Complaints of excessive numbers of flies were reported by citizens living in a rural area surrounding a large (>2 million laying hens) egg-layer facility in northwestern Ohio. Sticky cylinder traps and hanging fly strips were used at outdoor and indoor locations, respectively, at known distances from the layer farm and from control sites to determine the most likely source of the flies and to determine the severity of the problem compared with fly populations in nearby rural settings. House flies, Musca domestica (L.), were the predominant flies captured on fly traps located within 6.4 km of the poultry operations. There was a significantly greater number of M. domestica trapped in the study area surrounding the layer facility than in the control areas. The quantity of house flies captured decreased with increased distance from the layer farm. Two years into the study, a second egg-layer facility opened in an area that was originally a control site. With regard to this second farm, after 4 yr of study, there was a significant difference shown between the population of house flies during the 2-yr control phase and the 2-yr period when the egg-layer facility was operational. This study documented that large egg layer facilities can significantly increase the house fly population in the surrounding community up to 6.4 km from the source of the flies and may result in a severe nuisance up to 3.2 km away.
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Vol. 42 • No. 5