Flies are in the insect order Diptera. This order includes mosquitoes which has it's own page, deer flies and other biting flies which will have their own page in the future. For this page we are discussing house flies, bottle flies, cluster flies, midges, fruit flies, fungus gnats, drain flies, phorid flies and their control.
HOUSE FLIES - (Musca Domestica) House flies are one of the most common insects that plague man. They are often a nuisance in residential homes as well as commercial areas. They are the biggest problem in restaurants and commercial kitchens.
Aside from their nuisance factor, house flies carry numerous diseases and germs. They contaminate food by landing on it. They are known to be carriers of typhoid fever, cholera,, diarrhea, dysentery, tuberculosis, anthrax, and parasitic worms.
House flies breed in fresh horse manure, garbage, human excretion, cow manure, and rotting vegetable matter. Their larvae are small white maggots which pupate and emerge into flies. Their life cycle under the right conditions is complete in six days with 10-12 generations per summer. To give an idea as to how rapidly flies can propagate, according to entomologist Hodges, "A pair of flies beginning operations in April may be progenitors, if all were to live, of 191,010,000,000,000,000,000, flies by August. Allowing 1/8 of a cubic inch to each fly, this number would cover the earth 47 foot deep."
CONTROL- Sanitation is, as with many insects, an important part of control. There is not an over abundance of horse manure in Kansas City, or any other metropolitan city, since the advent of the automobile. There is however tons of garbage. Every restaurant has a dumpster behind the kitchen breeding flies. Every homeowner has an excess of garbage prior to pickup. All are prime breeding sites.
Fruit Flies, Fungus Gnats, Drain Flies, and Phorid Flies
The picture on the left is of a fruit fly. They are tiny flies that are attracted to and breed from rotting fruit. Their eggs are often laid in fruit and as it deteriorates the flies emerge, usually in your kitchen, restaurant, or bar. The reason I included fruit flies, fungus gnats, drain flies, and phorid flies under the same heading is that they are frequently confused. Without a microscope it is hard to tell the difference but their breeding habits will give you a clue. Unfortunately, in businesses there are frequently a combination of the flies, and as control methods are different you will need to know which pest or pests you have in order to control them effectively.
FUNGUS GNATS are usually found in damp soils. They breed in potted plants in residential and commercial areas where plants are numerous. We frequently have problems with them in office areas where the plants are over watered by overzealous secretaries as well as the janitorial staff. Control can be achieved by drying out the soil or treating the soil with a granular insecticide labeled for indoor plants. (We often use Di-syston to treat the soil. It is a systemic insecticide and will also control plant attacking insects such as whitefly and mealy bugs.) For the adults any aerosol containing pyrethrum will kill them.
DRAIN FLIES are also tiny flies that breed in standing water, usually clogged or slow drains or infrequently used drains. They are frequently a problem in bars where spilled beer is slow to drain in a floor drain. We have also found them in residential sites in garbage disposals, infrequently used bathrooms etc. Hospitals are also frequently infested in poor drainage areas which creates a major problem if a surgeon is busy swatting gnats when he should be concentrating on operating.
Control can be achieved by either cleaning the drains frequently, or by using a product called DF 5000 or a similar product. You pour this down the drain and it eats away the bacteria and other crud the flies are breeding in and feeding on. The adults can also be killed with a pyrethrum aerosol, but if you do not cure the problem you'll be spraying indefinitely.
FRUIT FLIES as I mentioned earlier come from fruit. This is a problem in bars, kitchens, and anywhere fruit is. These are not easy to control because you cannot control the breeding sites. Try to use any fruits prior to them rotting and always buy fresh. Bananas are the biggest problem as they rot so quickly but it is tough to have banana daiquiris without bananas. Try to buy only as much as will be used in two or three days. Once you have the adults, there are fruit fly traps that are decorative and can be used to capture them. Aerosols containing pyrethrum will also work as a quick knockdown, and proper sanitation as they will breed in spilled beer etc.
PHORID FLIES are usually a problem in mausoleums but they will breed in any decaying organic matter of either plant or animal origin. Thus we have found them in restaurants and bars. Removal of the breeding site, proper sanitation, combined with aerosol or fogging pyrethrums will control the problem.
Proper identification should be done by a professional, but if your sure by breeding sites or process of elimination which fly you are dealing with, control can be done on your own, For products available see our product page under miscellaneous or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
These small flies are often mistaken for mosquitoes, however they do not bite nor do they have long proboscis like the mosquito. The larvae like the mosquito are aquatic. When emergence occurs thousands of adults move to residential or commercial areas covering houses, screen windows, causing damage to commercial sites by contamination of products.
Often, if you are near a sewage system or stagnant water body you will be infested with these insects. The males swarm at dusk creating a cloud of males waiting for a female.
Control is difficult and requires equipment not usually available to non professionals. For more information, contact us at email@example.com or call 1-800-775-bugs. For links to local pest control companies in your area, see LINKS.