Happy Memorial Weekend – make sure you keep the flies off the burgers!!

Posted: May 30, 2012 in Pest Management
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
The following guest post is written by Chris Bowley of P&L Systems. Although we just celebrated Memorial Day this past Monday, these tips and points can be applied to any cookout this summer. We hope you enjoy and think about Chris’ post the next time you entertain outside.

Ah, the official start of summer…. and unofficial start of “Fly Season”.

With over 120,000 species, the order Diptera is the fourth largest order in the class Insecta. In the USA we are “lucky” to only have around 16,000 indigenous species – and every barbecue seems to attract every one of them to our yard or deck! They range from the beautiful Male Striped Horse Fly, Tabanus lineola (left pic) to the bizarre Stalk-eyed fly, Teleopsis dalminni (below) and can be among the most beneficial animals in the Arthropod Phylum……. However they are universally recognized as a nuisance and major vectors of disease.  Above all, they are just GROSS – if you followed a fly for a day, you wouldn’t eat for a week.

(Stalk-eyed fly, Teleopsis dalminni)

So…..what has all this got to do with Memorial Weekend festivities? Here are some simple thoughts and tips that will hopefully reduce the annoyance caused by these pesky critters, and help to avoid your guests thinking twice about consuming the delightful treats you are preparing for them.

The first thing to mention is totally counter to our “business instincts” as sellers of insect light traps  – DO NOT INSTALL OUTDOOR FLY ZAPPERS ON YOUR DECK OR ANYWHERE CLOSE TO YOUR HOUSE!! For some reason folks think that the installation of a “zapper” close to their deck or patio is a way to keep the flies at bay. Although there’s no denying that listening to the crack of a powerful lightning bolt as a victim hits the grid can be somewhat satisfying, the fact is that these units are not going be very effective during a sun baked day (too much competing ambient UV from the sun, I’m afraid), and worse, at night they become a beacon of hope for all flying insects within direct line of sight of the unit….for hundreds of yards around your home!  I’ve always advised people that the best way to handle outdoor flylights is to buy two instead of one…. and give one to each of your neighbors! If the desire to listen to the murderous “zap” is so great that you simply HAVE to install an outdoor unit – situate it at least 30 yards away from your patio – at least this will help to draw the flies away from the main area you are using for the party.

Instead of using high powered white light bulbs in your outdoor light units, switch to a yellow bulb – these emit very low amounts of UV light and are much less attractive to flying insects.

In the area of your yard, deck or patio where the food is being prepared – set up some fans so that there is a constant flow of air across the area. This will do two things; confuse flies that are drawn by food odors, and; create an environment that makes it difficult for flies to fly in – they don’t like to have to struggle flying “upstream”.

On a more somber note, as we gather to enjoy the company of families and friends this weekend, please don’t neglect the true reason for the initiation of Memorial Day as a National holiday. As you look around at the group of people you are partying with, remember that we are all enjoying the opportunity to share food, drinks, jokes and tall tales, watch the Indy 500 or just “hang out” at your favorite fishing hole in a safe and free society ONLY due the ultimate sacrifice made by so many of the courageous, brave and bold members of the Armed Forces. No matter what your belief system is, say a prayer or express a positive thought for these Unforgettable Warriors, RIP and THANK YOU!

Information provided by P+L Systems,  manufacturers of high quality flylights globally.

Author: Chris Bowley (May 2012)

If you would like to share some expert advise by writing a guest blog for Bug Off Pest Control Centers blog The Center, please submit your article to Andy Linares at andy@bugoffpccenter.com

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