Fly Activity to Look for – and Prevent – in Food Handling Environments

Chef in Kitchen Prepping Food

If you work in a food handling environment like a restaurant, grocery store or manufacturing facility, flies can deal a blow to your bottom line. These pests seek the food, water and shelter that your business provides – and their presence can lead to serious consequences. Once inside, they can contaminate food, spread disease, cause health inspection violations and disgust your customers. (Download our free Comprehensive Guide to Flies & Fly Control Strategy to learn how to help keep them away.)

To keep your customers from flying out the door, here’s what you need to know about the behavior of flies most commonly found in food handling establishments:

  • House flies spread diseases when they land on surfaces. Indoors, they rest on floors, walls and ceilings during the day. At night, they make their home near sources of food, usually 5 to 15 feet off the ground.

  • Blow flies will feed on just about anything that you might call “filthy” and can detect a food source over a mile away. Their favorite meal is decaying meat (or plants that smell like it).

  • Fruit flies can be seen flying around kitchens or near trash cans and floor drains. As their name suggests, these small flies eat ripened fruits and vegetables, as well as fermented materials.

  • Drain flies are more active at night and like to hang out on bathroom, kitchen and basement walls, as well as in drains. Fortunately, they don’t transmit human diseases. But unfortunately, spotting drain flies almost certainly means you have a clogged or slow drain.

  • Phorid flies thrive on moisture found in the bottom of trash cans, under kitchen equipment, in backed up drains, in dirty mop heads and in over-watered plants. They breed in decaying organic material and are usually found in restaurants and hospitals.

Flies might be small, but they are the filthiest pests. Work with your pest management provider to identify the flies impacting your facility, determine the source of the problem, and develop a fly control strategy.

Want to learn more about how to fight these flies at your business (other than with the end of a newspaper, of course)? Download our free Comprehensive Guide to Flies & Fly Control Strategy.


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