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Flies on the Brac

Flies can carry serious diseases. Do not eat foods that they perch on.(Photo courtesy of RWS Photos)

A marked increase in the number of house flies on Cayman Brac has prompted

Department of Environmental Health (DEH) officials to develop an integrated management approach to deal with the situation.

According to the plan:

  • All major food establishments, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets, as well as their garbage collections and storage areas, will be surveyed, and treated with fly bait as necessary by DEH.
  • All pig and cattle pens will be surveyed, and treated with fly bait as necessary.
  • MRCU will spray the Cayman Brac landfill twice a week.
  • The DEH will continue compacting and covering landfill wastes on a regular basis.

"Throughout the year, there are seasonal variations in the levels of the house-fly population in the Cayman Islands on a whole," said DEH Director Roydell Carter.

The public normally notices an increase during the warm summer months or shortly after the rainy period, because of higher temperatures and the moisture in decaying organic matter, including spoiled fruits.

The public can help reduce the number of house flies at their residences by ensuring the following good sanitation measures.

  • All foods should be protected from flies.
  • Food premises should screen food areas and keep doors closed to prevent entry of flies.
  • Do not eat foods that flies perch on, because it may be contaminated due to their nasty habits.
  • Keep all garbage enclosures clean.
  • Don't throw fruit or vegetable peelings outside.
  • Pick up damaged or rotten fruit that has fallen from trees, and put them in an enclosed garbage receptacle.
  • Make sure your garbage is placed for collections on the scheduled days.

  • Keep pet and animal enclosures free from animal waste.
  • Do not throw, or leave, fish waste or dead fish on the beach or ironshore.
  • Use flytraps, screenings, and approved insecticides for fly control.

The public also can call the DEH's Cayman Brac office at 948-2321 to make a complaint about house flies, and to request an application of fly bait.

An Overview of the Housefly

The housefly, Musca domestica, is a pest that can carry serious diseases.

They transmit organisms on their hairs, mouthparts, vomitus and faeces that can cause illness or diseases. Parasitic organisms can cause diarrhoea) -), bacterial infections (dysentery) and viral infections(infectious hepatitis A and E).

Each female can lay about 500 eggs, usually in batches of 75 to 150. The eggs can hatch within a day, and the larvae (maggots) feed on usually dead and decaying organic material such as garbage, dead animals and manure.

After about a week they develop into adult flies, with the capacity to lay eggs within 36 hours. The adults usually live from two weeks to a month, depending on conditions.

Although they normally stay around human habitations, flies can travel for several miles from the breeding place. They are active mostly in daytime and at night, they rest.