SunLive – Insect invaders getting underneath NZers‘ pores and skin

SunLive – Insect invaders getting under NZers‘ skin

It’s that time of year again, there’s a buzz in the air, and not the good kind.

It’s fly season, and the wet holiday season means they’re popping up in the thousands.

Now that the sun has come out after days of muggy, wet weather, chances are you’re getting reacquainted with the uninvited visitors.

Using fly spray, swatters, screen doors and even homemade towel whips were some of the methods RNZ said they are dealing with flies.

But why are there so many? Are there more flies than normal?

Cheryl Smith is the director of North Pest and has run it with her husband since 2015.

Business is booming for the company, which currently fills up two to three weeks in advance.

Cheryl says the weather this summer has been ideal for fly reproduction.

“The perfect breeding conditions for flies are heat and humidity. Heat, humidity is what we have, so flies thrive.”

North Pest treats homes for flies by applying residual insecticides to areas where flies are likely to crawl, such as ceilings, walls, door frames, and even the eaves on the outside of homes.

They also put out fly baits in areas like garbage and recycling bin lids, and sell commercial strength fly spray when immediate action is needed.

But even with these treatments, Cheryl says, getting rid of flies completely isn’t easy, so people should educate themselves on how to keep them out of the house.

“Make sure the compost bins have lids, make sure you pick up dog poop and throw it in a bin, and that bin has a lid too.

“We recommend freezing leftover food until garbage day so you don’t attract flies in the first place.

“And keep your lawns down, holding back the foliage for airflow to get through. It all just helps keep fly populations down.”

Cheryl says airflow is key. Flies avoid the wind, so indoor fans can help keep them from hanging around.

According to Cheryl, even the classic can of fly spray does not always serve its purpose.

“I think flies can become resistant to fly spray, but I also think the quality of fly spray might not be as good over time.

“The fly spray we have has three different active ingredients, so I think it’s better.

“The active ingredient is an important aspect of the quality of fly spray and of course not many people look at the active ingredient, they just look at a dead fly on a can and hope it works.”

In even more reassuring news, Cheryl debunks the theory that crushing a roach will spread its eggs, as roaches are making their presence felt this summer.

“It’s a complete myth, because if you crush the roach, you also crush the eggs, and the eggs can’t survive being crushed, neither can the roach.”

And be warned – we haven’t hit peak flying season yet.

“In general and historically, the problem will only get worse. In our experience, it’s usually at its worst from January to March, and then they persist through June.

“As soon as the wind stops and people go outside and start cooking the grills and what have you got it’s really hot and everyone has their doors and windows open and they’re cooking up lovely smells the flies just come out.

“This is her perfect environment.”

-Leonard Powell/RNZ.