Showing posts with label flies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flies. Show all posts

Monday, December 22, 2014

Why Are There So Many Flies in My Home?

OK. So why are there so many flies in my home/house? I hear you ‘scream’.

There can be many reasons you have a lot of flies in your home. Consider this one:

I came home today, the temperature and been up a bit up all day (mid 20 degrees C) and my home is a bit like a hothouse. It was mid 30s in the house when I got home and until I opened the doors and windows.

Then I started work on dinner. I found some fish I had taken out of the freezer a couple of days ago and forgotten about. Thinking it was maybe a bit passed ‘eat by’ even though it smelled Ok, I decided to put in my kitchen bin. 5 minutes later the house seemed to have an exceptional number of flies.

House Fly
I did four things and now there are no flies:
  1. I took the fish and the contents of the kitchen bin to the exterior garbage bin. – Flies have a sense of smell thousands of times better than ours!
  2. I opened windows to the sunny side of the house. – Flies are naturally attracted more to bright areas and are more likely to fly OUT open windows here.
  3. I lit a an oriental incense stick inside, and a citronella candle on the terrace outside the main open door – flies are deterred by smoke, including citronella.
  4. I turned on a pedestal fan – this helped circulate the smoke and create disturbed air currents which are also deterrent to some flies.
Other reasons I might have had flies in my home would be something had died in the house and blow flies had found it, multiplied and emerged from it, it is autumn and cluster flies have decided to over winter in my home, there is some rotting vegetable matter or animal matter close to my home, or there are blocked drains and fruit flies are breeding in the fermenting liquid in the drains. There are some other possibilities but the former are the most likely in New Zealand.

Your joke as reward(?) for reading my post:

A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Hunting flies,” he responded.
“Oh! Are you swatting any?” she asked.
“Yes, three males and two females,” he replied.
Puzzled, she asked, “How can you tell which are male and which are female?”
“Three were on a beer can, two were on the phone.”

Monday, April 4, 2011

Christchurch Vulnerable to Pest Plagues

Rats Plague Christchurch
I have been warning that the damage caused to Christchurch’s infrastructure has left the city and its people vulnerable to plagues of pests. Rats and mice are able to take advantage of damaged sewers and buildings. Flies, mosquitoes and midges find new breeding sites in stagnant and contaminated puddles. Ground dwelling ants have been disturbed and have moved into homes and other buildings. Plus the normal pest operations that keep pests under control have been disrupted.

As the weather cools in autumn it is normal that rats and mice seek shelter and food in buildings. This annual influx of rodents is likely to be more serious this year, particularly in areas where damage to buildings and sewers provides them with easy access. I previously predicted a greater than usual problem with rodents this year. Warm and moist weather across the country has provided near ideal breeding conditions with more available food than normal.

Now is the time to be proactive, and whether you are in Christchurch or elsewhere in the country, it is the best time to place rodent bait in vulnerable places around buildings. Weatherproof bait blocks should be used around the exterior of buildings and the blocks or bait and tracking powder should be placed in attics, garages, and other places where rodents are likely to look for food and shelter. “The trick is to intercept them before they have time to set up a nest in the building.

The Kiwicare offices and factory are in Bromley, one of the hardest hit parts of Christchurch. We have been luckier than many. The strong building has meant that production was only disrupted for a week. But we are seeing at first hand some of the pest issues that are likely to be a particular problem in the damaged areas of the city. Disruption to the nearby sewerage settling ponds and the standing water formed in sink holes and liquefaction is providing breeding sites for mosquitoes, midges and flies. These insects have been seen in and around the offices. The midges, which can be mistaken for mosquitoes, are found covering the windows and walls. Although they don’t bite, not having mouth parts, their large numbers can be an unpleasant nuisance.

Rodents and flies are carriers of disease and increased number of these pests combined with the problems of sewerage leaks makes for a serious risk to health.

Cooler weather is likely to help keep the insect pests reduced, but it will also encourage the rodent pests to move in, so whichever way the temperature goes it is likely to cause increased pest problems for the already embattled people of Christchurch. You can help the city by making sure your property is not a breeding ground for pests.

