Fly Control For Food Businesses – The Buyers Guide

03 September 2021 · 10 min read


to the restaurant fly control buyers guide. 

It is my aim to answer your questions about how our product works and it’s suitability for use in your food space.  I believe, if you have the relevant information, you’re better equipped to make the right decisions for your food business.  We have been helping food businesses Australia wide, solve their in-house fly problems since 2009. If l have missed any questions or you have something you would like to discuss, please drop me a line at [email protected]

Here’s to keeping the flies out of your soup!
Kind regards
Pip Cleary
The Fly Lady


Why our fly spray is food safe

1. Has the government approved the fly spray for use in Australia?

The product is manufactured in Melbourne Australia and approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.  Approval Number 85526/113509


2. Is the fly spray compliant with FSANZ and HACCP approved?

The Fly Lady fly spray was Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services approved. (AQIS) This approval signified that the fly spray met the requirements of the Food Standards Code for Australia and New Zealand, otherwise known as FSANZ. AQIS has since been absorbed into the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.  AQIS approvals are no longer issued.   

The Fly Lady assist hundreds of food business Australia wide.  Our customers demonstrate a pro active approach to fly control.  By denying flies access to their food spaces and eliminating indoor fly activity, they are adhering to the Food Standards Code of Australia and New Zealand.

The fly control systems and supporting programs developed, implemented and monitored by The Fly Lady are HACCP approved.  They have been verified as complying with CODEX HACCP principles under the scope of: Controlling all hazards that may impact a client’s product through the sales, installation and running of the fly control systems.

Proudly HACCP Certified since 2018.

3. Is the fly spray toxic to humans?

Warm blooded creatures, without exception, are able to breakdown the active ingredients in The Fly Lady spray.  Cold blooded creatures cannot.  So, while flies are forced to leave the area,  humans, puppies and children are all safe to stay.  If inhaled or ingested, humans (all warm blooded creatures) easily metabolise and excrete the product.  Pyrethrins are poorly absorbed by skin contact.  

As the spray is not a fast knockdown product, flies are able to evacuate the area.   This attribute is perfect for the hospitality industry.   It means flies are not dying in the kitchen, in the food product or in the customer’s soup. 

Originally developed for the Abattoir Industry, the fly control spray has been used in the meat processing industry in Australia for decades.  

Pyrethrum is one of the few insecticides allowed for use in Certified Organic Production of crops in the USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

4. What is the fly control spray made from?

The spray consists of two active ingredients. 

The first is Natural Pyrethrin. This is derived from the Chrysanthemum daisy, many of which, are now grown in Tasmania.  Tassie has become one of the largest growers of pyrethrin daisies worldwide.  Check out Botanical Resources Australia for more on that.

Natural pyrethrin breaks down very quickly and is totally biodegradable.

For hundreds of years, the daisies were dried and crushed into pest control powders. In 1855, Johann Zacherlin started manufacturing pyrethrin pest control powder.  His factory was in Vienna, Austria.  For more about Johann Zacherlin pyrethrin empire click here.

Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) is the second ingredient.  It has no pesticidal activity of its own.  It’s a synergist, meaning it enhances the effectiveness of the product it’s combined with.  In this case, the natural pyrethrin.  PBO has been in use since the 1950’s.  

Today in Australia, there are hundreds of APVMA registered products containing  pyrethrin and piperonyl butoxide.  Products include babies headlice shampoos and lotions, washing powders for treatment of bed bugs, organic pest control powders for application to commercially grown, organically registered fruit and vegetable crops, mosquito control programs, flea and tick treatments for pets and of course fly spray for food spaces.


Pyrethrins vs. Pyrethroids – Why pyrethrum is better than pyrethroids
Pyrethrins are natural plant-based insecticides that make up the mixture known as pyrethrum, while pyrethroids are synthetic chemical insecticides with a chemical structures similar to their natural counterparts and which work in a similar way.

While natural pyrethrum is quite safe, the synthetic pyrethroids are usually much more toxic and persistent, because they’re designed to be. Pyrethroids are modified to increase their stability in sunlight.

It is therefore important not to mistake insecticide formulations containing synthetic pyrethroids as natural pyrethrum, because if we consider a situation where it is appropriate to use natural pyrethrum, it may be totally inappropriate to use a synthetic pyrethroid.

There are no pyrethroids in the Fly Lady Insect Spray.

5. Pyrethrins vs. Pyrethroids

Why pyrethrum is better than pyrethroids.

