Flying pests

This category includes mosquitoes, different fly species and wasps. Here is a brief summary of those 3 species:

Flies are well-travelled, cosmopolitan pests and are particularly prevalent in farms and homes.

Houseflies can transmit intestinal worms and are potential vectors of diseases such as:
• Dysentery
• Gastroenteritis,
• Typhoid
• Cholera
• Tuberculosis

They feed indiscriminately on any liquefiable solid food, which may equally be moist, putrefying material or food stored for human consumption.

Flies have rapid, prolific breeding habits and high mobility. Control measures are aimed at breaking the life-cycle by either controlling the larvae or the adults.

Satisfactory hygiene is necessary to limit potential breeding sites and food sources. Domestic refuse should be covered, farm manure should be kept dry as possible, and potential entry points screened, sealed or covered.

For best results, use insecticidal control measures coupled with good hygiene. These measures include using larvicides in the manure and surface sprays, space sprays and insecticide baits to control the adults.

Mosquitoes are pervasive insects. Depending on the species, they breed in all types of water from heavily polluted to clean water and from small collections of water in tin cans to pools, ponds or streams.

In tropical climates they are major vectors of disease including:
• Malaria
• Filariasis
• Yellow fever
• Encephalistis
• Dengue fever

Control measures can be directed to the larvae or adults.

Minimise larval breeding sites by sealing drains, removing receptacles that accumulate water and ensuring water drains away from a building. Where these physical measures aren’t possible, apply larvicides regularly to the water to kill the larvae before they pupate.

Adult mosquitoes are killed indoors using an aerosol, minimised by using repellents or treated bed nets, mosquito coils etc. Vector control programs may use indoor residual surface sprays to control mosquitoes that come inside and rest on walls etc... Alternatively, space sprays such as thermal fogging or ULV applications can be used to rapidly reduce adult mosquito populations indoors or outdoors.

Wasps are regarded as beneficial insects. As the nests develop during the spring and early summer, workers collect insect larvae, scraps of meat and even fish to feed to larvae, helping to control insects.

Workers prefer high energy carbohydrates obtained from fruits and the nectar of flowers. They could act as pollinators although are unlikely to be as efficient as honey bees.

Generally, wasps are regarded as nuisance pests and a threat to health. They feed on fruits like apples, pears and plums, and extend the damage caused by other pests and diseases. Collecting wood to construct nests, they also damage the wooden fabric of buildings, fences and garden furniture.

However, it’s a wasp’s ability to cause painful stings that concerns most people. Typically, a wasp is not an aggressive insect but the sting is employed by the social wasps to defend their nests.