A swarm of flies go into a bar.
“What’s the buzz?” Asks the bartender.

Monday, January 31, 2011

La Niña Brings Insect ‘Plagues’

The La Niña weather pattern is not only bringing New Zealand a warm moist summer, it is also bringing ‘plagues’ of pest insects.

Last month saw a record of over 20,000 visits to the Kiwicare website from New Zealanders, nearly double the same period last year. Sales of all insect control products are up this year and some such as flea products are as much as double sales last year. Enquiries for fleas are up 117%, wasps 110% and spiders, cockroaches, ants and flies all up more than 50%.

The pests causing most concern in these conditions are fleas, mosquitoes, wasps, flies, cockroaches and ants. These pests pose a risk of causing harm to people and animals; fleas and mosquitoes bite us and our pets, wasps sting and even threaten life on rare occasions, flies and cockroaches transfer disease from rubbish and drains to our food and kitchens, and ants are a general nuisance in homes and workplaces.

Because insect metabolisms are governed by temperature, insects are generally more active and breed more quickly when it is warm. Moisture levels are also critical for many insects. In dry conditions many insects experience stress due to water loss and this slows their breeding. However, when moisture levels are high, as they are this year in many parts of New Zealand, then numbers are not limited. The third vital ingredient of this recipe for ‘plagues’ of insect pests is food supply, and there are reasons to believe conditions are also increasing food sources, for example:
  • Adult fleas and mosquitoes feed on the blood of animals, often including people. In warm weather, blood is more easily available to fleas and other blood sucking pests because mammals such as cats, dogs and ourselves move blood into capillaries near the surface of our skin to radiate heat and keep us cool. Also, the larvae of fleas feed on dust, including skin cells from animals and people. In warm conditions there is more of this dust available.
  • Wasps feed on a variety of food sources including nectar, pollen, other insects and decaying animal material. The weather conditions have been good for flowers, giving wasps a head start in food supply this spring and the general increase in insects has provided more insect prey for their carnivorous habits.
  • Flies and cockroaches feed largely on decaying organic matter. The warm weather encourages more rapid decay and easier feeding for fly maggots and cockroach nymphs as well as adults.
  • Ants feed on a variety of foods depending on the species and the requirements of the colony at the time. For example, Argentine Ants feed on other insects and invertebrates when they invade a new territory; thus removing competition. Then they change to feeding on higher levels of sweet foods such as the honeydew from aphids with which they have a symbiotic relationship; protecting them in return for the honeydew.
This all means that we are more at risk from pest insects this year than normal. There is more likelihood of being bitten by fleas and mosquitoes, stung by wasps, given food poisoning by flies and cockroaches and generally pestered by ants and other insects.

Pro-active prevention of problems with pest insects is preferable to having to deal with an infestation. Think prevention and remove food that insects could feed on and create barriers to stop pests entering your home. Don’t forget to treat your pets with flea treatment from your vet but also spray places where pets sleep as this is where the fleas spend most time. I advise extra caution in dealing with wasp nests this year as they seem to have formed particularly large nests already. One wasp sting is almost always painful and can be life threatening in a few sensitive individuals. To avoid stings treat wasp nests with powder insecticide as powder tends to keep wasps calm, and treat at dusk or night time when wasp activity is low.

A man walks into a bar. There is a flea behind the bar serving drinks. The man stares at him amazed.
The flea says “What are you staring at. Have you never seen a flea serving drinks before?”
“No. Its not that” says the man. “It’s just I never thought the ant would sell the place.”

Monday, October 18, 2010

How to Fly Proof Your Home

“One spray lasts all summer long.”

NO Bugs Super Professional Strength is the best general purpose insecticide for eradicating and controlling spiders and a range of crawling and flying insect pests in and around home, office, factory and shop. One treatment of a home will last for up to 6 months.

The new professional strength formula provides the same level of protection from pest insects and spiders as you would expect from a professional pest control company…….but at a fraction of the cost. Here we will describe how and where to use the product to get the same level of protection as that you would expect from a professional treatment.

