Steve Tvedten's "The Bug Stops Here"
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Flies belong to the insect order Diptera and are related to mosquitoes and gnats. Of the more than 700,000 known species of insects, well over 110,000 are flies. Diptera means two ("di") wings ("ptera"), and it is on the basis of this single characteristic (one pair of wings) that all the species of flies are grouped together. As stated, Diptera literally means "two-winged" and, indeed, only the front pair of wings are functional and they are clear and membranous. The hind wings are represented by a pair of small knob-like or club-shaped organs called halteres or balancers. These small, vibrating structures aid in flying and are in place of a second pair of wings. The vibrating halteres have their own set of control muscles that are controlled by the fly's visual system. Without them flies tumble and crash; with them, they can change course without a wobble in less than 30 milliseconds - and make the fly extremely hard to swat. The adult fly does not possess mandibles, but the mouthparts are modified into a proboscis for sponging/lapping or piercing and sucking. Flies are cold-blooded insects that move about looking for external heat sources; most flies are diurnal and are attracted to certain wavelengths of light. Flies buzz around windows and can be easily vacuumed up by windows or lights. Most flies have large compound eyes and usually three simple eyes. Each of the fly's compound eyes has about 4,000 six-sided lenses - so they can detect the slightest movement. Flies taste with their feet. The larvae or maggot is legless and the head is often reduced or indistinguishable and retracted into the thoracic segments. The two-winged flies constitute a larger order of insects and well over 110,000 different species are known throughout the world. This group forms one of the most highly specialized of insect orders and many species are of the utmost significance in regard to human welfare. If there is anything as "harmless as a fly", it is certainly not the common housefly or any of its relatives.

Diseases, e.g., malaria, dysentery, sleeping sickness, onchocerciasis, elephantiasis and yellow fever are carried or transmitted from man to man by bloodsucking dipterous flies. Many other diseases are transmitted mechanically by flies due to the habit exhibited by many species of sucking liquid from excreta and other decaying organic matter and then settling on and vomiting on your food.

The fly was made to distribute quantities of pathogenic disease organisms. Its 6 feet are equipped with bristles and sticky pads and its proboscis is hairy. A sticky liquid comes out of the hollow hairs on their feet allowing them to walk upside down and on glass, etc. The fly's digestive tract is an incubator for germs! My mother began to teach me IPM control when I was a very young boy. She said, "Shut the door you are letting in the flies!" This is still good advice - even better is to have a second entry door as an extra barrier against fly invasion.

All flies pass through four distinct stages of their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult (complete metamorphosis). The synanthropic (attracted to habitats) filth flies look for any warm, filthy, moist environment in which to lay their eggs, since their larvae feed and grow under these conditions. An adult female housefly may lay up to 2,400 eggs in her lifetime, singly or in groups. More than a thousand flies and 2,000 maggots a week can be produced in just one dirty garbage can! Fly larvae, called maggots, have a wide range of feeding habits depending on the species. Some larvae feed on plants and can be serious agricultural pests. Others feed on rotting or decaying plants or animals, or on animal excrement. Maggots of other species are internal parasites of arthropods or vertebrates. Most adult flies are winged and fly readily.

As stated previously, flies and all other dipterans only have one pair of wings, as opposed to other orders of winged insects, e.g., bees, termites, moths, etc. which have two pairs. Routinely steam clean or spray/clean/mist all infested areas with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint and/or borax.

Of the five most serious diseases in the world, flies, including mosquitoes, spread the organisms that are responsible for four: Malaria, sleeping sickness, Leishmaniasis and filarasis. They also are responsible for spreading yellow fever, typhoid, parathpoid, bacillary dysentery, pinworms, roundworms, whipworms, hookworms and tapeworms and various diarrheal illnesses. In the United States, the toll of the worst afflictions - heart attacks, cancer and strokes - is annually numbered in the thousands; in the tropics, the dead and disabled from fly borne diseases are counted by the millions. In the United States flies are considered more annoying than dangerous, but as recently as the turn of the 20th century, malaria and typhoid were major health problems. The activity of flies is a nuisance and the accumulation of dead adults is a respiratory hazard for many people. A well fed fly defecates at least once every 5 minutes! So routinely clean with Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint (1 oz. per gallon of water)!

  1. Use a fly swatter or, better yet, simply vacuum up all visible flies.

  2. Routinely clean with 1 oz. of Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint per gallon of water. Institute proper food and garbage storage.

  3. Daily empty and clean all food handling equipment, dishes and garbage containers and daily remove and/or bury all droppings, fruit and organic debris inside and/or outside.

  4. Add (1 oz. per quart) Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint to the drains each week.

  5. Double bag and securely tie each garbage bag. Schedule twice weekly summer garbage removal. Caulk, seal and screen all openings.

  6. Spray or sprinkle dry soap or borax into garbage cans or dumpsters after they have been washed (with 1 oz. per quart of Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint) and allowed to dry; it acts as a repellent. It is best to wash and spray with diluted Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint first.

  7. Place tansy near your kitchen door or where flies tend to cluster. Other repellents include oil of cloves, oil of peppermint or other essential oils and/or mint springs. Try an aroma-therapy machine to dispense these fragrances and repel your fly problems.

  8. Set a sponge in a saucer and soak it with oil of lavender to repel flies.

  9. A pot of basil set on a window sill or table will help reduce the number of flies in the room.

  10. Spray or mist any remaining visible flies with (1 oz. per quart) Safe Solutions, Inc. Enzyme Cleaner with Peppermint.

  11. Make and use some fly traps - either containers or imprinted glue traps.

  12. Flies and flying ants and other flying insects are attracted to the light, so darken all windows but one, or turn off all lights but one and/or install one black light or ultraviolet light and then vacuum up those pests that are attracted.

  13. Mix 90% honey or molasses (the fermenting kind) and 10% food-grade DE as an excellent fly bait. Keep any any/all baits away from children, pets and wildlife.

  14. Feeding food-grade (amorphous) DE to animals (cattle, sheep, horses, dogs, swine, goats, emus, etc.) at a rate of 1% - 3% of their feed ration controls internal parasites and prevents fly larvae (maggots) from developing in the excrement (droppings).

If you still have flies, &read The Best Control© or The Best Control II© on CD-ROM.


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