Spotters in "Environment and Health: Fly control measurers " for CFM & MPH students

1. Environmental control:

Important points:

The best way to control houseflies is to eliminate their breeding places & environmental sanitation. A clean house with clean surroundings is the best answer to the fly problem.

  • Storing garbage, kitchen wastes, and other refuse in bins with tight lids, pending disposal.
  • Efficient collection, removal & disposal of refuse by incineration, composting & sanitary landfill.
  • Provision of Sanitary latrines, e.g, pit privies, septic tanks, water-seal latrines & sanitary system.
  • Stopping open-air defecation.
  • Sanitary disposal of animal excreta.
  • Stepping up general sanitation. 

2. Insecticidal control:

Important points:

Insecticides are only a supplement, but not a substitute for sanitation.

(i) Residual sprays:

  • It showed resistance to DDT in 1948 & also developed resistance to other organochlorines, organophosphorus, and carbamate pesticides.
  • Susceptible flies may be killed by DDT (5%), methoxychlor (5%), lindane (0.5%), or chlordane (2.5%) sprayed at about 5 liters per 100 sq. meters of surface area.
  • For resistant flies, diazinon (2%), dimethoate (2.5%), fenthion (2.5%), malathion (5%), or ronnel (5%) may be used.
  • The addition of sugar to insecticidal formulations enhances their effectiveness.
  • Care should be taken to prevent contamination of food & water during spraying operations.

(ii) Baits:

  • It may be solid or liquid.
  • Baits containing 1-2% diazinon, malathion, dichlorovas, Rommel & dimethoate have been tried with success.
  • liquid baits containing 0.1-0.2 % of the same insecticides & 10% sugar water have also given good results.
  • Cheapest bait is made up of a mixture of 3 teaspoons of commercial formalin with one pint of water or milk to which a little sugar is added.

(iii) Cords & ribbons: 

  • Cords & strips impregnated with diazinon, fenthion, or dimethoate are used with success.
  • These are hung like festoons from ceilings.
  • The period of effectiveness ranges from 1 to 6 months.

(iv) Space sprays:

  • Pyrethrin, DDT, HCH are available which may be applied indoors or outdoors using hand or power sprayers.
  • They have very little or no residual action.
  • Temporary effect on adult fly population hence repeated applications needed.

(v) Larvicides:

  • 0.5% Diazinon, 2% dichlorovas, 2% dimethoate, or 1% ronnel applied at the rate of 28-56 liters per 100 sq. meters 
  • Used for the treatment of fly breeding places but resistance can develop.

3. Flypapers:

Important points:

  • Sticky flypapers are adjunct to other methods.
  • Made by mixing 2 lbs of resin+ one pint of castor oil, which should be heated together until the mixture resembles molasses.
  • While hot, it is smeared on paper by using an ordinary paintbrush. 
  • Can also be applied to strips of wire.
  • No long-lasting benefit.

4. Protection against flies:

Important points:

  • Screening of houses, hospitals, food markets, restaurants, etc.
  • Screens with 14 messes to the inch will keep houseflies out but finer screens will also keep other insects out.

5. Health education:

Important points:

  • A fly consciousness should be created among people.
  • Organized individual & community effort is necessary for a successful public health program.


  1. Park, K. (2019). Park's textbook of preventive and social medicine. 25th. Jabalpur, India: M/S Banarsidas Bhanot.
  2. Kadri AM. (2019). IAPSM's Textbook of Community Medicine. 1st. New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.
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