Commercial Pest Management for Flies

Management of fly populations, especially where there is food involved, is very important to the safety and health of both customers and employees. In dealing with fly infestations, the fly species must be identified in order to properly eliminate it and prevent further infestation.

Flesh Fly

Flesh Fly (Sarcophaga bercaea)

Common Areas of Fly Infestations

Each fly infestation is unique and must be properly evaluated so management strategies can be tailored to the exact situation and source of the flies. Many things attract flies from open trash containers, exposed and rotting food, garbage disposals, moisture, animal feces, carrion, etc.

o Restaurants and Cafeterias: Restaurants and other food-related businesses often deal with drain flies, gnats, fruit and flesh flies. If mice and/or rats are a problem, flies will be attracted to feces and any dead rats that may be in the walls or behind appliances. For example, if flies are seen going in and out of an area, there very well may be a dead carcass. Flesh flies are notorious for eating carrion such as dead mice or rats.

Mexican fruit flies

Mexican fruit flies laying eggs on a grapefruit.

Controlling flies where there is food involved requires a commitment from staff to keep sanitation at a high level of priority. Flies are able to transfer more than 100 pathogens, including salmonella, tuberculosis, typhoid, cholera, and malaria. After feeding on garbage and decaying matter, flies then transfer these pathogens from their feet, saliva, and feces to human food and food preparation areas.

o Business Offices: General buildings and offices are less likely to have the same type of fly infestations as do restaurants but they sometimes have their own unique fly problems. For instance, if there are a lot of potted plants in a building or office, small flies such as fungus gnats may cause an infestation. Fungus gnats are weak flyers and so their breeding area is not too far from where the infestation is found, usually within soil of a nearby plant. These gnats are attracted to light and glass windows.

Keep Flies Away and from Putting Your Business at Risk

Sanitation, sanitation, sanitation. Sanitation is crucial in controlling fly infestations. What may look to be a "clean" counter and floor in a commercial kitchen, upon closer examination, may turn out to be a breeding area for small flies. Small cracks and crevices in flooring where flour can accumulate and ferment are prime breeding spots for flies such as the small phorid fly. Only after the cracks are scraped, cleaned, air dried and caulked will the fly infestation subside. Here are some suggestions for keeping flies out of both food establishments and business offices:

1. Large fans called "air curtains" placed in restaurants are helpful in keeping flies from
coming indoors.
2. Food should be kept refrigerated when not in use.
3. Keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible prevents flies from entering.
4. Screen vents and any other openings.
5. Keep drains and food traps clean.
6. Caulk any cracks in flooring and around kitchen equipment.
7. Make sure trash containers are sealed.
8. Remove spills and any crumbs from counters and floors.
9. Ensure there is no stagnant water behind refrigerators or under dishwashers.
10. For potted plants, keep moisture low.

Please call Hearts Pest Management at 1-800-986-1006 if you have a current infestation. Your Pest Service Consultant will be able to identify the type of fly and provide correct treatment to get rid of the flies. He/she will also educate your staff in IPM (Integrated Pest Management) methods to prevent further infestations.

References
Mallis, A. Handbook of Pest Control, Tenth Edition, Saunders College Publishing, 2011. Print

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