How to Get Rid of Flies in Your Utah Restaurant

About Thorn

Thorn is a local Utah pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded to less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.

Upclose of a fly's eyes

Restaurants are a great hangout spot for people….and pests.

In a restaurant, there are many conducive conditions that increase the potential for ongoing pest issues. These factors include:

  • Food scraps and delicious smells
  • A warm, moist environment
  • Daily food deliveries
  • Constant accumulation of organic matter (food, grease, etc.)

Flies are one of the many pests that can thrive in a restaurant environment, and there are several fly species that might be plaguing your restaurant, such as:

  • Drain flies
  • Fruit flits
  • Lesser house flies
  • Fungus gnats

Nowadays, there are many non-chemical methods of control for flies that are effective in restaurant settings, meaning you won’t need to disrupt business in order to address a fly problem, but keeping flies away from your restaurant will not be a one-and-done treatment. You’ll need to continue your fly control efforts to keep them away for good. 

The Dangers of Flies in Your Restaurant

Flies may enjoy the living around humans, but it’s no secret that humans do not enjoy dealing with flies, and for good reason. 

Flies like to hang out in nasty places where the pick-up disease- causing organisms from garbage, feces and sewage, dead animals and other nasty locations, which they can then bring into your restaurant.

Some of the bacteria and other pathogens flies can carry on their bodies are:

  • E. Coli
  • Salmonella
  • Tapeworms
  • Pin worms
  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Hookworms

Don’t let flies contaminate your restaurant with disease. You want people talking about how great the food is, not how bad the fly problem is!

While most flies do not pose a serious threat to human health (especially in smaller numbers)  it’s important to be aware of the potential risks they can pose, especially if your restaurant’s fly issue is severe.

SOME QUICK ADVICE FROM THORN: Not only can flies leave behind disease, but they also lay eggs in warm, moist materials. These eggs will hatch into larvae, which look like squiggly little white grubs (maggots) that vary in size depending on species. Talk about unappetizing! 

Customers shouldn’t be finding flies or their grubs anywhere near their food, but in severe fly infestations, you may not be able to stop it! Don’t wait until a fly problem becomes severe. Instead, find the source of your fly issues quickly and stay on top of cleanliness and maintenance to avoid customer complaints.

Identifying the Flies in Your Restaurant

It is important to identify what type of flies are present in your restaurant before determining what treatment plan will be best suited for your business. 

Knowing what type of fly you’re seeing will help you further investigate where exactly the flies are coming from. Each fly is different from the next and treatment should be based off each fly’s biology if you’re looking for long-term results.

Large Flies in Your Utah Restaurant

Larger flies such as house flies, blow flies and flesh flies are most likely to breed outside and then venture indoors as adults. 

In general, they prefer warm, moist and disgusting places to lay their eggs, such as manure and excrement, garbage, decaying food and dead animals.

Keep big flies outside where they belong by making sure that your windows and doors seal adequately and are not getting left open without a screen. An open door or window with no screen provides flies with easy inside access to your restaurant (and your customers’ food).

Also make sure your garbage cans or dumpster are not too close to the building. If garbage receptacles are too close, they will constantly draw flies in regardless of how clean your restaurant is. A good rule of thumb? Garbage cans and dumpsters should be a minimum of 50 feet away from  your restaurant.

Small Flies in Your Utah Restaurant

Unlike large flies, small flies prefer breeding indoors, making restaurants a great place for them to rapidly reproduce. Small flies are a common annoyance in restaurants, especially because their size makes them difficult to identify. Try to get a good look, as identifying the type of fly can help you determine where they’re coming from.

Drain flies are very small (only about 1/8th inch long, and as their name implies, these flies prefer reproducing in places like drains where decaying organic matter (scum) can be found. Drain scum is the perfect place for drain flies to lay their eggs. Once these eggs hatch, larvae feed on the scum and stay well-hidden while doing so. Even boiling water down the drain isn’t guaranteed to kill the larvae because they’re so good at hiding.

You can tell drain flies from other flies by their slightly heart-shaped wings and powdery, slightly fluffy appearance. They almost look like a tiny moth.

Fruit flies are about the same size as drain flies but can typically be distinguished by their bright red eyes. While they prefer overripe fruit for laying eggs, fruit flies will happily lay eggs in other rotting materials such as drain scum.

Fungus gnats and phorid flies are not the same, but they’re similar. Both flies are known to reproduce in the soil of houseplants, where phorid flies will also reproduce in drain scum and pipes. 

If your restaurant has potted plants inside, this could be the source of your small fly problem. Consider putting 1-2 inches of sand on top of the dirt in your potted plants. This will help the water drain from the soil and prevent the flies from accessing the moist dirt they prefer for reproduction. 

Small Flies in Your Utah Restaurant? Clean Your Drains

As you probably noticed, small flies in restaurants are commonly found reproducing in drain scum. Restaurant drains have the perfect mix of food debris and water which creates a scum in the drains ideal for small fly reproduction. If small flies are a recurring problem in your Utah restaurant, consider having Thorn come out to perform regular drain cleaning services. 

Professional Pest Control for Your Utah Restaurant

Pest control has come a long way over the years. Gone are the days of expensive, disruptive and unnecessary chemical treatments. 

Thorn Pest Solutions knows that the best fly control results come when multiple control measures are put in place. Here at Thorn, we stay on top of the latest and greatest in pest control methods, meaning we’ve got lots of effective tools available to help get your restaurant fly issue under control. 

When it comes to flies, there are a variety of controls we may put in place, like:

  • Baits
  • Light traps
  • Glue boards
  • Glue sticks and flypaper
  • Targeted chemical application

With so many fly control options, it can be hard to know which methods are best for your restaurant. 

Let Thorn take the guesswork out of fly control. We’ll take care of those pesky flies quickly and cost effectively so that you can get back to making sure that every customer leaves your restaurant wanting to come back. Reach out any time! We’re here to help you be successful.

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