Hi! In my last entry, I talked about flies’ biology, species, habits, and behavior. Now, let’s move to the most important part, Integrated Pest Management for flies. Steps to successful elimination requires house fly management needs to be an integrated approach: Prevention, Inspection, Recommendation, Treatment and Monitoring.

For a quick reference to the previous topic, we can see it here


House flies are typically an ongoing problem and in the absence of any control method they can quickly return. So, the most critical and basic step in all fly management programs is good sanitation by:

  • Removing potential food sources
  • Minimizing moisture sources
  • Removing potential breeding sources
  • Preventing access into buildings


Regular inspections for flies are also important. As flies will come and go and the source of breeding could be 1-2 km away, the focus needs to be on:

  • The potential breeding sites
  • The potential entry points

Key points to remember:

Inspect the inside and outside of buildings to identify breeding, feeding and landing areas.

Try to understand where the flies could be coming from and where they are likely to move to. This understanding will help in developing a management strategy. Inspection must be carried out by someone who:

  • Has a general understanding of fly identification, biology and behavior

Is able to recognize potential breeding areas and entry points    


Once you have finished your inspection present the customer with an integrated pest management (IPM) program. The program should:

  • Address the current problem and;
  • Identify conditions that may contribute to the information

I strongly believe, by correcting these conditions it could help prevent future fly infestations.


There are a number of tools available for treating house flies including:

  • Flytraps or sticky paper
    • Have a sticky surface and some with an attractant
    • Useful in combination with other control measures

E.g. for trapping flies before they enter. But not so useful in public area as the collection of flies looks unappealing (e.g. restaurants)

  • Insect light traps
    • They can be used effectively but only in suitable situations
    • They should be used with other techniques as part of an integrated approach
    • They are typically used in food handling establishments
    • Insect light traps are not effective against fruit flies as they are attracted to food odors
  • Insecticide baits
    • These kill flies rapidly, and can attract and kill a large number of flies
    • They are best used as a supplement to a spray program
    • Granular baits can easily scattered in areas where flies may rest
    • Sprayable baits are more versatile in that they allow more area and different types of surfaces to be treated
  • Contact sprays
    • These provide temporary control of flies in indoor situations
    • They are applied using fogging or ultra-low volume (ULV) aerosol
    • To prevent contamination, all food and food handling equipment must be covered before use
  • Space sprays
    • These provide temporary control of flies and can be used in outdoors and indoors for treating large areas
    • They can be used as clean-out treatments in warehouses or for reducing outdoor adult fly populations
  • Larvicides
    • These are used to control the development of fly larvae in breeding areas
    • They are useful when it’s difficult to remove the breeding material

Please note that killing adult flies will definitely reduce fly infestations, but long-term control is dependent on good sanitation and management.


The key to long term results is to follow-up and assess the effectiveness of your management approach. Always remember, flies are highly mobile and they can come back easily. The most critical factor to ongoing success is to ensure good sanitation and removal of fly breeding areas.


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