Can a plastic bag filled with water keep flies away? Is regular cleaning enough to discourage flies from visiting your home or business? Is it true that some plants such as basil and lavender actually repel flies?

Here in this article we’ll discuss a few myths and truths about fly control. We’ll approach this in a practical and scientific way so you’ll know how to separate fact from fiction. Let’s start.

Plastic bags filled with water

You might have already seen a few homes with hanging plastic bags. Well, their supposed purpose is to repel and “confuse” flies. The concept is that  the bag with water reflects light to confuse the flies. These creatures use light as their guidance system. Flies have evolved to find food in tropical forests and they respond or react well with sunlight.

This might give you some peace of mind but it’s far from effective. It’s nice to have done something (a form of busy-ness) but if you look at the results, it will likely be really disappointing. Also, social proof or seeing other people doing it might tempt you to follow what they’re doing.

You might still want to try this by hanging a transparent plastic bag partially filled with water. You will quickly see though that you still have many flies! It’s difficult to pinpoint which sets of actions are contributing directly to results when you’re trying a unproven methods for fly control.

Regular cleaning for better effectiveness

A more effective approach is regularly cleaning your home or business. After all, flies roam around because they know there’s a nearby food source or suitable breeding site. If you eliminate those sources and sites, there will be fewer opportunities for flies to feed, reproduce and thrive.

Floors, tables, kitchen sinks and countertops should be wiped regularly. This is to eliminate food crumbs that flies might land on or pick up. This also applies to business facilities especially in restaurants and commercial kitchens. All the spills should be wiped clean immediately so as not to attract flies in the first place.

It’s also highly recommended to seal or dispose of the garbage promptly so flies won’t have a breeding site. Many fly species lay eggs on rotting organic matter (fruits, vegetables, meat). Also take note that houseflies breed really fast (eggs quickly become larvae within 24 hours). Their numbers can multiply exponentially if the garbage and rotting organic matter are left open even for just a few days.

Regular cleaning can yield results not just in reducing the number of flies roaming around. It’s also effective in preventing contamination and maintaining an orderly workplace. However, can it keep away all flies? What if a nearby business always has their garbage lying around? What if flies only use your premises as their pathway for finding a suitable food source and breeding site?

Yes, flies will still continue to roam around even if you maintain a completely sanitary environment. These creatures have survived and evolved through millions of years because of their evolutionary advantages. Let’s accept the fact that cleaning is not enough in keeping away and controlling the number of flies.

What about the use of plants to repel flies?

Some people think that basil, lavender and other plants with characteristic aromas are effective in repelling flies. After all, plants have also evolved to have natural defence mechanisms against many insects and predators.

For instance, corn, tomato and cabbage release chemicals to attract the predators of the insects that eat their stems and leaves. Many other plants also have similar mechanisms to defend themselves against insects and predators. After all, each species has an “instinct” to survive, reproduce and thrive. That includes plants wherein they might have also developed mechanisms to repel flies and other insects.

Perhaps that particular scientific explanation paved the way for some people to believe that plants can be effective in repelling flies. Perhaps the aroma and chemicals being released by basil or lavender are toxic to flying insects. It’s also possible that the plants themselves attract other creatures that feed on flies and other pests.

There are not enough experiments and studies done yet to prove the claim. The results vary and it’s difficult to find out which plants give the best results (if there’s a positive result at all) and whether there’s an effective placement (e.g. near windows or how many plants to use) so almost all flies will be repelled.

Let’s assume that this approach is somehow effective. If we follow this thinking some questions will naturally pop up. Do we have to place a lavender plant near each window and door? What if the plant can cause harm to your lovely pets? Won’t the plants cause allergies to kids? How can we know for sure if the plants are really effective in keeping away flies and it’s not caused by any other means?

The conclusion here is there’s no way to know. Also, flies adapt all the time and can find several other entry points towards inside your home or business facility. What you need instead is a proven and scientific way to control the number of flies and minimise the contamination events.

Electronic UV-A fly traps for homes & businesses

Here at Vectothor we deliver scientifically designed fly control solutions for homes, apartments, offices, shops, restaurants, commercial kitchens, food production areas and other commercial facilities.

We take a science-based and quantitative approach in fly capture and control. Starting from our Vectothor Falcon (35+ square metres coverage), this unit is highly effective because it emits UV-A light in a continuous beam (10,000 cycles per second). This combination of technologies is proven to attract the most number of flies.

To effectively capture the flies, we have temperature-optimised glueboards that work even in less than ideal settings. This ensures total entrapment of the flying insects. To further improve fly attraction and capture, our devices use a Natural Contrast Grid to stimulate the flies’ landing behaviour.

With our quantitative approach (use of Insect Counting Software), you can really determine the effectiveness of our fly capture devices. You can also perform a later analysis of the data so you can spot trends. If there’s a steady increase of captured flies, it only doesn’t tell you the effectiveness of our products. It also tells you that there’s a possible breeding area near your site or that sanitation practices should be enforced more strictly.

Knowing the myths and truths about fly control (and separating fact from fiction) is not enough in minimising fly contamination events. It’s now time to take action by installing ongoing and long-term fly control solutions in your home or commercial facility. This is the perfect approach to complement your sanitation standards and integrated pest management program.

Contact us here today at Vectothor and let’s discuss your site and requirements. We have a wide range of products with different coverage and particular applications (e.g. we have units for wet industrial environments). With European design excellence and university proven performance, many homeowners and businesses contact us whenever they need an ongoing and long-term protection against flying insects.