Closed Front-of-House? Flies Can Still Shut Your Toronto Kitchen Down
You may not be seating patrons in your restaurant due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean your standards should be any different when it comes to restaurant cleanliness. In fact, health inspections can still be done even if your dining room is closed.
Flies are one pest Toronto restaurant owners are all too familiar with, and as temperatures continue to rise through the spring, whether your dining room is open or not, they could become a problem in your commercial kitchen.
Flies in Your Restaurant: The Usual Suspects
Chances are any issue you might be having with flies in your restaurant, are caused by the usual suspects. There are three common types of fly we usually see infesting Toronto-area kitchens: house flies, fruit flies, and drain flies.
Our goal here at Greenleaf Pest Control? Ensure your restaurant passes that health inspection with flying colours. So here’s what you need to know about flies in your back-of-house operation and some solutions to making your restaurant a “no-fly zone”.
House Flies Don’t Have to Live in Houses
House flies don’t simply live in houses – they can thrive anywhere food is available. These larger, black flies feed on a variety of things such as human food, excrement, and carcasses.
One female house fly can lay hundreds of eggs that only need a day in warmer conditions to hatch. That means one fly can become thousands more in just a week!
They lay their eggs anywhere food scraps are found such as unclean areas behind appliances, bins, or garbage cans. Where do you find all of these things? In your restaurant kitchen. Carriers of disease, you already know the serious health threat these flies can pose to you, your staff, and your patrons.
Fruit Flies Don’t Have a Season
These small, red-eyed flies are quite common in the warmer months of the year but can easily propagate in a warm kitchen no matter the weather outside.
Like house flies, they are attracted to decaying food matter. They are also attracted to fermented products such as beer.
If you haven’t gotten around to securing those beer taps properly since the outbreak, and/or you’ve got other empty alcohol containers that haven’t been picked up, fruit flies might be on the way to becoming your worst kitchen nightmare.
Fruit flies also reproduce very quickly and just a few can turn into a full-blown infestation in a matter of days. Once eggs are laid by female fruit flies, they only take about one day to hatch and then only a few days more for a whole new generation to swarm your commercial kitchen.
Drain Flies Don’t Need Your Garbage
These small flies are about the same size as fruit flies but are darker with larger wings. Like fruit flies, they tend to congregate indoors at all times of the year. The difference is that they most commonly hover around your kitchen and bathroom drains.
This is because they prefer to feed on the organic matter found in them. They breed in your drains as well. Just as with other flies, they breed very quickly. It only takes a few weeks for multiple generations to spawn in your drains.
Quick and Easy Solutions to Your Kitchen Fly Problem
If you want to keep your restaurant free from flies, it takes just a bit of diligence in implementing preventative measures. The efforts you make and the documentation you keep on them are what will help you pass a health inspection without issue.
Inspect All Your Food Deliveries
Thoroughly inspect any food shipments you receive, especially when it comes to your produce deliveries. Flies can be brought into your restaurant via outside vendors in your fruit and vegetable crates.
Look for any items that are rotting and dispose of anything that looks even a little questionable. When you dispose of them, make sure it’s in a sealed bag, too. Then sanitise the remaining product.
Sanitise Kitchen Surfaces
The best way to keep flies out of your kitchen that also happens to keep health inspectors happy is to sanitise thoroughly and regularly.
- Wipe down kitchen areas, beverage and soda dispensers, countertops, tables, and bars regularly throughout the day. Areas underneath shelves and appliances must be wiped down nightly.
- Keep all garbage cans tightly covered and have them emptied frequently too. It’s a good idea to deep clean your trash receptacles thoroughly in order to remove any liquid residue and decaying food.
- The same thing goes for drains and junctions between the floor and the wall.
Practice Exclusion Regularly
What do we mean by “exclusion?” While removing what flies want in your kitchen through santisation, it’s also important to eliminate ways they can get into your restaurant from the outside.
- Keep doors and windows closed when not in use.
- When opened, ensure they have proper screens in place to keep flies out.
- Do not prop them open during delivery or staff breaks.
- Inspect walls, ceilings, etc. for cracks where they can creep in and seal them.
Keep Moisture in Mind
Ice wells, sinks, and any pails of water you may have laying around for cleaning are common breeding grounds for flies, as well. It’s a good idea to limit the standing moisture in your kitchen to help reduce the chances of a fly infestation.
Hire a Professional Pest Control Service
If you have a fly infestation, you can take all the measures outlined to help reduce them. If you’re still having problems or if you’d rather leave this task to someone else altogether, your best bet is to consult a professional.
Local area pest specialists like Greenleaf Pest Control understand the nature, the seasons, and the solutions to the fly problem you’re dealing with. They can come and inspect, assess, and offer treatment plan options that make the most sense for keeping your commercial kitchen fly-free!
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert and a regular guest on HGTV. He is renowned in the industry as an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions. Mackie and business partner Sandy Costa were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.