Fruit Fly Pest Control In The Kitchen
Fruit fly exterminating services are often required. Fruit flies reproduce profusely. Their breeding sites are often difficult to locate.
If you have small flies or gnats in your kitchen, you probably have fruit flies. These small red-eyed flies are attracted to the yeast present in foods during the initial stages of decomposition. Most fruits and vegetables ripen in late summer. This is naturally when fruit fly problems are most prevalent. Fruit flies can be transported from the grocery store into your kitchen on tomatoes, melons, and other unrefrigerated produce. This can happen anytime of the year. Once inside they attack things like bananas, onions and garlic bulbs. Fruit flies are not exclusive to fermenting fruits and veggies. Have fruit flies become a pest in your kitchen? Keep this in mind: Moist organic matter.
Locating Potential Fruit Fly Breeding Sites
Fruit flies only need a small film of moist organic matter to reproduce. Adult fruit flies deposit their eggs into the surface of decaying organic matter. An adult fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs. Eggs hatch. The larvae feed within the surface layer. Fruit fly eggs quickly develop into adults, usually within one week. Acute infestations can be resolved by removing their breeding site. Running a fan and setting traps can eliminate lingering adults. Ongoing fruit fly problems are challenging. The fruit fly activity is a result of multiple breeding sites that are hard to find. Access to breeding areas are often limited. Until you locate and remove all of the sources, the fruit flies will remain. Thoroughly inspect for moist organic matter. This can be found in a number of locations.
Here are places to be inspected for fruit fly breeding: Below, behind or inside kitchen equipment, in bar counter tops, hidden floor drains, wall and ceiling voids, missing grout between floor tiles, garbage receptacles, empty beverage containers, cleaning cloths, drains, condensation trays for ice makers, and garbage disposals.
Sanitation is critical to gain control of these nuisance pests.
Fruit Fly Sanitation Practices
- Garbage must be emptied frequently. At a minimum, trash needs to be removed from receptacles at the end of each day. Trash receptacles must be kept clean and dry. Even the refuse containers outside should be kept clean and dry. Periodic cleaning of dumpsters with a pressure washer removes organic matter scum build up. Dumpsters and all other exterior trash receptacles should be kept at a minimum 25 feet from any building entrance.
- Doors and windows should have size 16 mesh screens to block fruit flies from entering from the exterior. Commercial food handling establishments can install air curtains to prevent flies from entering the establishment. Fruit fly traps can be placed just inside entry doors to catch any fly that enters the structure. Fruit flies can fly in from the outside just as easily as they are carried inside on produce.
- Refrigerators, ice makers, and air conditioners have condensation trays these should be kept free from slimey buildup.
- Drains located inside have traps that hold water. This prevents sewer gas from entering. Drain traps can accumulate organic matter very easily. If these drains are not frequently used, fruit fly eggs will have time to hatch and develop into adults. Even frequently used drains can become a breeding ground for fruit flies. Organic matter accumulates as a residue on drain pipe walls. Drains must be kept clean and clear when fruit flies are an issue.
- Garbage disposals should not be allowed to accumulate food debris. Certain things should not be placed in garbage disposals like grease, cooking oil, and thick skinned produce. Garbage disposals can be cleaned by processing a significant amount of ice cubes through the system.
- Mops, rags and sponges that are used for cleaning can become breeding sites for fruit flies. Mops should be rinsed well after use and be placed in a well ventilated area where it will dry quickly. Small kitchen sponges can be rinsed and placed into a microwave while moist. Heating them for approximately 25 seconds will sanitize them. Dirty cleaning rags should not be allowed to accumulate indoors. They should be laundered immediately. If this is not practical, they should be disposed of, stored offsite, or stored in sealed containers until they can be laundered.
- Floors should be swept or vacuumed, then mopped daily in food handling areas. Commercial kitchens often pressure wash floors which often just spread organic matter particles underneath shelving units and other such areas. Scum should not be allowed to accumulate in grout, underneath objects, or in corners. Appliances, shelving units and other similar objects should be elevated or set on rollers to enable easy cleaning to the floor below.
- Food should not be left exposed. This not only goes for produce. Bread and other bakery items are often left unrefrigerated. If fruit flies are an issue all perishable food items should be contained. The exterior of the containers must also be free from attached food particles. Certain food containers like syrup bottles should be wiped down after use.
- Empty food containers must be removed from site frequently. If pop cans, beer bottles and other such recyclable food containers are allowed to accumulate in receptacles, they will become a source for fruit flies.
- Commercial food handling establishments need to clean inside ice makers and soda machines periodically with steam. A small coating of slime can develop inside ice makers, which can cause issues with fruit flies.
- Aerosols may be used for spot treatments.
- Fruit fly foggers may be used as a space treatment.
- Traps are laid out to catch any adults present within the room.
- Decals can be attached to walls. These decals contain a non-repellent insecticide that kills fruit flies as they land on them.
- Light traps are often utilized but provided as an add on service.
Dishwashers have screens on the drainage system. These are often neglected to be cleaned and can become a fruit fly breeding site.
Professional Fruit Fly Pest Control Treatments
Fruit Fly Traps and Monitoring
Fruit fly sources must be identified and eliminated. Sources are identified through inspection and trapping. Cups can be placed over drains at night. If there are fruit flies present in the cups the next day, then you have identified fruit fly sources. Sticky traps baited with lure are also placed around the affected area to identify areas of high population. Once sources are identified, treatment can begin.
Implement Sanitation Recommendations
Customer must implement the proper sanitation practices based on inspection results. Specific instruction will be provided to customer in writing. General sanitation requirements, similar to those described above, will also be provided. Certain preparation tasks must be completed before Lakewood Exterminating can begin servicing the property. Fruit flies are a sanitation issue. Chemical treatments are not a substitute for cleanliness.
Traps are brushed and drains are flushed clean. If plumbing repairs are required, these must be completed before our treatment can begin. This includes making sure that all drains run smoothly and are not obstructed. Insect growth regulators in a foam formulation are used in drains to kill early life stages of fruit flies. Bacterial drain cleaners are also applied as a foam to every drain. This removes any scum built up inside drains. It takes approximately five weekly drain treatments to gain control of fruit flies.
Surface Scum And Cleaning
A boric acid bait is applied as a mop solution, or sprayed onto surfaces. This transforms any organic matter surface scum into poison fruit fly bait. A cleaning service may be necessary before treatment can begin. Often steam cleaning is required to remove stuck on gunk. This would be performed as a preparation requirement by the customer. Alternatively Lakewood Exterminating can provide steam cleaning as a separate service.
Controlling Adult Fruit Flies
Depending on the situation, adulticides may need to be applied. Fruit flies infest food handling areas. For this reason, broadcasting fine particles of insecticide spray is not often utilized.