NO Bugs Super is:
  • Available in both a handy Ready To Use spray and as a Concentrate for making up enough spray to bug proof a whole building.
  • NO Bugs Super provides control of most crawling and flying insects, including cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, ants, spiders (including white tail spiders), carpet beetle, silverfish and many others.
  • Due to its UV stability NO Bugs Super provides control of pests both indoors and out all summer long.
  • It does not stain or smell.
  • Applied correctly it is safe around children and pets making it the perfect product for use around the home.
  • Made in New Zealand for New Zealand pests and conditions.
  • It is effective, easy to use and cost efficient.
How to use NO Bugs Super

NO Bugs Super concentrate is formulated for dilution with clean water. The dilution rate varies depending on the circumstances of use. Check the dilution rates on the container and select the one for your situation. Trigger sprayers or clean garden sprayers can be used.

Learn – How to Mix Concentrates

The ready to use trigger spray is ideal for treating small areas or as a ‘top up’ treatment of particularly vulnerable areas but is unlikely to be sufficient to treat and entire house.

How To Control Flying Insects

It is rarely possible to entirely prevent flies and flying pests from entering buildings if doors and windows are open but the numbers can be kept to minimum and flying insects killed soon after entering.

  • Surface treatment using NO Bugs Super (or NO Flies) will give long term control of flies. Flies are killed after they land on the treated surfaces and insecticide will not be inhaled by people or pets using the rooms. Spray the surfaces that you see flies landing on; these are often the edges of doorways and window frames, light fittings, ceilings, tops of walls and wall corners.
  • Before you begin – If the areas to be treated are dusty or greasy it is good practise to clean these down first to prevent runs and for the best effect of the treatment. Cover or remove all fish tanks, pets, food, food utensils, food preparation surfaces, clothes, toys and bedding. Pull furniture away from walls so that you can get a clear run of spraying rather than having to stop to move each item of furniture.
  • Flies inside – Apply NO Bugs Super as a coarse mist to walls (especially edges), ceiling, window frames, entrance ways, doors, porches, and areas where flies congregate.
  • Flies outside – It is more difficult to deal with flies outside as it may not be possible to treat areas not within your control and there can be no way to proof against flies. However, there are ways to minimise the nuisance. Search for possible breeding sites of flies. Remove or treat with insecticide any decaying animal or vegetable matter that might provide food for maggots (fly larvae). Check and clean drains.
  • Choose a still day with a forecast of dry conditions for the next 6 hours. Apply NO Bugs Super as a coarse mist to exterior walls, window frames, door frames, pergolas and other fly alighting surfaces.
  • Note: Pyrethroids are broken down by UV light and have a shorter life in bright sunlight so a second spray in such areas will increase efficacy. NO Bugs Super is formulated to resist breakdown by UV light. Also pyrethrins are slower to work in higher temperatures; so on warm days the flies may take longer to die after contact.
  • Baits are being developed for the control of flies outdoors. These may be useful in areas such as compost bins, chicken coops, animal houses etc. In such areas spraying can be less effective because of dust the presence of a great deal of decaying matter to attract the flies.
  • Citronella candles and other repellents can reduce fly numbers in limited areas such as decks and around barbecues. However, windy days will dissipate the repellents rapidly.
  • Personal insect repellent can be useful in preventing flies as well as mosquitoes and sand flies coming close to us. There are synthetic and organic insect repellents available
To Keep Flying Insect Pests To A Minimum Follow these simple principles.
  1. Remove or limit what is attracting the flies.
  2. Remove or treat breeding sites.
  3. Stop them entering by physical barriers.
  4. Use residual surface treatments where entry cannot be prevented.
  5. Use automatic aerosol dispensers in areas of high fly nuisance, but never where food is handled.
  6. Use aerosol insecticide as a quick knockdown but stay out of the sprayed area for as long as possible after use.
Why were the flies playing soccer in the saucer?They where playing for the cup!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

TV3 and Cluster Fly Ellimination

Many of you will have seen the report last night’s TV3 News programmes.

