There is only one permanent solution to this type of small fly infestation — the broken pipe has to be located and replaced.
Editor’s note: This article was reprinted with permission from Techletter, a biweekly training letter for professional pest control technicians from Pinto & Associates.
Repetitive outbreaks of small, humpbacked flies in a home, restaurant or hospital may mean serious trouble underground. Why underground? Because one of the common sources of phorid flies (also called humpbacked flies or coffin flies) is a broken sewer line oozing goo under a building.
Phorid fly adults are tiny, and most are brownish-yellow with brown wings, a small head and a large, humped thorax. Adults are reluctant to fly and often run instead. Larvae are whitish and wormlike, and feed on sewage, dead animals, human corpses (underground and in mausoleums), animal feces, rotting plants and have been found infesting open wounds in hospitals.
When a sewer line breaks, perhaps from invading tree roots or settling ground, hundreds (even thousands) of pounds of organic material can accumulate under a slab or crawl. This subsoil area is rarely as solid as you would think. Instead, settling soil and fluid from the broken pipe produces open spaces. Once a population of flies is established, the life cycle can continue totally underground. If adult flies find a route to light, perhaps through a crack in a slab or an open expansion joint, hundreds of flies per day can find their way into the building above.
There is only one permanent solution to this type of phorid infestation. The broken pipe has to be located and replaced. And very importantly, all of the gooey soil that has become saturated with organic material has to be excavated, discarded and replaced with clean soil. Otherwise, the infestation may continue for years. Excavation can be very expensive. For a major sewer leak under a commercial building it may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to break up the slab, excavate and replace the contaminated soil, replace the pipes and repour the slab.
Some companies have tried to avoid this expense by injecting a termiticide into the subsoil. Unfortunately, this treatment rarely works. And if the soil later has to be excavated anyway, the termiticide-treated soil may require special (and even more expensive) disposal techniques.
The authors are well-known industry consultants and co-owners of Pinto & Associates.
Insect Control Alternatives from Paraclipse
Utilizing a patented auto-advancing Capture Cartridge, the Paraclipse Ultra and Terminator units offer distinct advantages over less sophisticated units. The cartridge ensures a fresh adhesive and attractant surface is always presented and the trapped flies are rolled into the receiving end of the cartridge. The areas with Paraclipse units will not be contaminated with a mist of insect parts like when electrocuting devices are used. The Paraclipse units are simple to maintain; when the cartridge is expired simply replace with a fresh one. Stationary glueboards become ineffective if not changed frequently.
The Fly Patrol from Paraclipse offers similar advantages in a smaller package for smaller spaces. This unique design allows PMPs to wall mount or place on a flat surface.
Paraclipse also offers the Mosquito Eliminator designed for outdoor use. The Eliminator can be free-standing or wall mounted, and is an effective, environmentally safe way to control disease-carrying mosquitos.
Learn more at www.paraclipse.com.
Turn Their Mess Into Your Success
Using Nisus Corporation’s Nibor-D and TrueTech equipment, pest management companies are now getting control in many food-service accounts where proper sanitization does not take place, the firm says.
Nisus says it can provide the tools and products to control the worst drain fly and cockroach problems. Even the tiniest food particles can support insect populations. Nisus’ unique system allows PMPs to foam its special blend of products deep into drains, crack and crevices, effectively turning residual food particles into an insecticidal bait, helping to eliminate the toughest pest problems. This treatment provides powerful protection from pests and complements the facility’s sanitation procedures, Nisus reports.
How well does it work? Darrell Bush with Bush Pest Control was called in when the commercial kitchen of a 364-bed facility was facing shutdown by the health department because of an overwhelming small fly problem. Bush explained the protocol to the health inspector who allowed the facility to remain open pending treatment. The treatment was done that evening and the problem was solved. The health inspection conducted the following week found zero flies.
Nisus says it wants PMPs to give them their toughest challenge and they’ll help them get control of cockroaches and small flies.
Learn more at www.nisuscorp.com.
Brandenburg’s Advanced Insect Light Trap: Genus Eclipse Ultra
Brandenburg says its Genus Eclipse Ultra is a new innovation in fly management for sensitive areas. The unit provides fast fly catch and offers a customizable front insert for brand and promotional messaging, the firm reports. Features include:
- Two 15-watt black light blue (BLB) lamps.
- Incorporates translucent technology to maximize UVA propagation for faster fly catch.
- Customizable inserts to facilitate brand promotions and messages.
- Design led styling, silent operation and discreet out-of-sight fly control for sensitive locations.
- Out-of-sight fully grid marked Brandenburg Universal glueboard ensuring high-catch capacity, complete discretion and HACCP compliance.
- Incorporates electronic ballast to future proof the unit and ensure reduced running costs.
The Genus Eclipse Ultra provides quick, tool-free access for cleaning and servicing of the lamps and glueboard, Brandenburg reports. It has no sharp corners to snag fingers or catch cleaning cloths. The Genus Eclipse Ultra uses the Brandenburg universal glueboard, which allows for simplification of inventory and eliminates lost time through wasted callbacks, the firm says.
Learn more at www.b-onena.com.
Gardner Products Offers WS-95 Wall Sconce
The WS-95 wall sconce is a decorative white wall mount light trap. The design combines a wall sconce light and an adhesive board. Gardner says flying insects are attracted to the ultraviolet light and captured on a replaceable adhesive board inside the sconce. The sconce should be positioned 5 to 6 feet above the floor.
The WS-95 features:
- 24-hour, non-chemical trapping
- Energy-efficient U.V. insect lamps
- Attraction range: 1,800 square feet (50 linear feet)
- UV light output: two 25-watt bulbs
- Glueboard: 5 by 17 inches
- FDA and USDA accepted under current code
- UL approved/listed
- 19 inches wide by 11.5 inches high by 5.5 inches deep
- Five-year warranty
Learn more at www.gardnerep.com.
NyGuard Controls Small Flies in Unsanitary Conditions
Controlling flies in residential and commercial accounts can be challenging. Where proper sanitation is impossible, MGK says NyGuard is the answer.
Historically, NyGuard IGR has been used as a cockroach, flea and mosquito control product. Another effective and long overlooked use, the firm says, is for fly control. MGK recommends adding 12 ml of NyGuard IGR to 32 ounces of water (preferably in a 32-ounce foaming pump-up sprayer) and applying the product to areas where flies frequent. It also can be mixed with a bioenyzme and applied to drains and areas with organic build-up. MGK says the benefits of NyGuard IGR in areas with large amounts of organic matter are as follows:
- NyGuard binds to organic matter so it stays where it is applied and inhibits insect maturity.
- Since NyGuard binds to organic and inorganic matter, it is not easily removed during the cleaning process, thus making it biologically available for both adult flies and immature stages.
- NyGuard is effective at low concentrations. Adult flies that contact NyGuard residue can become sterile in as little as 10 seconds.
Learn more at www.mgk.com.