No matter where you live in Australia, when the weather heats up you’ll be sure to find yourself swatting away pesky flies. From house flies to fruit flies and drain flies, they’ll scavenge for food everywhere, whether it’s garbage, animal droppings or even your lunch.

And they are more than just a nuisance. They carry germs and contaminate any surface they come into contact with, leading to the spread of diseases such as typhoid and dysentery. With female flies capable of laying over 100 eggs at a time, it doesn’t take long for an outbreak to occur.

Unfortunately for businesses, especially those who handle food, this can result in poor health and safety compliance, leading to reputation damage and potential fines. Restaurants, cafes and manufacturing facilities are some of those most at risk, but any business that handles or sells food should be on alert.

Types of Flies

There are many species of flies present in Australia, with varying feeding habits, life cycles and seasonal activity. By determining which species of fly is responsible for an outbreak, this can assist with developing an effective, targeted treatment plan. These are the more common species you’re most likely to encounter:

House fly
  • Lays 120-130 eggs a time, can take up to 42 days to mature into an adult fly
  • Attracted to food smells
  • Deposits eggs onto decaying material such as garbage, animal waste, sewage, organic plant matter such as compost
  • Rests on walls, floors, ceilings, the ground, plants, fences, compost heaps and rubbish bins
Bush fly
  • Drawn to large animals, particularly proteins in bodily fluids such as saliva, sweat and tears and animal waste
  • Known to transmit eye infections to humans and livestock
Fruit fly
  • Attracted to fermenting sugary liquids in waste bins, fruit and vegetables, drains, spills and cracks in floors/other surfaces
  • Commonly found in hospitality settings such as bars, pubs, breweries, vineyards, kitchens, restaurants, fruit and vegetable plants
Drain Fly
  • Favours rotting food and other organic waste material that builds up in drains, septic tanks and compost
  • Largely resistant a lot of pest control chemicals and cleaning agents
  • Attracted to and deposits eggs in rotting meat, particularly dead animals such as rodents and birds, as well as food waste from hospitality venues, and occasionally cheese
Cluster fly
  • Usually found in quieter, less frequented areas such as attics and wall voids
  • Seeks warm places to hibernate in winter
Fermentation fly
  • Attracted to fermenting bacteria and yeast in rotten fruits and vegetables, as well as alcohol
  • Found in breweries and pubs
Flesh fly
  • Attracted to decaying food, garbage and animal waste

Problems caused by flies

A couple of flies may seem small and harmless, but in the event of an outbreak you may experience the following issues:

They spread diseases

Including typhoid, cholera, dysentery, trachoma, poliomyelitis, cutaneous diphtheria, leprosy. Flies transfer germs which they collect as they scavenge for food in filthy places, via small hairs covering their bodies, droppings and vomit.

They contaminate food and sterile surfaces, resulting in poor hygiene

Flies are generally attracted to all types of food, particularly those that are decomposing.

They’re a general nuisance and distraction

A large swarm of flies and the constant whirring sound from their wings beating together can disrupt business operations, reduce visibility in the workplace and affect productivity

Signs of a fly infestation

If you’re noticing any of the following clues, you may have a major problem on your hands:

Accumulation of fly droppings

These appear like clusters of dark spots in places where they frequent or rest. Different species of flies prefer different areas. Try checking the usual places including ceilings, walls and light fittings. You should also pay attention to difficult to clean places such as drains, pipes, sub-floor cavities, gully traps, around sinks and underneath damaged floor tiles.


Once fly eggs hatch, they become cream coloured larvae, known as maggots, before maturing into an adult fly. This indicates a breeding site is present.

A large number of flies

Particularly in areas that can attract flies, brightly lit and water areas. This includes:

  • Food storage/preparation/consumption areas
  • Areas with standing water including gutters, tyres, old machinery, tanks, water butts, potted plants
  • Refuse areas, bins, waste containers, compost and mulch piles can indicate a more serious problem

Fly outbreaks in businesses

A swarm of flies in a workplace can be just as dangerous as it is distracting for staff, patrons and customers. An outbreak may act as a deterrent for people to return, while causing damage to your reputation.

