How Many Flies Are Too Many? Rentokil Fly Testing

common waspThe pests that we deal with are unwanted organisms that cause nuisance, damage or disease to humans, livestock or crops. It is interesting that in some cases we have a “zero tolerance” attitude to certain pests, whereas others are tolerated in low numbers.

For example, the numbers that are generally acceptable for the following pests and when you would call in a pest control company to deal with them vary greatly

  • Bed bugs = a single insect
  • Wasps = several sightings or a nest
  • Biting midges = several hundred

House flyHowever, when it comes to controlling flies, tolerance of them varies depending on the industry type they are found in. In food preparation areas there is generally a very low tolerance, on a pharmaceutical production line there is zero tolerance, whilst in a warehouse with continually opening/closing loading bay doors their presence will be accepted before they are deemed a problem.

Luminos3Electronic Fly Killers are designed to catch flies, thereby reducing the likelihood of transmitting bacteria such as Salmonella, and then holding them for monitoring and/or disposal. Having appraised the site using the principles of ‘Exclude, Restrict and Destroy’, the EFK unit is there to either:

  1. Provide indications of fly numbers to allow our Field Biologists to advise clients when and where exclusion technologies need to be improved or
  2. To act as a control method in situations where exclusion or destruction is difficult or impossible to achieve.

Removing the fly from the environment as quickly as possible is the critical measure of how effective an EFK is and this factor is not directly taken into account when looking at the data used to sell many units, factors which include many urban myths.

This is why Rentokil express the effectiveness of EFK units as a half-life which has a clear benefit to customers: it tells them how long, on average, a fly will remain in an area before it is captured.

Using a half-life value when discussing the effectiveness of EFKs is clearly a key performance indicator that Rentokil Pest Control hope that the industry will adopt, and certainly the initial feedback from manufacturers we have worked with has been encouraging. Our experimental method has recently been published in the May/June issue of Pest Magazine and we hope it can stimulate some healthy industry discussion.

Please do let us know your thoughts here on the blog.

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