Pyrethrins are natural plant-based insecticides that make up the mixture known as pyrethrum, while pyrethroids are synthetic chemical insecticides with a chemical structures similar to their natural counterparts and which work in a similar way.

While natural pyrethrum is quite safe, the synthetic pyrethroids are usually much more toxic and persistent, because they’re designed to be. Pyrethroids are modified to increase their stability in sunlight.

It is therefore important not to mistake insecticide formulations containing synthetic pyrethroids as natural pyrethrum, because if we consider a situation where it is appropriate to use natural pyrethrum, it may be totally inappropriate to use a synthetic pyrethroid.

There are no pyrethroids in the Fly Lady Insect Spray.

6. How does the fly spray work?

The combination of the two active ingredients
Insects have enzymes in their bodies that break down some insecticides. PBO stops some of these enzymes and allows the pyrethrin more time to work. This means flies are less likely to recover from the combination of PBO and pyrethrin. 

Early studies found that PBO greatly improved how well pyrethrins kill houseflies. PBO itself did not kill the flies. The combination of both allowed greater control with smaller amounts of pyrethrins.

7. Is the fly spray damaging to the environment?

Pyrethrin breaks down naturally in daylight.  This means the fly control spray does not build up in the environment or have an ongoing residual effect.

When refilling automatic dispensers it is important to dispose of empty canisters in an appropriate manner. Check your local council guidelines and recycle empty aerosol cans where possible.

It is important to keep empty refills out of waterways as liquid pyrethrin does not break down in water.  If spent refills were thrown in a river, they would harm the cold-blooded aquatic creatures. Please ensure empty refill canisters are disposed of appropriately.

Aerosol sprays are best used indoors where only pest species are targeted.  Outdoor use may effect non target insects.

Why our fly spray works

1. How do the fly control systems work?

Each dispenser atomizes the fly spray into tiny micro particles. Much smaller droplets than a regular spray can.  These minute particle float, staying air borne. This allows the creation of invisible, fly free zones.  With considered installation we create fly proof barriers around sensitive food areas, service areas, dining areas, open windows and door ways.  

Air movement must be considered when selecting locations for automatic dispenser installation.  If the fly control spray drifts straight out onto the street, it’s not going to work. 

As instillation is an important factor in the success of your fly control system, we recommend every customer takes advantage of our free install consult before putting your dispensers on the wall.     

With a tailor made product and a install plan created specifically for your premises, we make your fly control our business.  All install consults conducted by a chef.  We know kitchens. 

2. Why are these fly control systems perfectly suited to food businesses?

With the spray floating in the air, insect free zones and barriers can be created. Any insect entering the spray area will be forced to leave. This is ideal as the flies are able retreat. As the spray is not a fast knockdown, flies will not be dying in the kitchen, in the food prep or in front of your customers. They leave the area of spray, heading back out the way they came in.

3. How do l work out how many automatic dispensers l need and where to put them?

We understand no two food spaces are the same. 
We want to help you achieve the best possible outcome. 

We would like to offer you a free consultation. 

Let us help you by tailoring a solution specifically for your business space.
Send through photos of your restaurant and have a chat to a chef about your space and your requirements. 

To maximise your fly control success we strongly encourage you take full advantage of our install  consultation. 

4. How much ongoing maintenance will the fly spray dispensers require?

We understand in a busy commercial kitchen, time is off the essence.  These fly control systems are ideal as they require only 5 minutes attention, every 6 weeks.  It is not necessary to pay the extra for a service technician.   The Fly Lady dispensers are low maintenance, and simple to operate.  As simple as ON / OFF.

All systems have a full, step by step service module available.  Created so the cleaner, dishy, apprentice – anyone, can oversee all aspects of the fly control system with confidence.

Why our fly spray is cost effective

1. How many dispensers will l need?

Please note this is only an indication as all cafes will vary depending on size, layout, number of open doors and windows and airflow / breeze. 

Generally speaking, a typical venue will require 4 dispensers.
This would include a dispenser:
• beside back kitchen door
• front of house, beside the kitchen entrance
• covering the front door/ entry
• within proximity of the service counter area.

Venues with large indoor spaces should consider covering the entries and exits, rather than the entire indoor space.

Automatic dispensers can be positioned to target specific hot spots, such as large glass windows, kitchen rubbish bins,  beer overflow outlets, mop / broom storage areas, dirty linen bags, dry storage areas etc.

