Any pest management professional worth their salt, will concede that managing flies in a garbage and composting facility has it challenges. After all, decomposing matter is a fly’s Disney World.
Sprague Pest Solutions recently took over the pest management duties at Latah Sanitation in Moscow, Idaho and the company’s garbage processing and composting production facility had a significant cluster fly problem.
How bad was it? The fly pressure was so intense near the composting area of the facility that employees couldn’t roll down their car or truck windows unless they wanted to b swarmed with hundreds of flies.
The previous pest management firm had done some perimeter spraying achieving marginal knockdown of the surging fly population. The situation was something Latah employees had learned to live with, but that was until Sprague’s technical team took a closer look.
Identify the Root Cause
The facility was located among wheat fields and trucks were delivering garbage to the dump daily, and residents and landscapers would drop off yard waste at the compost portion of the facility.
There was a transfer station for the garbage areas, a small pump room, office area and an acre-size compost pile with 60’ x 40’ open bays of stored compost. The facility was all outdoors with only limited indoor areas.
The facility had some issues with mice, but flies were the main perpetrator and the combination of outdoor facilities and abundant food and harborage sources made identifying the root cause easier but didn’t lessen the seriousness of the problem.
The flies were not only an annoyance to employees and customers, but they presented a health threat.
Flies are known to transfer more than 100 different pathogens, including salmonella, typhoid and E. coli. They can contaminate surfaces where employees work or eat (a table in a breakroom or picnic table outside) by spreading disease organisms that is picked up on their legs and mouths when feeding on trash, feces and other decaying substances (which there was an abundance of in the facility). Flies also defecate constantly, which further spreads bacteria.
For these reasons, getting the fly infestation under control was a top priority.
Stack the Effects
After inspecting the facility, Sprague’s technical team decided a multi- tier approach was needed. A single treatment method would not allow them to achieve control and they would have to “stack the effects” with an integrated pest management (IPM) program.
Using a scientific approach, fly lights were installed inside the pump house to knockdown the population indoors and perimeter treatments deploying pressurized spraying and granular fly bait were performed on exterior areas. The perimeter of the property was lined with 15 fly bags to reduce the fly pressure.
The program was launched in March – the start of fly season – and the stacked effects were being put to the test. Sprague technicians stopped by twice a month to check the bags and for the first eight weeks the bags were full each time. The fly lights in the pump house were also full. Under normal conditions a fly bag would last two to three months but not when the infestation was this intense. What this told the Sprague was that what they were doing was working.
Timing is Everything
As the calendar turned to summer – usually peak fly season – Sprague received a call from the client with feedback from the facility’s employees. The feedback was that the fly pressure had dropped to almost zero. Employees were able to open their car or truck windows and not be deluged with flies.
The creative design, timing and successful implementation of the fly management program completely changed the work environment for the employees at the facility and reduced any health risks.
- Understand the Importance of stacking the effects of the management program. This fly infestation could not be solved using one technique or product; it required multiple methods to get the job done.
- When assessing the situation, do not just look at the visible problem; look for the root cause of the problem.
- Time your treatments accordingly. Start treatments before pest pressure rises and conducive conditions make it harder to gain control.
For more information on how Sprague Pest Solutions can design an effective fly or pest management program for your facility, call 855.805.0755.