers.

Remember that flies are typically a symptom of a larger sanitation or maintenance problem, so it’s best to work with your pest control provider to identify the source and apply preventive measures with a custom fly treatment program.

Learn more about Orkin's commercial fly control services or schedule a free, comprehensive pest inspection of your facility with a well-trained Orkin Pro. To learn more facts about flies and how to help keep them away from your business, download our free Comprehensive Guide to Flies & Fly Control Strategy.

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