One of the nation's favourite public holidays is next week: September the 24th is Heritage Day, or Braai Day as it has affectionately become known. And in large parts of the country, the weather is already warm enough to make the prospect of a day outdoors next to the braai an appealing one. That is if it weren't for those annoying flies whose numbers start to rise with the temperature. Having flies in your home is just one of those things you have to put up with, right?
Wrong. And here's why we shouldn't just put up with flies. Although the common housefly doesn't bite, this flying insect is far more disgusting than we might think!
What makes flies so disgusting?
Because flies can only consume liquids, they vomit onto their (your!) food to liquefy it. They also have sticky footpads, which are used to anchor them to surfaces. As flies love to settle on excrement or garbage, these footpads quickly become a means of spreading bacteria as they move around.
Female house flies lay approximately 400-600 eggs in decaying matter or faeces which develop into maggot larvae in under 12 hours. From larvae to fully developed fly can be as quick as ten days under the right conditions. Still think it's ok to have flies in your home?
And if you thought it couldn't get any worse, consider this:
Flies defecate every 4-5 minutes (on your food, your counter-tops, your walls etc).
A single rubbish bin - if not emptied - can breed 30 000 flies in a 7 day period! Those little white maggots are baby flies.
Over the years, flies have been spreading diseases like typhoid fever, cholera, conjunctivitis, tuberculosis and diarrhoea. They also cause parasitic tapeworms in poultry and horses, which makes it even more important to implement a fly control solution to get rid of flies before they become a problem.
One doesn't need to become a pest control expert by training to catch flies with your braai tongs (like the karate kid does with chopsticks). Rentokil has the following fly control tips to ensure that your braai day doesn't turn into a fly day.
How to prevent flies in your home:
- Always cover your food; flies spread disease by landing on food before we eat it.
- Clear away food and liquid spillages immediately and take care to clean food debris from under kitchen appliances.
- Prevent flies from being able to breed in standing water by ensuring that your drains are kept clear and running. Treat drains that seem to contain flies with bleach, and ensure gutters and water gullies are not blocked.
- For a natural fly control solution, introduce goldfish into garden ponds to eat fly larvae.
- Put a household fan near the most vulnerable areas in your home, like your fruit bowl, and keep it blowing across the fruit. Flies cannot land in a crosswind.
- Empty your inside rubbish bins at least twice a week and wash them out regularly. Keep them as far away from doors as possible, to ensure you get rid of flies before they become a problem. Make sure the lids fit tightly and are kept closed.
- Seal entry points around windows and doors using sealant or caulking to plug the holes.
- Install fly screens on windows you like to keep open.
The next time you see a fly make sure to remember these fly control tips so that flies don't become a permanent feature in your home. And if you do find that flies have become a problem at home, be sure to contact the experts at Rentokil for a free survey.