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The value in the FLY AWAY!

Posted by Jaco Els on

The Science Behind Your Fly ­Problem

For food processing facilities, the most likely culprits for fly issues will be house flies, blowflies, and on occasion, bottle flies.

Adult house flies can live for up to 25 days—more than enough time for a single female house fly to produce a virtual army of flies. In her lifetime, she can lay between 350 and 900 eggs. Adult females of other filth fly species can wreak even more havoc; blow and bottle flies can produce as many as 2,300 eggs. Simple math will show you how quickly a relatively small fly issue can become a major problem for a processing facility.


Flies are attracted to mainly two things: heat and odors. Heat signals optimal living and breeding conditions and odors draw them to potential food and breeding sources.

Food processing facilities naturally generate heat through the use of machinery. If heat is escaping through gaps, cracks, windows, and doors, it may be attracting flies toward your facility. Remember, a fly’s sole purpose in life is to reproduce; the optimal temperature for egg production is between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, so flies will seek out that temperature range. If your facility handles livestock or poultry, you may also be generating heat through the presence of animals and their manure.


Odors that are both good and bad to humans can be fly attractants. Flies have an extraordinary ability to detect these odors from great distances. While most house flies will fly about a mile to find food and breeding sources, they have been shown to be able to detect odors from as far as five miles away.

Think about what is in a five-mile radius of your facility. If your operation produces any odor that is attractive to flies, they can find their way from naturally occurring breeding sites, sewage treatment plants, farms, and even something as small as the carcass of an animal on the side of a road.




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