Now You See Them, Now You Don’t is a great article that was first published in the PestWest 411 newsletter, issue 14 and written By Dr. Stuart Mitchell. Again, this a great resource we wanted to share with our followers. If you want to learn more or ask Dr. Mitchell about the article please be sure to come to the New York Pest Expo November 8th. 

Unwanted and unclean, they fly in from filth to food. They can carry up to 6 million external bacteria and 25 million internal bacteria. They can leave 16 to 31 saliva and/or fecal spots in 24 hours.

House flies, Musca domestica, now you see them, now you don’t, but its what they leave behind and what you don’t see! What you don’t see can make your customers sick!

UVA fly management systems (insect light traps) can reduce the potential of public health assaults within spaces by reducing or eliminating House flies and the micros they both carry and spread. The question is; are your UVA systems effectively deployed for flies to see? More importantly, how do you know?

Distances at which insects respond to an ILT and EFK are determined by trap design and lamp type. The visual acuity and nature of the specific insect varies responses (photopic or scotopic and opsin proteins). Insects do not respond to ILTS or EFKs more than 100 feet away (attraction zone). House flies respond at 20 to 25 feet with a significant increase at 12 feet (capture zone). At 12 feet, it will take up to 7 hours for 90 percent of flies to respond, and 36 hours for 99 percent to respond.

American Institute of Baking (AIB) Requirements for ILTS

  • Insect light traps are installed farther than 10 feet or 3 meters from food contact surfaces, exposed products, packaging, and raw materials in processing or storage areas.
  • Insect light traps are used to intercept flying insects at locations that are likely to allow access into the facility.
  • Insect light traps are installed in a way that does not attract insects to the facility.
  • Shatter-resistant lamps are used in all units or otherwise explained in the facility’s Glass, Brittle Plastics, and Ceramics Program.
  • Insect light trap lamps are changed annually (at the beginning of the active season).
  • Service checks are performed on all units on a weekly basis during the active season and a monthly basis during colder seasons or as dictated by climate.

Service checks include the following.

  • Emptying collection devices.
  • Unit cleaning.
  • Any needed repairs.
  • Checks for lamp breakage.
  • All services provided to light traps are documented.
  • Service records are kept in the device and on file with the pest management documentation.
  • The facility documents, on a trap line audit, the types and quantities of insects found in light traps, and uses the information to identify and eliminate the source of activity (trend analysis).

Other considerations include the following.

  • Always hang units where they can be accessed for servicing.
  • It is undesirable to hang a unit over machinery that has to be switched off before servicing.
  • Make sure units are not positioned where they might be damaged (by a fork lift truck).
  • Avoid mounting units in areas where they may present a hazard to people.
  • Place units both perpendicular to, and above, door openings.
  • Avoid competing light (not near or projecting out windows).
  • Height to draw away from sensitive areas.
  • An appropriately designed system for wet or dry environments (food processing).
  • A dedicated power source.
  • No potential for cultural practice obstructions to trap line of sight (constructive v. deconstructive light projection).
  • Placement security from damage, theft, or sabotage.

“In an enclosed environment, House flies will go the easiest accessible attractant, no matter what the height.” -The Sky’s the Limit by Dr. Joseph Diclaro, Dr. Phil Koehler, and Dr. Roberto Pereira of the University of Florida Entomology Department.

“The key to pest prevention and management is early detection through the use of more insect light traps (ILTs) and electronic fly killers (EFKs).” -Dr. Ted Granovsky, BCE

PestWest ILTs and EFKs are designed and engineered with top-quality materials to allow many years of reliable service. In addition, PestWest UVA fly management systems will cover a given square footage of space based upon insect line of sight. PestWest underwrites this efficacy through our exclusive UV-AMeter. The UV-AMeter includes a service panel on the back of the unit to define approximate measuring distances from the UVA plum based upon different system wattages. The chart below provides an overview of this critical information.

The PestWest UV-AMeter is specifically calibrated to measure both ambient light within the space to be protected and the UVA light emitted by the ILT and EFK. Through a red, yellow, or green indicator, the UV-AMeter provides ”in the green” assurance of proper ILT and EFK placements based upon competing light and the ideal UVA plume attraction frequency of 365 nm. When you are “in the green,” you are “in the know.” Now you see them, now you don’t!

Hope we see you November 8th.


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