July

30

2014

 
fly at restaurant table

Flies and stinging insects are the most common pests at commercial accounts.

Flies and stinging insects are some of the most commonly-encountered pests in and around commercial accounts. Their presence increases in the summer months when pest pressure is on the rise.

Aside from being a nuisance (who hasn’t spent part of a lunch or dinner taking a swipe or two at flies or stinging insects trying to share your entrée?) these pests can spell trouble for food industry and hospitality clients. 

Flies present a significant public health threat to commercial accounts because of E. coli and salmonella. These harmful bacteria can transmit to food, food preparation areas, storage and cooking surfaces.

As summer’s warmer temperatures push thermometer readings up, the decomposition rate of the food sources flies like to feast on increases. From fresh produce to garbage, compost and animal feces, the quicker it spoils and breaks down, the more flies love it.

Having done battle with flies in an array of food industry and hospitality accounts, the Sprague Pest Experts have learned the keys to eliminating flies. It all comes down to two key steps:

1.)    Employing good sanitation practices

2.)    Identifying the source of the infestation and breeding locations


The fly management checklist

Keep it clean

Good sanitation practices in and around your facility are critical to keeping flies from gaining a foothold. When you consider a single garbage can that is not emptied can be a breeding ground for up to 30,000 flies, you’ll think twice about waiting to take out the trash.

The Sprague Pest Experts recommend using tight-fitting closures for garbage and recycling receptacles. Try to empty, clean, and dry these receptacles on regular basis. Additionally, keep food preparation, storage and serving areas clean of grease spills, crumbs and other food particles. 

Fly identification

Gain the upper hand by correctly identifying the fly species infesting your facility. Correct identification allows you to determine the cause of the infestation and select a control option. An incorrect identification can lead you on a wild goose chase, wasting valuable time and resources.

Eliminating the source of interest

What is attracting the flies to your facility in the first place? Is it a sanitation issue, or is there structural failure (i.e. torn screens, negative air flow, faulty air doors, etc.)? Remove the source of interest and you will likely remove the flies.

Getting rid of flies

Once you have identified the type of fly you are dealing with and the source of the infestation, it is time to get rid of them. Interior light traps and sticky boards will prevent flies from flying around inside your buildings. Further protect your facility from these unwanted visitors by checking air intake vents for proper screening and using air curtains above your doors.         

The stinging insect management checklist

According to the National Pest Management Association, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. Stinging insects call a variety of locations in and around a commercial facility home, including trees, bushes, building corners, overhangs, gutters, garbage dumpsters, and under patios and decks.

Identify it correctly

There are many kinds of beneficial flies that closely resemble wasps and there are many kinds of "solitary" wasps (such as sand wasps) which look exactly the same as yellow jackets but that pose a much lower risk. Be sure to make a proper identification before starting a treatment.

Take away the source of the infestation

Removing a stinging insect’s source of food, water and shelter is the first step toward preventing and eliminating these pests. Maintaining good sanitation protocols is a must. Clean up food and grease spills in outdoor dining and cooking areas, and covering food waiting to be prepared in sealed containers.  Just as you would with flies, make sure to take out the trash and recycling bins frequently.

Use exclusion techniques

Seal exterior cracks and crevices to prevent stinging insects from entering a structure and building nests. Make sure window and door screens are in good repair.