Fly Control for Restaurants

There’s no way around it, flies are gross. No one wants them around and they’re hard to get rid of. For restaurants, the implications of a fly infestation are even more serious. Flies carry diseases that can be passed onto us humans when they land on food or food prep areas. They can ruin the reputation of your business and lead to a health code violation. So what’s the best course of action to eradicate these flying pests? We’ve made a list of the best tips for getting rid of flies in your restaurant.

Shop Fly Control Products

1. Deny Entry to Flies

air curtain installed above door opening

The first and easiest fly prevention method is simple. Don’t let them in! The food safety experts at ServSafe will tell you that denying entry to flies is the most important step in a pest control program. Consider all the ways that flies could be entering your building and block them off.

  • Air Curtains - When you have exterior doors or drive-thru windows that are opened frequently, it can be difficult to prevent flies from entering. Air curtains are devices that blow out a strong sheet of air, almost like a curtain, that deters flying insects.
  • Door Sweeps - The small opening below a door provides plenty of room for pests to crawl in. Block off this space by installing door sweeps on all exterior doors.
  • Window and Vent Screens - Did you know that flies can enter building vents and fly straight into your kitchen? Examine your building exterior and add screens to any vents that open to the outside.
  • Keep Doors Closed - This may be obvious, but don’t leave windows or doors propped open. Sometimes your kitchen staff may be tempted to leave a door open to bring in some cool air. If that’s the case, address the temperature control issue in the kitchen and keep your cooks hydrated and comfortable.
  • Food Suppliers - Always purchase food from approved suppliers who provide a record of their health inspections. As an added precaution, inspect all food shipments and delivery trucks. If you see flies in the truck, it’s a bad sign.

2. Be Aware of Fly Hotspots

bus bin full of dirty dishes

You should already be following the sanitation guidelines required for foodservice operations, but sometimes a little extra attention can go a long way. Be aware of the hotspots that attract files, and train your staff to recognize these problem areas.

  • Bar Area - There’s a lot of temptation in your bar area. Spills on the bartop can lead to a sticky, sweet residue that attracts flies. Beer taps that aren’t cleaned regularly and uncovered liquor bottles are also attractants. Train your bar staff to clean up spills immediately and not to neglect the areas under bar caddies and runners. Clean your taps and flush the keg lines on a regular schedule. Protect bottles of liquor and mixers with screened pourers and covers.
  • Dining Room Tables - The back-of-house gets a lot of attention when it comes to cleaning protocols, but we know that messes happen in the dining room too. Diners will inevitably leave behind spills and crumbs after they finish their meal. Train your bussers to attend to these issues immediately after guests leave and give each table and booth a thorough cleaning before the next guest is seated. Servers should also remove soiled plates and flatware throughout the service.
  • Bus Bins - A cart full of messy bus bins is a fly's paradise. Never leave bus bins unattended in the dining room, or even worse, on the outdoor patio. Clean and rinse them periodically throughout the shift.
  • Garbage Cans and Dumpsters Food waste is a powerful temptation for flies, and they can smell it from very far distances. Keep all your garbage cans covered and take out trash periodically throughout the shift. Keep your dumpster area clean and keep lids in place.
  • Drains and Sinks - Certain types of flies thrive in the moist environment of your sink and floor drains, especially if they contain a lot of grease buildup. You can combat this by installing grease traps and cleaning them regularly. Also, never leave standing water in your mop and utility sinks because this can be a breeding ground for flying insects.

3. Proper Food Storage

dry ingredient container with lid

Flies are attracted to the food in your kitchen, especially overripe fruit and raw meat. The best way to deter these flying pests is to protect foods by storing them properly.

  • FIFO - FIFO stands for "First in, first out". This acronym is a reminder to help you safely organize your storage areas. Use older foods first and push new items to the back. This ensures that everything is used by its due date, and you avoid any type of spoilage that attracts flies.
  • Produce Storage - Some fruits and vegetables produce more ethylene when they ripen. This naturally occurring gas isn’t detectable by humans, but it’s a welcome sign for hungry flies. Learn how to store different types of produce and inspect all fruits and veggies daily for signs of overripening.
  • Dry Ingredients - Never leave dry goods like sugar and flour uncovered. Commercial ingredient bins come with tight-fitting lids that will keep flies out.
  • Thawing Meat - The best way to defrost frozen meat or fish is to pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the cooler overnight. Sometimes this step is forgotten or the meat needs to be thawed unexpectedly. In this case, never leave a meat product out on a counter or prep surface to thaw. You are asking for trouble anytime you leave raw meat out at room temperature for too long.

4. Foodsafe Fly Control

bug zapper installed on wall

If you've followed all our tips and flies have still managed to find a way inside, it's time to explore some foodsafe fly control methods.

  • Pest Control Professionals - A licensed pest control operator will inspect your building and determine exactly what type of fly you are dealing with. This helps them to customize a pest control solution that will be the most effective for your business.
  • Glue Traps - Glue traps can be a successful fly control method for your service area or kitchen. Some work by emitting a UV light that draws flies in and traps them on the sticky surface. Others are coated with an adhesive solution that smells sweet to the flies and attracts them. Pick up a freestanding glue trap for controlling outdoor pests or a subtle wall-mounted trap to blend with your indoor dining area.
  • Bug Zappers - A bug zapper attracts insects with an internal light, then kills them with a jolt of electricity when they fly into the machine. Flies and other bugs are then dropped into the easy-to-clean tray, making zappers a sanitary way to take care of pests. Bug zappers can be noisy, so it's best to keep them away from your front-of-house and install them in the kitchen or even your building exterior.
  • Chemical Sprays - Use chemical sprays with caution and follow all safety precautions. Many fly sprays aren't foodsafe, so reserve these for use near your dumpster or areas far from food prep.

With planning and prevention, you can keep flies from ever becoming a problem. Follow a regular cleaning schedule and don't ignore the fly hotspots like bus bins, garbage cans, and drains. If you need to get rid of flies in your restaurant, turn to the professionals and use foodsafe fly control products.

Posted in: Food Safety|Management & Operation|By Michale LeRoy
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.
External Link

You are about to leave the security of

We are not responsible for the privacy policy or any content, links or software, or any consequences from your access to or use of the technologies, websites, information and programs made available on this new site.

Do you want to proceed?