5 tips for odor control to prevent fly infestations


July 1, 2024


Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE

Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE

Sanitation is always at the top of the list for fly control, but there is another highly important factor to consider: odor control. Flies can detect and follow odors over long distances, using chemoreceptors that detect specific volatile aromatic chemicals. These chemical cues include the smells produced by yeast (fermentation), by bacteria or mold breaking down food, or by ripening fruit, among many others.

In both commercial and residential settings, it is key to identify locations that may produce scents that are highly attractive to flies. These sites may include drains, garbage disposals, trash cans and dumpsters, compost bins and recycle bins, as well as cracks, crevices, voids and the spaces under equipment. Identifying areas where food particles may settle and begin the process of decay, drawing flies from far and near, is a crucial step in an effective control strategy.

To reduce and eliminate odors:

1. Establish a regular cleaning and sanitation program in key areas such as those discussed above.

2. An effective control program will involve routine disinfection of susceptible areas to reduce attractive bacterial odors, including drains, trash cans
and dumpsters.

3. Establish a recurring plan to apply bio-sanitation products to reduce the buildup of organic matter on surfaces and in cracks and crevices to reduce, eliminate and mask organic odor triggers. Be sure to thoroughly rinse any surfaces where disinfectants have been used prior to the application of bio-sanitation products, because disinfectants may kill the beneficial microbes in bio-sanitation products.

4. For large fly species, work on preventing attractive odors created inside a facility from escaping and attracting new flies from outside. This can be as simple as using trash cans with lids and keeping them away from exterior doors.

5. It’s also critical to prevent the buildup of volatile odors on the exterior that can attract large numbers of flies from a distance. This may mean relocating dumpsters to be farther away from entrances and exits, as well as emptying them more frequently.

One more tip: When you have difficulty finding the source of a fly infestation, let your nose lead you there.


About the Author

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Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE, is national director of technical services at Nisus Corp.

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  1. Great tips on managing odors to prevent fly infestations! As someone who frequently deals with pest control challenges, I can attest to the effectiveness of these strategies. Regular cleaning and proper waste management are crucial steps in maintaining a fly-free environment. Additionally, using enzyme cleaners can be a game-changer in breaking down organic matter and eliminating odors at the source. Improving ventilation in enclosed areas is also an excellent tip to help dissipate lingering smells. For those facing persistent issues, seeking professional pest control services can provide the necessary expertise and treatments to keep fly infestations at bay.