Food and food distribution businesses

Cafes, restaurants, pubs, service stations and supermarkets are required to adhere to hygiene and cleanliness practices. A fly outbreak would indicate a failure to meet food health and safety regulations and result in trading restrictions as well as heavy penalties.

Warehouse and manufacturing facilities

With high volumes of food and stock in a large space, it’s important to have proper food handling, storage and sanitation protocols in place to ensure that flies stay away. If the proper industrial and commercial standards are not met, this can lead to contaminated or damaged goods, stock and equipment, as well as substantial fines.

How to prevent a fly outbreak

By taking extra steps to proactively deter flies, you’ll be able to save time and energy on eliminating an outbreak. Here are some tips on how you can discourage flies from entering your building:

Keep food covered and stored away

Flies are strongly attracted to food odours so it’s important to remove any lingering traces of food smells that can be carried by air currents.

Clear away waste and spills

  • Tight fitting bin lids keep waste secure
  • Dispose of garbage regularly
  • Remove pet waste
  • Clear away food debris, grease and spills from kitchen benches, table, underneath and around appliances and other dead insects that can attract flies
  • Regularly mop floors and wipe benches and sinks
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes and cutlery lying around

Maintain drains and fix leaky taps

  • Removing sources of water helps keep flies away
  • Keep drains clean and remove debris and blockages

Identify and cover entry points

Fit fly screens over windows, doors and other openings, especially around the kitchen and waste areas

Keep bird feeders clean

Remove bird food before dusk

Remove clutter

To reduce hiding places and breeding sites

Ways to control a fly outbreak

If you want to eliminate flies in your building, you can consider the following options:

Insecticide spray from hardware stores

  • Flying insect aerosols can be applied directly onto the flies.
  • Indoor and outdoor surface sprays in pump packs can be used to cover surfaces. Once a fly comes into contact with the surface, the insecticide is transferred to the fly. Pump packs act as a longer lasting deterrent and can last up to a few months inside

Fly repellent fan

Some devices are fitted with holographic blades to scatter light and deter flies.

Fly traps

Containers can be purchased from hardware stores, but can also easily be made DIY using jars or bottles filled with sugar, vinegar and water.

Fly paper

A sticky adhesive surface embedded with fly attractants can physically trap flies.

Professional fly elimination

In business settings, we recommend you don’t take any chances with flies because an outbreak can happen quickly. Allstate’s highly trained technicians are familiar with food standard HACCP, so we can provide professional fly control solutions for your business to ensure that you stay compliant with health and safety regulations. Our fly removal service involves 4 steps:


Our fly elimination team will come over to perform a visual assessment of the outbreak to determine the best treatment plan.

Identifying and removing fly attractants

We’ll help you to remove potential food sources and breeding sites for flies to see if this fixes the problem. If needed, we’ll also make recommendations for waste management and maintaining good hygiene practices.

Applying fly treatment

For severe outbreaks, our treatments can be applied out of business hours to minimise disruption. We only use AVMPA approved chemicals, which are safe for the environment, children and pets.

Treatment may include using a combination of sprays, aerosols, fogs, dusting powders and baits.

For reliable, long-term fly control at commercial and industrial facilities with food handling, we highly recommend installing a fly killer unit.

Follow-up treatment

Flies are a constant threat to many food handling businesses and require ongoing monitoring and additional treatment if necessary.

Reporting back to you

We’ll send you a document with important information about your fly outbreak and treatment that you can keep as part of your workplace health and safety management plan. This report is easily accessible for you and your employees for future reference.

Choose Allstate for a fast and effective fly removal service

At Allstate, we know that flies can be an ongoing and costly pest for businesses if you fail to get on top of an outbreak.

If you need professional fly elimination, our highly trained technicians can work around your business hours to assist. Our team not only has a thorough knowledge of food standard HACCP to ensure that you meet health and safety regulations, but we also use treatments that are non-toxic to keep your staff and customers safe.

Being local to Adelaide, we’re able to recognise the behaviour of the different fly species that are responsible for problems in businesses in the area.

We service all suburbs in Adelaide, and make sure that we’re available 24/7 for emergency call outs.

To ensure that your business always stays protected and complaint, we offer a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee on all of our services and products, as well as interest-free payment plans.

Speak to an Adelaide fly control expert today.