In Victorian times, there were no cars; instead there were horse and carts, and where there were horse and carts, there was horse dung, and where there was horse dung, there were flies… and in those days, they were killer flies!

In fact, those killer flies are still flying around London today, so why aren’t we all running away in a crazed panic?

The ‘Normal’ Fly

The reason that we do not fear flies when they are buzzing about our London home or workplace is the same reason that the Victorians were not disturbed by their presence either: they are exceeding ‘normal’. No sting, no bite, no reason to anything more than a bit annoyed by the buzzing.

However, what wasn’t around for the large part of Victorian times was the knowledge that flies carry diseases and have the potential to pass these onto us. Consequently, people wouldn’t take the precautions that are now very much part of our daily lives. Coupled with the hugely increased amount of flies around in those times, lives were lost to the common fly.

Medical Breakthrough about Flies

It wasn’t until the early 1900s that British doctors made a breakthrough and realised that flies could carry diseases such as typhoid and summer-sickness on their bristly legs and easily transfer them to humans who would eat infected food that the flies had been in contact with.

With a lack of fly control in London as in the rest of the UK, at best Londoners would use mesh screens or sticky paper to try to control fly problems in their houses, but the reality was that many would use nothing and it was common place to see flies clustering on fruits bowls, crawling over raw meat and floating in milk jugs.

Consequently, there were thousands of deaths in London alone and in 1911 there was a record number of infant mortality resulting from diarrhoea.

Campaign for Fly Control

Described by one medical professional as ‘a loathsome pest’, the fly had medical focus and it was decided that a campaign to educate people about the dangers of flies and the importance of fly control was paramount.

The campaign was headed by The National History Museum and posters with graphic and gruesome images were distributed far and wide to not only inform people of the dangers of flies, but to create a sense of disgust towards them amongst the population.

By 1913 the effects of the campaign were being felt and the number of deaths from diarrhoea has dropped significantly.

The Modern Day London Fly

The modem day fly that we see buzzing around London is no different to the flies back in Victorian times. They still carry diseases and contaminate food, meaning there is still the risk of people getting very poorly.

However, the two differences are that there are less of them, partly due to changes in lifestyle and partly due to London fly control, but also the fact that people know precautions have to be taken, such as keeping food in sealed containers, washing hands before eating, rinsing fruit and any other food that may be kept on the side, and keeping flies under control and out of your London property.

London Fly Control

Top Dog Pest Control provides London with highly effective fly control treatment. Dean Mannion, Operations Manager, explains why this is particularly important for businesses:

“Fly control is so important for London business, especially when we look at the food/hospitality industry. As soon as flies are spotted around or on food, customers will disappear in no time, along with your reputation.”

“Many eateries, delis and hotels are now subscribing to Pest Inspection Packages, where we come at regular intervals throughout the year to assess your protection against pests. Fly control is one of the components included in this, and we can offer services to install preventative measures such as fly screens, as well as giving advice about how best to control flies before an infestation is allowed to take hold.”

Dean and his team will happily come out to carry out a free pest inspection survey in order to give you a tailored quote to suit your London business and property.

Author: This article was written by Dean Mannion, Senior Pest Control Technician for Top Dog Pest Control. Top Dog London Pest Control provides London fly control services. 

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