Posted: September 5, 2012 in Pest Management
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The following article, Most Wanted: Flies By Dr. Stuart Mitchell was originally shared by PestWest in the PestWest 411 Newsletter

They come by air, land, and filth flagrantly violating our public health laws. These flying infections criminally move pathogens from filth to food.

They vector diseases such as dysentery, gastroenteritis, tuberculosis, and intestinal-worms. Spotting is produced when feeding and defecating. These law-breakers each produce 16 to 31 spots in 24 hours. They harbor up to 6 million external bacteria and 25 million internal bacteria.

These flying felons are House flies, Musca domestica. Adults are 6 – 8 mm long. The thorax is grey with four longitudinal dark-stripes. The fourth vein on the wing bends forward (almost reaching the third vein). The sides of the abdomen are yellowish. Larvae undergo three molts, increasing in size and changing color from white to cream. Pupae are about 6 mm long and may be yellow, brown, or black.

Adult perpetrators live 1-3 months depending upon temperature. Females become sexually mature 1-2 days after emergence. Eggs (400-750 per lifetime) are placed, after copulation, in moist, fermenting, or putrefying materials.

Larvae seek a hideout from light, burrowing into food material and seeking zones of high temperature (45-50°C). Upon maturity, larvae seek a cooler environment (for example in soil). Larvae may travel distances, and become an offensive inclusion within commodities.

Adult fly suspects may travel or can be blown up to 20 miles. Attracted by odors, food requirements for adults are mainly carbohydrates. Stolen in liquid form, nutrients are dissolved by regurgitated digestive juices.

Arresting these suspects before public heath crimes are committed involves good hygiene to limit food sources and breeding sites. Refuse should be stored in tightly sealed containers. Fly screens and exclusion methods should be utilized.

UVA light traps (ILTs and EFKs) should be installed where appropriate. Flytraps with a bait attractant are useful in dealing with focal pressures. Properly labeled insecticides may be used depending upon the scope and site of lawless infestations.

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