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Summer is here and so are the flies. If flies would just live up to their name and keep flying it wouldn’t be so bad; it’s when they settle on our belongings, our food and ourselves that they cause irritation to humans, their pets and other animals.
More important than being merely annoying, flies are known to spread disease. Their sticky foot pads, used to anchor them to surfaces, carry leftover particles of excrement or garbage, which in turn can be transferred onto your food. Flies also defecate every four to five minutes, a further contaminant of food.
Flies are known to spread diseases like malaria, dysentery, gastro-enteritis, typhoid fever, cholera, conjunctivitis, tuberculosis and diarrhea. They also cause parasitic tape worms in poultry and horses.
People who neglect to empty and disinfect their garbage bins on a regular basis should be reminded that a single un-emptied bin can be the breeding ground for thousands of flies. Females lay up to 600 eggs in batches of 75 to 150 eggs, and can reproduce a new generation every two weeks, as house fly larvae take a mere 7 to 10 days to develop into adults.
Each fly egg hatches into a small, grub-like, creature (larvae), which looks more like an inchworm than a fly. Those little maggots you see in decaying food or dead animals are baby flies. By eating nutrients from soil, faeces or stagnant water, they will grow to adult fly size within a few days. Hot weather – such as South Africans generally experience between October and March- increases the probability of a large scale infestation that requires professional fly control.
Here are some tips on getting rid of flies from the experts at Rentokil to help you to prevent a fly infestation this summer:
• To get rid of flies before they become a problem, limit their ability to breed and feed by removing their food sources, such as leftover food and soft fruits as well as any sources of stagnant water which is prone to be their breeding ground.
• In summer, put a household fan near the most vulnerable areas in your home, like your fruit bowl, and keep it blowing across the fruit. Flies cannot land in a cross wind.
• Empty your garbage cans at least twice a week, and keep them as far away from doors as possible. Make sure they are always tightly closed
• Seal any entry points around windows and doors using sealant as caulking to plug the holes.
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Whilst prevention is always better than cure, here are some expert tips on what to do if you already have a fly problem at home:
1. Opt for insecticides delved from natural origin
Fly sprays are absorbed by the central nervous system of the fly; paralyzing them and resulting in death. Besides the fact that these chemicals are toxic to flying insects such as bees and dragonflies, Pyrethroids (artificial insecticides) are lethal to flies and invertebrates that constitute the base of many aquatic and land-dwelling food webs.
Rather opt for Pyrethrin based insecticides to get rid of flies. While this chemical is slightly poisonous, it also is an insect repellent at lower concentrations. Originating from Chrysanthemum flowers, Pyrethrins are biodegradable and break down on exposure to light or oxygen. This insecticide ensures that there will be no excessive build-up of insecticides that is distributed in the area being treated.
2. Rely on Mother Nature and make use of herbs
Herbs have been used for thousands of years as household cleaners, disinfectants, and insect repellents. Make use of these 7 herbs that work magic to repel flies: Basil (and Lemon Basil), Rosemary, Lavender, Bay Leaf, Mint, Tansy and Sweet Woodruff by planting them in your garden.
3. Call in the Experts for professional fly control
Sometimes the only way to get rid of a really persistent fly problem is to call in the experts. Correct identification of the species of fly is very important so that the breeding site/s can be located and your fly problem can be fixed for good. Rentokil offers treatment programs directed at both the larval and adult flies to achieve effective and efficient fly control.
Here is to a fly-free summer!