House flies

Housefly (Musca domestica) presence indicates insanitary conditions and this common pest spreads dysentery, diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, and salmonellosis.

Flies use their sponging mouth parts to suck liquids thar their saliva generates from solid food. When flies land on a surface they defecate and regurgitate on it. Flies can land on food after visiting unhygienic places and spread disease pathogens through food. Flies have spurs or hairs that are convenient perch to disease causing bacteria.

Humans despise flies for the latter being carriers of illness inducing germs and for being indicative of insanitary conditions. In nature, flies are important as pollinators but in human habitats, flies are harbingers of ill-health.

Managing house flies through an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach requires forethought and action.

Conventional IPM steps for any pest apply to treating flies too and are: prevention, monitoring and control by pesticide application and we describe the first two steps in detail below.


Flies are attracted to odours, light and warmth from a structure.

Screens on windows and vents and tight seal around doors and other entryways minimise fly entry.

Open garbage attracts flies so deny them access by tightly closing trash bins.

Remove and dispose excreta of domestic animals and pests that allures flies.

Cleaning up food waste and liquid spills in food preparation and serving areas minimises flies.


You can visually monitor flies outdoors or indoors when you see swarms of them. When you work on preventing fly populations, their numbers can subside and you can then rely on simple tools to assess their numbers.

Fly ribbons and fly paper are glue-based products that trap flies with the numbers on them a good indicator of fly prevalence in your premises.

ILTs that use ultra-violet (UV) A light to attract flies are in vogue since the last century. Unknown inventors first listed bug zappers in a magazine in the USA in 1911, but William M Frost first patented a machine in 1932 to attract flies with UV and electrocute flies. ILTs are nearly a century old and they have since evolved with glueboard-based ILTs succeeding electrocuting traps.

Pest control operators (PCOs) and their customers use many names for ILTs. Machines which electrocute insects are Electric Fly Killers (EFKs) or Fly Zappers and those in which insects get stuck on glueboards are Electric Fly Catchers (EFCs).

Our FLYght ILTs are fly catchers.