This current heatwave in Ireland seems to be leading to an increase in flies. Just a few days ago, Rentokil Ireland warned of an increase in flies due to the hot weather. The soaring temperatures encourage flies to go in search of food, having spent the colder winter months in a state of hibernation when they actively slow down their metabolism and respiration in order to require less food for survival.
As the past few winters in Ireland have been so mild it has allowed the fly population to continue to grow and now people are witnessing a “fly boom”.
We all know how annoying flies can be around the home and their potential to contaminate our lovingly prepared lunches and picnics.
I remember the poster in my food science class room at school, which had a massive picture on a fly on it and then detailed underneath it what it is that flies do when they land on your food. The thought of flies defecating and / or regurgitating on to my food, is the main reason I am so meticulous about covering up food with cling film or foil.
With the increased risk of flies contaminating food, comes an increased risk of potential stomach upsets. In Ireland, a common cause of diarrhoea is from a family of bacteria known as Campylobacter, which can be transmitted by flies. For this reason, very simple and basic steps are always advised to get rid of flies.
How to Get Rid of Flies
- Have correct, tight fitting lids for all bins and have a suitable number of bins to match your waste requirement
- After dark, keep windows and doors closed or block out the light with curtains
- Fit fly screens to windows especially around kitchen and waste areas
- Always cover food – use food cover net umbrellas, cling film or foil
- Mop up food and liquid spillages immediately
- Clean up food debris not just from worktops but also from under kitchen appliances
- Keep compost enclosed and covered- and where possible locate as far away from the house as possible
- Keep drains cleaned and clear from debris
- Clean up after pets – not only are faeces the perfect breeding place for flies but also somewhere a fly may land before landing on your food!
- Check your roof for old bird’s nests as they can be a source of flies, amongst other pests
Personally I think flies are a small price to pay though, now that we finally have some hot, sunny weather to boast about!