I felt sorry for the poor lady that was sweeping up cluster flies that were about 2 inches deep on her floor. She was aware of the need to dispose of the bodies because they continue to emit pheromone. One of my ex colleagues from Target Pest was shown dealing with an infestation and I am confident he will have done a good job killing the flies and removing them. He will also have sprayed the roof voids, cracks and crevices where the clusters would form to prevent new groups forming.

Clusters are likely to continue to form in various part sof New Zealand over the next couple of months. I recommend you get prepared now if you live in and area of pasture land. Spraying the exterior of the house (or other at risk building) and the warm dark spaces within will greatly reduce the risk of suffering an infestation.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Midges and Other Flying Insects

Following my blog last week on the appearance of midges around Bromley I was called by one of our suppliers asking me to help another client of theirs with a flying insect problem. The client is an engineering company a few hundred metres from the Kiwicare head offices and not surprisingly the problem was being caused by midges. They were settling on the white painted surfaces and windows around the entrance of their showroom; not very inviting for visitors. I have supplied some deltamethrin (NO Bugs Super Professional Strength) for them to spray the area.

I have found an excellent website and forum site for lifestyle blockers and small farmers. The website has several thousand members and lively and informative discussion of all sorts of topics relevant to owners of small rural properties and more. There are good discussions of pest control issues and I recently started a thread asking members how bad flies have been or are in their various parts of the world.

I have received good feedback, some saying the flies have not yet been bad and other complaining bitterly about flies. The split is so far about 50:50 which suggests to me that flies are not as bad as usual because I would expect people with problems to be more likely to respond.

The beautiful warm weather we are having here in Canterbury at the moment is likely to increase fly and other insect numbers. I would appreciate any feedback you would have. So let me know how the flies are for you and where you are. Leave a comment here or Email me.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

North African Flies?

It is a beautiful day in Kaiapoi. The sun is shining, there is not a cloud in the sky, there is a gentle cooling breeze and I have been to the local farmers market to buy the delicious bacon from the pork lady. I also found the fresh leeks, tomatoes and courgettes irresistible. Now I am home, the shopping packed away and my thoughts have turned to what I can cook for tonight’s dinner. I purchased some dried fruits from the supermarket during the week and the goat leg I was given by the good friends that are coming for dinner, has been in the freezer long enough. North African tagine is flickering in the food centric part of my mind. All is well with the world……except that for the first time this year there are flies about. Canterbury has been unseasonably cool this summer. Or I should say “it has been unsettled, being warm for a few days followed by a few cool days.” The flies haven’t known whether they are coming or going; until now.

I don’t think they are North African flies that have smelled the lamb simmering in the spiced juices of courgette, tomatoes, etc. etc. I fear they are common house flies and blow flies that have suddenly taken the opportunity to emerge due to the warm weather. It is maybe my fault that they are coming into the house. I have all the windows and doors open, including the ranch slider to the balcony.

But the flies don’t stay long. I recently sprayed all the fly landing surfaces with NO Bugs Super Professional Strength. What I don’t have is a Robocan or Natugard type dispenser. I don’t need it after spraying the surfaces. And as I am into cooking I don’t want the spray anywhere near my food. Not that I think that there is anything wrong with Robocan or Natugard dispensers. I don’t. But they have to be placed in the ‘right’ place, and only in the ‘right’ place. Such dispensers should never be placed near food or places where food is handled. I probably will purchase a dispenser and use a Kiwicare AutoCan 100% natural pyrethrum refill, but I will place the unit well away from the kitchen and switch it off when I am spending time in its vicinity; I don’t want to be breathing the insecticide, no matter how natural.

My advice to you if you are experiencing a problem with flies is carry out a thorough interior and exterior treatment with a long lasting residual insecticide such as NO Bugs Super or NO Flies. You can find out how in a previous Pest Advice article on how to use surafce insecticides. You can use an automatic dispenser as well but remember not to place it near food or food preparation areas.

Time for my tagine with couscous and tamarind pickle. No flies allowed.