As the winter nears many insects become scarce. Adult house flies, for example, die off. Thank goodness for that I hear you say. Just remember though, that house fly eggs live on and are to be found in their larval or pupal stage hiding in some dung or in some rubbish somewhere. They may also be laid in warm attics or rafters. Flies are opportunistic and will lay their eggs anywhere that is a food source. For instance, if a mouse of bird has died in your attic, flies will use its rotting corpse as the perfect host for its young.
If the pupae or larvea were outside they would stay dormant through the cold weather. The trouble with lofts though, is that warm air tends to rise and keep them relatively warm. The eggs won’t stay dormant for long. The warmth in the loft will result in continuous development until the young flies are finally hatched and, as is their nature, start to rove around looking for food.
They won’t go far. In the winter, the only source of heat will be the house itself. They may stay trapped in the loft and might die off once all food sources have been exhausted. They may also die off if the house occupants go on vacation and turn off the heating. In many situations however, they will make their way into the living quarters of the house and start to do their nasty work of landing on and sampling various foodstuffs. The kitchen is one of their favourite destinations.
So what can be done to prevent your house (or business, hospital or school) playing host to these unwanted guests through the winter?
1. Try to plug any gaps in the roof area and other areas in the building to ensure that pests can not invade in the first place. You may consider installing Insectocutor fly screens
2. Regularly check roof spaces and other rarely habited areas for any dead creatures. For instance check rat traps and the like. Also, clear away any rubbish.
3. Make sure there are no leaks or damp areas. These can aid infestation.
4. If possible, turn off all heating for a limited period. The only practical time you may consider this is if the building is not being used for a while. If you are going on vacation this would be a good time to ensure all heating is turned off. Businesses can use the Christmas break for the same purpose. For hospitals this option will not be available of course.
5. Use fly killers. Insectocutor fly killers can be purchased from Arkay Hygiene (see below).
Cluster flies are a particular nuisance. You may need to purchase an Insectocutor SE22 or SE44 fly killer with the catch tray removed and a large metal container positioned directly underneath it (the regular catch tray would not be able to cope with the sheer numbers of cluster flies).
If you already have fly killer machines, don’t forget to check them. Arkay Hygiene stock a range of spare parts including a wide uv bulb range, transformers, lamp starters and lamp holders. Don’t forget that the ultra violet output of the lamps degrades after a year of recommended use. If your lamp is a year old then fit a new one.
It’s bad enough being plagued by flies in the summer. Let’s hope you have a rest from them this winter!