As Ireland faces its hottest June since 1976, pest control provider Rentokil is warning homeowners and restaurants to flyproof their kitchens and picnics. While the country enjoys the fine weather, so too do disease-spreading flies, and restaurants, as well as barbeques and picnics, are prime locations for them to gather.

Flies bring with them the increased risk of food contamination, which can lead to an upset stomach and a variety of nasty illnesses. Rentokil has received more calls about fly infestations in the first five months of 2018, compared to the same period last year. Recent warm weather is contributing to rapid growth in fly population numbers.

“The growing popularity of eating out and travelling during summer months, combined with poor hygiene, can contribute to the increased incidents with these pests. Flies are one of the most diverse insect orders, with more than 120,000 species of flies worldwide,” said Dr Colm Moore, Rentokil’s Area Technical Manager “Knowing about the size, habits, seasonality and lifecycle of different fly species can help to identify the most effective prevention and fly control methods. If a small fly problem is left uncontrolled, it has the potential to turn into a serious infestation. Fly larvae take 7 to 10 days to mature into adults, and in their lifetime they may produce 1,000 eggs. Making just a few small changes around the home can protect you and your family from the nasty diseases that are spread by the common fly. Of all pests, flies are also responsible for causing the highest number of illnesses, even more than rodents and cockroaches.”

In Ireland, a common cause of diarrhoea is from a family of bacteria known as Campylobacter, which can be transmitted by flies. For this reason, Rentokil recommends taking the following steps, particularly at this time of year:

  • Ensure that kitchen doors are closed at all times.

  • Keep all bins covered and have a suitable number of bins to match your waste requirements.

  • After dark, keep windows and doors closed or block out the light with curtains.

  • Install fly screens, particularly on windows near kitchens and waste areas, to prevent flies from entering the home or businesses in the first place.

  • Always cover food so as not to attract flies, but also to reduce the spread of diseases – flies spread diseases by landing on food before we eat it.

  • Clean up food and liquid spillages immediately.

  • Clean food debris from under kitchen appliances.

  • Keep compost enclosed and covered.

  • Keep drains cleaned and clear from debris.

  • Clean up after pets – not only are faeces the perfect breeding place for flies but also somewhere a fly may land before landing on your food;

  • Check your roof for old birds’ nests as they can be a source of flies, amongst other pests.

This advice comes as Rentokil launches a new product, Luminos 1 Pro, a glue board unit designed for use in relatively low-risk areas in food retail operations. The unit can be mounted on walls or flat surfaces, and attracts all types of flying insects with a powerful 36W UV-A lamp.