Fruit Flies In The Kitchen
If you have small flies 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. In respect to this you likely introduced them into your home on tomatoes, melons, and other fresh produce. Keep in mind that this can happen anytime of the year though. Once fruit flies get inside, they attack things like bananas, onions and garlic bulbs. Yet fruit flies are not exclusive to fermenting fruits and veggies. Consider any moist accumulation of organic matter could be used as a breeding site. They are also called drain flies. There is a reason for this.
Locating Potential Fruit Fly Breeding Sites
Did you know that fruit flies only need a small film of moist organic matter to reproduce? This is all an adult fruit flies requires to deposit her eggs. Additionally, a single fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs. Once they hatch, the larvae feed within the surface layer. Usually within one week an egg develops into an adult. 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. Acute fruit fly infestations usually involve minimal breeding sites. Ongoing fruit fly infestations usually involve multiple problem areas. On top of that, these areas can be hard to find and difficult to get access to.
Here are places to be inspected for fruit fly breeding: In and around 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, mop heads, and garbage disposals.
As you can see, sanitation is critical to gain control of these nuisance pests.
Fruit Fly Sanitation Practices
First off you must empty garbage frequently. Especially if it contains food waste. At a minimum, remove trash from receptacles at the end of each day. Subsequently clean and dry the trash recepticle itself. If exterior trash recepticles are kept close to the building, keep those clean and dry too. For those with dumpsters, a periodic cleaning with a pressure washer removes organic matter scum build up. Remember that dumpsters and all other exterior trash receptacles should be kept at a minimum 25 feet from any building entrance.
Secondly, doors and windows should have size 16 mesh screens. As a result you will block fruit flies from entering from the exterior. If you operate a commercial food handling establishment, install air curtains. By doing so, you block easy access from open doors. Alternatively, fruit fly traps can be placed just inside entry doors to catch any fly as they enter. Depending on the time of year, fruit flies can fly in from the outside just as easily as being introduced on produce.
- For the most part refrigerators, ice makers, and air conditioners all have condensation trays. As a rule you should keep these free from slimy buildup.
- 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.
- Also remember that dishwashers have screens on the drainage system. These are often neglected to be cleaned.
- Depending what you let down the drain, garbage disposals, drain traps and the sides of drain pipes accumulate organic matter residue. Keep grease and cooking oil out of drains. Its important to keep your drains clean and clear.
- As previously mentioned mops are commonly infested. After mopping, make sure you rinse it out thoroughly Then place the mop in a well ventilated area where they will dry quickly. The same goes for sponges and rags.
- Do not allow dirty cleaning rags to accumulate indoors. Launder them like you take out the trash. Or just use disposal cleaning cloths.
- Ordinarily floors should not be able to a fly’s life cycle. Yet they do- especially in commercial kitchens. For example, many kitchens use pressure washers to clean floors. All this does is spread organic matter particles. As a rule, do not allow scum to accumulate in grout, underneath objects, or in corners. And by all means, keep appliances and shelving units elevated. Alternatively set them on rollers to enable easy cleaning to the floor below.
- Never leave perishable food exposed. If fruit flies are an issue, contain produce, breads, and bakery items.
- With that being said, clean attached food particles from the exterior of containers. Certain food containers like syrup bottles should be wiped down after use.
Fruit Fly Control Tips
Keep in mind that flies are a sanitation issue. Chemical treatments are not a substitute for cleanliness.
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. Use traps to monitor, not for control. Once sources are identified, treatment can begin.
Brush drains clean through the trap. Then flush them clean. Bacterial drain cleaners should also utilized. As a result, scum build up gets eaten away. In order to get rid of fruit flies inside drains, it can take approximately five weekly drain treatments.