If fruit flies take over your restaurant's kitchen, take steps to get rid of them now. Although fruit flies don't bite humans, they carry potentially dangerous bacteria that can endanger your customers' health and the safety of your food. Like other filth flies, the bacteria carried by fruit flies can endanger your restaurant's food supplies. As fruit flies land on utensils, pots, pans, and food, they walk or dart around the surfaces of these items. The contaminants living on the flies' legs infect the items. If you don't see the flies land on the items in your kitchen, you may not think to wash them before you use them for cooking or serving food. To avoid these issues, here are things you can do to get rid of the fruit flies and keep them away.
Find the Source of the Fruit Flies
Fruit flies are called filth flies because they eat rotten fruits, vegetables and anything else that decays in your kitchen. The pests can also lay their eggs in fermented substances, such as a wet mop, soiled garbage can or filthy floor drain.
Fermented substances describe food and liquids that break down into alcohols and sugars when exposed to bacteria and other contaminants. The sweet smells emitted from the rotting substances attract adult fruit flies, which use them to lay eggs and eat.
Adult fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs, which mature within a week. Because of the way fruit flies live and breed, they can potentially swarm your kitchen in a short span of time.
Remove the Source of the Fruit Flies
The best way to get rid of the flies is to remove their sources of food and breeding grounds. The first step is to wash and clean every garbage can in the restaurant with bleach and hot water. Bleach contains chemical ingredients that kill bacteria, and the hot water removes grease and oils from the surfaces of the containers.
Some types of culinary oils, such as palm oil, undergo a fermentation process when food manufacturers make them. The oils give off scents that attract the flies. Removing the oils from garbage cans, as well as your stoves, ovens and other surfaces helps get rid of the fruit flies.
In addition, cleaning out the drainage pipes and openings in your kitchen sinks and floors eliminates the flies. For your sinks, pour 2 cups of bleach down the drains and allow the solution to sanitize the drains and pipes for 20-30 minutes. Afterward, turn on the hot water taps and flush the drains and pipes for 5 minutes. Be sure to wash out the sinks with a strong soap detergent to remove the bleach's scent and residue from their surfaces.
Next, remove the coverings from your floor drains, then follow these steps below:
- Put on protective gloves to protect your hands from bacteria and germs
- Pour 1 cup of white vinegar down each drain, then give the solution 20 minutes to kill the fruit fly eggs and larvae — vinegar sanitizes the drains, as well as removes any bad scent emitting from them
- Fill a large bucket with hot water and cleaning soap, then use a scrubbing brush to cleanse the surfaces around the drains
- Insert a long-handled scrubbing brush down the drains, then carefully clean them out
- Recover the drains, then discard the dirty water into your mop sink
The steps mentioned above should remove the fruit fly eggs, larvae and food sources. If the steps don't work and you continue to have a fruit fly problem, contact a commercial pest control company for services.
Keeping your restaurant clean and healthy is critical. If you want to learn more about fruit flies and how to protect your restaurant, speak to a commercial pest control expert today.