House flies not welcome at beer, malt manufacturing plants


October 27, 2022

Photo: Dr. Gerald Wegner, BCE-Emeritus

Photo: Dr. Gerald Wegner, BCE-Emeritus

In a manufacturing plant for beer and a neighboring plant for malt beverages, near Jaipur, Rajsathan, India, we had a house fly (Musca domestica) problem that was increasing at both sites daily. We have fewer chemical options than our pest management professional (PMP) counterparts in the U.S., and a particularly rainy spring this year made the problem worse. What’s more, in 2022 we were beginning to see resistance in some of the products we had historically been using with success.

Product rotation among different chemical classes helped with the resistance issue, but the sheer number of flies at these plants meant we had to double down on an integrated pest management (IPM) approach. This meant we could no longer ignore a major breeding source: byproduct waste that was dumped to “sun dry” in sludge beds and manure pits between the two plants. We worked with both clients to construct a structure around this waste area, so that flies no longer had unfettered access from pits to plants. Other IPM measures we implemented to crash the house fly population this year included:

  • A thorough steam cleaning of harborage areas, including unattended areas that previously were overlooked by the clients.
  • Mixing (per label standards) a malt base attractant with an adulticide spray.
  • Fly traps baited with sugar and malt extract, which produced great results.
  • Fly traps baited with pheromone, placed specifically to attract the flies away from the plants and other target areas.
  • Working with the clients to maintain, replace and/or install additional insect light traps (ILTs), plastic strip curtains and air curtains in production areas.

By adopting this more strongly integrated approach, the fly numbers went down considerably. We would still like to see more research and more options come to fruition for PMPs when faced with such accounts. But we are happy to report that even with what’s available on the market today, a little more time and effort spent at the account led to success.

I am very grateful to Gagan Malhotra, Syngenta India; Dr. Avinash Shulke, Pestomatic Control; Ujjwal Kumar, UPL Ltd.; Jitendra Khtri, A to Z Pest Control; Viren Merchant, Pest Control AMB; L.P. Nayak, Pest Control Expert; and Savin Chaturvedi for their support and consultation in conducting the case study and finding the solutions.


About the Author

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Dr. Singh is an entomologist and CEO of UssPestCon Services Pvt. Ltd., Jaipur, Rajsathan, India.

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