Small Fly Management, presented by Dean Stanbridge, Direct Line Sales

Posted: November 23, 2011 in New York Pest Expo, Pest Control Industry News
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For those who attended this year’s New York Pest Expo, 11-11-11 turned into a lucky day. We had some of the industry’s best speakers sharing their knowledge regarding topics that are critical to every PCO. These gentlemen covered a lot of material. Since some attendees may not have had the ability to keep track of everything, we took notes and are sharing the details with everyone (even those who couldn’t make it).

Our first speaker of the day was Dean Stanbridge, Direct Line Sales. Dean’s presentation was on Small Fly Management. The objective was to learn how to inspect, monitor and treat these bothersome pests while improving your bottom line.

Dean pointed out that the key to fly management is identification. As we know, this is the key to just about any pest problem. In the case of small flies, it is difficult to identify them because of their size.  Two important tools to have on hand for such a task are a hand lens and a strong flashlight.

Once you have found your fly you must examine the wing structure. For example, a phorid fly has no cross veins and a very simple vein structure. Therefore, it isn’t a great flyer.  This would indicate that this type of fly would stay close to its food source since it can’t travel far. Then look at fruit flies. They are very similar to a phorid fly however, their wings are more complex. This veination allows the fruit fly to travel greater distances.

The next clue in identifying small flies is to pinpoint the environment in which they live. “The nose knows” Dean was quick to point out associating the name phorid with “horrid”. Phorid flies are attracted to horrible, smelly environments in a state of advanced decay.  The fruit fly prefers an organic, fermenting smell. While the drain fly is attracted to a boggy, moist and slimy environment.

Next, conduct interior and exterior inspections. Look outside of buildings for points of entry, check the airflow, lighting and roof drainage. Inside, examine garbage areas, mops and cleaning rags. Ask yourself how many sources for breeding the particular species of fly would thrive in.  When interviewing clients, responses like “they’re everywhere” don’t help.  They will believe the flies are everywhere since they can travel everywhere, but they originate in a specific location. You need to zero in on that spot.

Now, think “small, smaller, smallest”. Flies can live in the tiniest of spots. Once you believe you’ve identified their home, Dean recommends doing what he calls a “tape test”.  Take packing tape, cover the entry hole or crack, and leave a small slit in the tape to allow for airflow. The fly will get stuck to the tape as it emerges from its hiding spot. Later, the PCO can confirm the source and react accordingly.

Success in today’s pest management environment means that our brain must be the pesticide.  Sherlock Holmes put it best: “Look beyond the obvious”. The source of a fly infestation may well go beyond the obvious. Do the “tape test”, use your eyes and apply your knowledge. Identify, think small, and keep looking. Consider non-chemical controls and micro sanitation. And educate your client.

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