Flying pests…not just annoying!

As the weather warms up, pesky flying bugs like flies and mosquitoes, are headed our way.  With an unseasonably warm start to the New Year, we can expect a spike in insect activity this season. But it’s not just annoyance these winged little beasts leave behind - They also can leave behind bacteria, illnesses and disease! Let’s talk about three of the most commonly known flying pests we can expect to have buzzing around this season.

Number One: The big pest with the little body, the gnat. A gnat is actually not a single species, but the general name used for a group of similar species and only females in the biting gnat species bite. The females bite because they require a blood meal for effective reproduction. Many are allergic to these bites, and symptoms can range from severe rash, fever, or even shortness of breath.

Number Two:  The common house fly.  These pests are not the cleanest of insects, and visit such places as dumps, sewers, and garbage heaps.  They are responsible for spreading bacteria that causes illnesses ranging from food poisoning to respiratory infections. Some of the diseases include: Conjunctivitis (pink eye), Leprosy, Tuberculosis, Typhoid fever, and Salmonella. Management of flies is important to the health of your customers and employees.  That is why fly control must be taken seriously, especially around food.

Number Three:  Last, but not least, Mosquitoes!  Their popularity has soared in the last year or so, but not for good reasons.  Last year Zika caused a public health emergency that lead the CDC to issue travel warnings and bans to affected areas. In 2017, Zika has already started showing up in news articles from around the country.  But Zika isn’t the only Mosquito-Borne disease to worry about.  West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, Malaria, and Encephalitis are some of the more serious health risks these bites could pose.   The CDC gives this advice to protect you from mosquito bites. Use screens on windows and doors, make sure you remove standing water from your property, wear protective clothes for extra protection, and always use EPA registered pest control products.

So instead of batting away these flying pests, do your best to remove them from your living and working environment. When our customers call us with flying pest problems inside their facilities, we give them these five tips of advice.

  1. Good sanitation.  A quick reaction to cleaning up small spills of sticky or sugary substances can drastically limit pest infestation.  Trash needs to be taken out on a regular basis, and proper sanitation and disinfection deters hungry pests.
  2. Keep it sealed.  That banana on your desk is just asking for a fruit fly problem.  Keep food sealed and properly stored away.
  3. Keep your eyes open.  When you spot a pest, take care of it right away.  It is better to combat each problem before it becomes a disaster.
  4. Extra protection.  If you work outdoors, or in a facility prone to flying pest conditions, prevent disease from insect bites by wearing an insect repellant.  Make sure the repellant contains DEET, and is registered by the EPA.
  5. Keep up with building maintenance.  Spray obvious openings around doors and windows on a regular basis, typically bi-monthly.  Have RTU pest control products handy for pest emergencies. Always be sure to use pesticides properly and responsibly, and always remember to read the label first and follow all the directions.