As the weather in Florida (sort of) begins to cool down, we’re able to spend more time with doors and windows open and turn the air conditioning off. The vast majority of us have screened in windows and doors, thanks to the “Official Unofficial” State Bird of Florida (the mosquito). Still, in cases where doors stay open a little longer, you might find yourself with a few unwelcome guests: flies.
Are Flies Dangerous?
Flies are a problem. Beyond the persistently annoying buzzing, there are also health and sanitation issues to be aware of. These pests carry a lot of bacteria on their bodies, and while they don’t bite (they don’t have a mouth, but rather a big tongue to lap stuff up), they can still spread bacteria through their saliva and droppings.
Flies are transmission vectors for around 60 different diseases, including:
- Typhoid fever
This article from Very Well Health goes into great detail on how exactly flies transmit diseases, but I strongly suggest you avoid reading it just before or right after a meal—it is not a pleasant process.
Florida waste management services are aware of the dangers these creatures pose, and as such play a critical role in keeping the fly population in check by collecting trash twice a week. Take advantage of this municipal service, and be sure to take your garbage out frequently.
What Causes Flies?
Chances are, indoor fly problems come on suddenly and remain isolated. The number one cause of flies we see in Florida homes is a dead animal.
A larger animal like a squirrel or an opossum will be noticeable by its overwhelming smell. If you can’t smell anything but still see flies buzzing around, it could be something as small as a dead lizard or a mouse in the attic or crawl space.
If flies are more of a consistent, persistent problem for you, check for possible food sources such as waste or decaying food.
For example, another possible cause is unaddressed pet waste in the back yard. To prevent flies, pick up pet waste daily and dispose of it in sealed plastic bags in your outside trash bin. If you compost, they may be feeding and breeding in your compost heap.
How Can I Get Rid of Flies in My House?
Even after you’ve addressed the cause of the influx, you may need to do a little sniping to get rid of the hangers-on. The methods you use will depend on where the flies are.
If they are outside, on a deck, in a garage, or anywhere that isn’t near food, pets, or kids, you can get away with using an aerosol insecticide spray. It’s undoubtedly the quickest and most lethal method—just spray them right out of the sky—but these sprays are unsafe to use around food areas.
For the kitchen, there are two solutions we recommend, both of them somewhat quirky.
Solution #1: Spray Them
Guess what? Just like the patriarch in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Gus Portokalos, would undoubtedly suggest, Windex is a great solution! Simply hit the flies with a healthy squirt of the stuff wherever you see them, and they’ll go down.
Solution #2: Shoot Them
Recently on a trip to Bass Pro Shops, I noticed a product that made me laugh out loud: a salt gun. No, not an assault gun—I really mean a gun that shoots salt!
“The Bug-A-Salt 2.0 Salt Gun lets you rid the world of pests… and have fun doing it! With an effective range of up to 3-ft., this premium, extreme fly killing machine uses less than a pinch of salt to turn out the lights on disgusting, disease-carrying insects. While this salt spraying shotgun may be a nightmare for pesky flies, it’s completely non-toxic to keep the kiddos and pets safe.”
Put your kids (or your spouse!) to work as the designated Salt Sniper and watch the flies hit the deck.
Whatever will they think of next?
Todd Stebleton is the owner and operator of Universal Pest Control, a family-owned business for over 25 years in Ormond Beach, Florida. He and his wife Natalie are proud to have built a company focused on conducting business with honesty and integrity: keeping customers first, protecting the environment, and providing trustworthy, personal service.
Universal: Honest, Environmentally Friendly Pest Control