Filth Fly Prevention: Exclusion and Sanitation Tips

Summer is the peak season for filth fly activity


Warm temperatures create ideal conditions for exterior fly populations to expand exponentially

When the right food source is plentiful and temperatures are ideal, filth flies can go from egg to adult in as little as 7 days. Each filth fly female can produce hundreds of offspring. The house fly female can produce 500 eggs in her lifetime. Combine a short life cycle with optimal conditions, you get a lot of flies by the end of summer.

Why the concern?

Filth flies are often associated with poor sanitation. Filth flies harbor and can transmit many diseases including the food borne illness, Salmonella. House flies are known to carry over 100 different diseases. They breed in filth like manure and garbage and can carry pathogens from the filth to our food.

How to Prevent Filth Fly Issues

The larger filth flies are typically developing outdoors and coming indoors. The goal should be to reduce exterior developmental sites and practice fly exclusion.

Exclusion Methods to Reduce Filth Flies

  • Install and maintain tight fitting screens on vents.
  • Keep all receiving doors closed when not in use. Make sure doors are fly proof when closed with no gaps or missing seals.
  • Keep doors to garbage chutes closed when not in use. Chutes should be free of openings to the exterior and connect to dumpsters as tightly as possible.
  • Check timing mechanisms on self-closing doors. Make sure when doors are closed, they are free of fly entry points. A common pest proofing issue with public entry way doors is the astragal seal at the door base of where the double doors meet. Flies can walk through the opening at the base of doors as easily as flying through an open door. Seals are available for pest proofing the astragal seal.
  • Use trash receptacles with self-closing lids around the exterior. Self-closing lids can reduce fly attracting odors and deny access to foraging flies. Make sure all receptacles are emptied frequently.

Sanitation Methods to Reduce Filth Flies

  • Keep the pad around the dumpster clean. When the refuse company comes to remove the box, clean the pad underneath.
  • Ask the refuse company to clean all dumpster boxes before returning or replacing.
  • Keep the garbage chute as clean and free of debris as possible.