The recent heat wave that has swept across the western United States has not only raised temperatures but also given annoying, disease-spreading flies more opportunities to cause nuisance for commercial facilities, especially those involved in food processing, storage and services.
Warm weather isn’t the single root cause of more flies around a facility, but higher temperatures do contribute to conducive conditions of decomposing food and garbage associated with flies.
Decomposing food and garbage is heaven for flies. From fresh produce to compost and animal feces, the quicker it spoils and breaks down, the more flies love it.
Aside from being a nuisance, flies are significant public health threat because of the possible transmission of harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella to food, food preparation areas, storage and cooking surfaces.
To gain control of flies in and around food processing plants or commercial kitchens, facility managers must make the proper management of trash a priority. All the commonly encountered filth flies – house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies – and fruit flies are attracted to and breed in rotting garbage.
And the garbage itself is not the only issue; spilled food debris and the liquefied runoff from dumpsters and other trash receptacles also breeds and attracts flies (and other pests). Recycling bins and grease traps also attract flies and should be managed relentlessly.
Dumpsters can become a fly haven in short order when you consider a single dumpster that is not emptied can be a breeding ground for up to 30,000 flies. Flies feed on the food, food scum and liquid in, on and around dumpsters. They are attracted to rotting meat and fish, and fermenting fluids from spoiling fruits and vegetables.
Dumpsters should be located at least 100 feet from the doors and entranceways and placed on a thick concrete pad. If possible, it should slope to a sanitary sewer drain to handle runoff from cleaning. Dumpster lids must be kept closed and there should be no rust or leaking holes or seams. Good dumpster sanitation includes regular trash pickup, and regular washing and degreasing.
Keys to Effective Fly Management
- Proper identification of the fly species
- Eliminate the source of the infestation
- Stay on top of sanitation
- Eradicate all the threats
Fly Management is Breeze: Using Air to Your Advantage
It’s long been accepted that strong air currents can help keep flies away. That’s why air doors or curtains are effective to keep flying insects from entering warehouses, grocery stores, etc. A strong blast of air limits the fly’s ability to do what they do best – fly.
Fly management can begin as simply as strategically installing fans on the interior and exterior of your facility. Fans will keep mosquitoes and other biting flies away while people are dining, working or enjoying other activities.
In restaurants, bars and other dining spaces, small, rotating fans can be placed above salad bars, buffets, food prep areas, drink dispensers and other sites where fruit flies are a problem. The slight breeze from the fans will keep fruit flies from landing on food or surfaces. Most customers and employees won’t realize that the fans are playing a role in pest management; they’ll think the fans are for their comfort.
Fans also help eliminate fly problems by drying out scummy, moist breeding sites in hard-to-reach areas. A box fan placed at floor level can be used to keep the area under a commercial dishwasher dry.
Although fans can keep flies from landing on surfaces or people, it’s not a silver bullet for solving fly problems. Flies will continue to breed unless you find the source of the problem and eliminate it.
Have questions on how to best to prevent flies from trespassing your facility? Contact our pest prevention experts for proven solutions to keeping your facility fly-free all year around.
Call 855.805.0755 or e-mail us to find out how our innovative pest management and food safety solutions can work for your company.