Avoid wet muck and dont let fly numbers rise

4 July 1997

Avoid wet muck and dont let fly numbers rise

By Emma Penny

HOUSEFLY levels in poultry units are under increasing scrutiny from supermarket buyers and environmental health officers.

So warns pest control specialist Mike Kelly.

"Retailers dont understand that the odd housefly in supermarkets – which is unacceptable – is quite different from houseflies in poultry housing."

Environmental health officers are also increasingly likely to view poultry buildings as a source of houseflies. "In the summer months, poultry producers are paid close attention by environmental health officers."

Prevention is better than cure, says Mr Kelly. "Bear in mind that the cost of eradication can be horrendous – there are no cheap pesticides anymore."

Producers can monitor populations by using a white area of card – contrasting colours attract houseflies – within the house, he says. "This will allow you to see at a glance if numbers are increasing."

Wet muck is an ideal environment for housefly larvae, so producers should keep muck as dry as possible by fixing leaking nipples and ensuring birds were in good health. "Also, avoid carryover between batches – clean out houses."

Novel compounds might also help, he says. "Manufactured juvenile hormones – which are non-toxic – will confuse flies about which stage they are at in their life-cycle meaning they will never develop into adults. Pheromones, which attract flies, could also be used to lure them towards conventional insecticidal controls."

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