Flies may seem harmless – annoying, at worst – but they can actually be dangerous. They carry more than 100 disease-causing pathogens, including Salmonella, E. coli, streptococcus and staphylococcus. They cause diseases in humans and animals such as hepatitis, typhoid fever, polio, cholera, tuberculoses and dysentery.
There are thousands of species of flies in North America, all of which fall into five categories: biting flies, filth flies, small flies, over wintering flies and gnats. Some of the most common species include house flies, drain flies, fruit flies, gnats, blow flies and bottle flies.
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About Fly Extermination
Fly control services are more common for commercial properties than residential, but most exterminators will tackle either. The term fly control is used because the fly population on your property can be greatly reduced but never eliminated.
Controlling flies is a multi-faceted process. A professional exterminator will:
- Place insect light traps throughout the property
- Treat the exterior of the building, as needed
- Recommend sanitation practices that will make your property less attractive to flies
- Point out areas of the building that need to be caulked or weatherstripped to prevent flies from entering
Insect light traps use UV bulbs to attract flies, then capture the flies using glue or catch trays. They can be freestanding lights, or they can be mounted to walls or ceilings. Fancier, more expensive versions are designed to look like decorations, not bug lights. These are ideal for restaurants and other places where food is served.
Cost of Fly Extermination
The price of fly control varies based on the size of your business or home, the severity of the problem and your geographic location.
- Budget about $100-$300 for a one-time visit to a home or relatively small business. This includes placing traps and offering comprehensive recommendations for controlling flies.
- Some companies will require you to sign an annual contract, which usually costs anywhere from $300 to $500 per year. For that price, you’ll get an initial service visit and then quarterly follow-ups to assess and treat the problem.
- For larger commercial jobs, expect prices from $500 to several thousands of dollars per visit.
- Light traps can be leased starting at about $20 per month.
Choosing a Fly Exterminator
There are thousands and thousands of exterminators in the United States, making it tough to know you’re choosing the best one. Here are a few pieces of advice for finding an experienced, reputable service with fair prices.
- Understand that extermination services have different methods of controlling flies. Ask any company you’re considering to describe its method and explain why that method is best. If you don’t feel good about the method, move on. Some people prefer exterminators who are very aggressive, while others prefer a company that is environmentally friendly.
- Find out if the company is a member of industry organizations such as the National Pest Management Association and/or QualityPro, which screen pest control companies.
- Never hire a company based on price alone, tempting as that may be. If the exterminator is inexperienced or ineffective, you’ll end up losing money, not saving. Make sure the company is reputable by asking for references (and checking them), and check the company’s track record with consumer organizations like the Better Business Bureau.
- Never hire an exterminator who comes to your door unsolicited, even if he or she offers a free inspection. All too often, these companies are inexperienced, or worse, scammers. They may charge you for a bogus treatment, then disappear never to be seen again.