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July 30, 2018

Complete Guide to Getting Rid of Flies from your Food Business

Summer is a key trading period for food and hospitality businesses - from packed out outdoor dining areas to overflowing beer gardens. However, the rise in temperature can also lead to some unwanted guests arriving to annoy customers and leave food businesses with hygiene issues: flies. 

Types of Flies:

There are two main types of flies: house flies and fruit flies.

House flies are about a half an inch long and grey in colour, with four black stripes behind the head (not that you’ll likely ever get close enough to see them!) There are two different types of house flies - the lesser house fly which tends to hover around light fittings in the middle of the room and land at night only, and the house fly, who land more regularly. Both types of house flies are attracted to unsanitary areas especially if they are damp - meaning places like rubbish bins outside restaurants are favourite breeding grounds where they will lay their eggs. During warmer periods of weather, it can take just three weeks from egg deposition to adult emergence, and females deposit on average 400 to 600 eggs each, which explains why their population rises so rapidly!

House flies live on average around 50 days if they have lots of food available, and without food, they can live up to three days. If you think about the amount of rubbish most restaurants produce and the challenges they have with managing this, then you can imagine that some can quickly develop serious issues affecting their hygiene and in the worst-case scenario, they could even be shut down.

The other common type of fly is the fruit fly. As their name suggests, they are attracted to ripe or fermenting fruit and vegetables - which obviously makes them a real menace for bars and restaurants. They are addicted to sweet and sticky products such as rotting bananas, rotting potatoes, rotting onions and so on, therefore you will find them wherever fruit and vegetables have been allowed to ferment. You can differentiate them from the house fly, as the fruit fly tends to have a brown and black body with red eyes.

Again, they will lay up to 500 eggs near the surface of rotten, moist, organic material, and once the fly larvae emerge they will feed near to the surface of the fermenting food. The entire lifecycle of the fruit fly, from egg to adult, tends to take about a week; this can quickly get out of hand if the issue is not identified and fly controls are not put into place.

As you can see, both horse flies and fruit flies are pests, and they both pose a huge risk to food businesses as they can contaminate food with bacteria which could lead to illnesses amongst customers.

How to deter flies:

#1 Remove their food source

The key to repelling flies is really through great sanitation habits. If you have food and materials lying around where flies may have laid their eggs, then remove and destroy it. Yes, there are many ways for you to kill flies, but the best cure is prevention and if you remove their food source and potential breeding area then you should prevent the problem in the first place. Keep bins clean and make sure they have tight-fitting lids, keep the area surrounding the bins clean, and make sure you have proper drainage as well. 

#2 Cleanliness is key

We can’t overstate the importance of cleanliness for food businesses, as well as making sure that bottles and containers are sealed properly at all times. Sweet drinks are bait for fruit flies so if you run a bar or pub, make sure you keep the beer mats clean and ensure sinks and surfaces are thoroughly dried at the end of each day.

#3 Install a professional fly trap

In order to really be able to keep on top of flying pests like these you, need a professional light trap - such as those we offer at Strip Curtains Direct. Our range of ultraviolet lamps are best hung in areas where flies are a problem, as the ultraviolet lights will attract the flying insects into the electrically charged grid where they will then fall into the removable easy to clean tray.

#4 Install Fly Screens & Doors

We also offer a range of fly screens and fly screen doors at Strip Curtains Direct, and these can be used in areas where you want light and air to still be able to flow through - such as kitchens - whilst keeping out unwanted visitors. You can find out more about the wide range of screens and doors that we offer under the ‘Pest Control’ tab on our website.

#5 Think Long Term

Fly killers are all well and good, but you cannot expect to eliminate flies completely unless you adopt a long-term approach to the issue. Cleanliness needs to become a habit, and high standards of cleanliness adhered every day: fly screens and doors need to be used at all times and fly zappers kept on. You also need to make sure that all of your employees are educated in flies and fly prevention.

To find out more about our pest control solutions please call our friendly and experienced team on 0333 999 7171 or send us an email to