It is important our fly control system solves the problem. We ask you please take advantage of our free install consultation.  Dispenser positioning  is critical to the success of the solution.  Solving your fly issue is our goal.  Wether your setting up one unit or 21 units please utilise our years of experience and allow us to assist you in getting optimual protection from correct installation positioning.   

I cannot emphasise this strongly enough.  Please take advantage of our years of installing dispensers. Snaps some photos on your phone and text them to the Fly Lady. 

We are always happy to talk flies.  Lets get the install right and solve your fly issues.

2. How much will it cost?

Set Up Costs

  • 4 dispensers $99 each =$396 inc gst
  • 4 spray cans for dispensers $33 each = $132 inc gst 
  • Dispensers are a one off cost and come with 12 month mechanical warrenty.
  • Spary cans last 6 weeks. 

First 6 weeks of fly protection for 4 units totals $528
Ongoing 6 weekly running costs  4 refills at $33 each = $132 inc gst.

  • Dispensers operate on 3 AA batteries which will last 6 months plus.
  • 3 batteries  supplied with each dispenser purchase.
  • There will be a shipping cost on top of all orders. 
  • We recommend ordering refill cans in bulk to keep shipping costs down.  
3. Other benefits of using the fly control systems?

An airbourne spray will not get into all the cracks and crevices but will help cull the cockroaches scuttling to and fro at night.   Infact the fly control systems will help control all kitchen pests including pantry moths, ants, vinegar flies and any other cold blooded visitors.

Use of  the fly control units will help reduce the number of pests in your establishment and in turn reduce the number of visits required by your pest controller.   

Using a pest controller is not mandatory in Australia.  If you DIY your pest control, the Fly Lady fly control systems are a must have in your pest control arsonal.  They will assist in every aspect of your indoor pest control. 

The use of The Fly Lady fly control systems demonstrates a pro active approach to your pest control and assist you in complying with the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code.

The online monitoring and support systems created by the Fly Lady are able to manage your pest control data, dispenser service history and pest sighting register, keeping all your pest control details in one handy location.   

The Fly Lady, making your fly control a breeze.

4. What kind of support is provided for the fly control systems?

We start by recommending a install consult to take the guess work out of the installation process. We want to help you set the units up to ensure maximum benifit and maximum protection.  Why not take advantage of our years of install experience.  The consult is offered free of charge to ensure the best possible outcome.

Our tailor made support system helps monitor the dispensers, handles refill reminders  and manage stocklevels, so you’ll always have stock in store when you need it.  

Service and pest sighting registers are all part of the support system.  A neat centralised place for all your pest control documentation. 


5. How good is this system and who helped design and build it?

The online system was the brain child of a savie New Zealand tech company called Ox Digital.  

Other FAQs

Can l get someone who knows the industry, specifically commercial kitchens to help me set this up?

Food Safe Fly Lady dispensers provide a quiet, unobtrusive solution to fly problems. Creating a barrier to keep flies out and providing 24-hour protection. No electrician required. Ideal for sensitive hospitality spaces.

How difficult is install?

Dispensers are simple to install. One screw or a zip tie, depending on the situation.

For controlling flies, dispensers are wall mounted on one screw, approximately 2 mtr above ground level.  Install units so an adult can reach the base of the dispenser with their arm extended overhead.  Without requiring a ladder.

There are 2 reasons for this installation height.

  1. Firstly, if the units are installed too high, the spray will get caught in the layer of warm air at the ceiling and the flies will zoom around, undettered below the spray.
  2. Secondly, for efficiency.  A ladder is not required when carrying out the 6 weekly refill service, making the task quicker and more efficient

Dispensers can be zip tied underneath the bar, to the side of glass racks or to pipe work.  In kitchens they can be zip tied to bench legs below the  counter.  Zip ties attach through the back plate of the despenser creating a secure attachment.  Zip ties can then be attached around the outside of the unit to ensure the front of the unit does not get dislodged from the back.  This is important if the unit is under a bar or in an area where it is likely to be bumped or knocked.

Dispensers can be placed in a wine bucked or equivilant.  If below the bar, there are no attachment points or you are wanting to place a unit in the top of a drinks fridge for example, you can stand the unit in something and then place it into position. 

Please note dispenser units do not free stand. 

This spray is great for flies, but will it help with other insects?


As all insects are cold blooded, this fly control spray will help with

Pantry moths
Fermentation flies
Pantry moths
Dust mites

In most circumstances you will notice a decrease in all pest activity.

A pest control spray is never going to be the magic solution in very unhygienic situations.  In regular commercial kitchen environments, this spray will help in keeping all kitchen pests at bay.