Skip to navigationSkip to main content

Imperial Dade Insights

Stay Informed With Helpful Information From Our Experts


How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 86 million people in the US get sick from foodborne illnesses yearly. 

Most people know that mishandling and improper food storage can spread foodborne illnesses. Many people don’t realize that insects, like fruit flies, are another big contributor to the spread of foodborne illnesses. 

Fruit flies are everywhere, but they’re particularly attracted to restaurants and commercial kitchens.

This article will review the best ways to get rid of fruit flies and keep them out of your commercial kitchen for good. 

Fruit flies are attracted to sweet, sticky, and moist environments. Unfortunately for the foodservice industry, restaurants, commercial kitchens, and bars have all three elements in excess. 

In particular, fruit flies are attracted to:

  1. Overripe or rotten produce
  2. Alcoholic drinks
  3. Garbage bins
  4. Mops and cleaning rags
  5. Drains

Let’s look at what attracts fruit flies to each item on the list. 

Overripe or rotten fruits and vegetables, including discarded peels, are a prime target for fruit flies because they’re sweet, sticky, and moist, all wrapped in one package. 

Once fruit flies find overripe produce, they lay their eggs on the surface. Once the larvae hatch, they feast on the produce and lay their eggs on the surface. This creates a vicious cycle. 

Fresh produce also isn’t safe, as grown fruit flies like to feed on it. 

Fruit flies are attracted to alcoholic drinks because they’re attracted to overripe fruit for the sweet and sticky residue. They’re also attracted to the ring of residue left behind by an alcoholic beverage. As a result, these insects have been known to lay eggs on unattended drinks. 

To a fruit fly, garbage bins are a 24-hour buffet. There’s no end to the amount of rotten fruit and vegetables, not to mention all the other sweet, sticky, rotten food. As a result, trash bins are a massive attraction to fruit flies and make for an ample feeding and breeding ground. 

Mops and cleaning rags are also in danger of attracting fruit flies. It’s important to wring out and dry mops and rags because they’re moist environments. 

Drains, like mops and cleaning rags, are just another moist environment. Bathroom drains, in particular, are a common breeding ground for fruit flies, as they’re often neglected or adequately cleaned. When this happens, the drain becomes a petri dish of biofilm and disease-carrying bacteria, and the fruit flies breed in it. 

Yes, fruit flies are dangerous. 

They’re disease-carrying insects.

Fruit flies feed off and breed in rotten and fresh produce, leading to cross-contamination. When they encounter these items, they introduce pathogens and disease-carrying bacteria, like Salmonella and Listeria, to the food supply. This puts the health and wellness of your patrons at risk. 

Fruit flies also increase the risk of a food poisoning outbreak. Food poisoning is a sure way to negatively impact your business’s standing with customers. That means that fruit flies are a health hazard and can be dangerous to your reputation. 

Tackling fruit flies isn’t just about getting rid of them, it’s about preventing a future infestation as well. 

That’s why we will review the best strategy for getting rid of fruit flies in a commercial kitchen and then look at how to prevent fruit flies from returning. 

The number one way to eliminate fruit flies is to utilize a ready-to-use fruit fly controller.

This product disrupts the fruit flies’ life cycle by killing them at the larval stage, inhibiting the development of future generations. Using a product like this daily is also a great way to combat fruit flies proactively. 

To effectively eliminate fruit flies with a fruit fly controller, all you need to do is follow four steps: 

  1. Prepare the Proper PPE
  2. Shake the Bottle Well
  3. Set Sprayer to Mist
  4. Spray Liberally 

Before using any chemical product, you must don the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). If you don’t know the proper PPE for your product, refer to the manufacturer’s recommended PPE. This can typically be found on the product. If not, download the product’s safety data sheet to the manufacturer’s website. 

Generally, with ready-to-use fruit fly controllers, you want to use safety goggles and disposable gloves. These will protect you from coming into direct contact with any chemicals. 

Once you’ve donned the proper PPE, you want to check whether the product needs to be mixed. Most ready-to-use products recommend or require shaking the bottle to mix the chemical solution properly.

Give the bottle a good shake if your product recommends doing so!

Now that the product is ready for use set the sprayer to mist. 

Most spray bottles come with a locking mechanism in the nozzle. This is a safety feature to prevent unintentional use and product wastage. Simply twist the nozzle either a quarter or half rotation to set the sprayer to mist. 

Spray the product liberally onto any surface that needs to be treated. 

You especially want to spray all your commercial kitchen drains and garbage bins. Treat any surface that you notice fruit flies buzzing on or around. That being said, it’s important to note that this product is not for use on any food prep surfaces. 

It could take anywhere from four days to two weeks to see results, so it’s a good idea to take additional prevention tactics during this period. 

Now that we’ve gone over how to eliminate fruit flies, let’s look at how to keep them gone. 

Our experts recommend the following methods for effective fruit fly prevention: 

  • Remove all Rotten Food From the Premises
  • Take Out Garbage Regularly
  • Thoroughly Clean Bar Tops and Beer Taps
  • Diligently Clean Drains

Let’s break each of these methods down. 

This is the best step you can take towards preventing fruit flies. 

It’s essential to scour the kitchen, bar, and storage areas for rotten, decayed, overripe, and half-consumed food. These are prime targets for fruit fly feeding and breeding; without them, these insects have little reason to show interest in your establishment. 

Now that all the rotten, decayed, overripe, and half-consumed is in the garbage bin, it’s time to take out the trash. 

As we covered earlier in the article, garbage bins are essentially an all-you-can-eat buffet for fruit flies. A solid way to prevent fruit flies from entering your commercial kitchen is to cut off their food supply. You can do that by promptly and regularly taking out the garbage. 

It’s a good idea to thoroughly clean bar tops and beer taps because of how attracted fruit flies are to alcoholic drinks. 

Bar tops and beer tops are constantly in contact with alcohol throughout the day. While these surfaces are typically cleaned multiple times throughout service, particular attention should be paid to them right before closing. 

Any sticky residue left behind overnight is sure to attract fruit flies. 

Make sure that the drains are diligently cleaned. This is true of every drain in the building, but especially so for bathroom drains. Bathroom drains are particularly dirty, so special care should be taken to clean them effectively. 


Final Thoughts

Fruit flies are a dangerous problem for commercial kitchens because they can spread diseases, contaminate your food supply, cause a food poisoning outbreak, and seriously affect your foodservice establishment’s reputation. 

The best way to combat a fruit fly infestation is to utilize a ready-to-use fruit fly controller. 

Taking things a step further, you can prevent fruit flies from returning to your foodservice establishment in several ways. You can remove all rotten food from the premises, take out the garbage regularly, thoroughly clean bar tops and beer taps, and diligently clean drains. 

For professional help, consider reaching out to the experts at Imperial Dade

Our team of food service experts has seen it all when it comes to dealing with fruit flies. By contacting an Imperial Dade facility near you, you can set up a time for one of our foodservice experts to come to your establishment and perform a free evaluation of the fruit fly infestation. 

From there, they’ll recommend the right products and services to help remedy the situation. Take the first step toward a fruit fly-free kitchen by contacting Imperial Dade today

Check Out These Related Articles and Videos: