Let’s face it, no one likes having flies buzzing around them while they’re trying to enjoy a meal. Flies aren’t just annoying. If you own a restaurant, these tiny pests can be your worst nightmare! While a fully-packed restaurant is probably your greatest desire, a fly infestation can drive your customers away. They can even drive you out of business.
They may seem harmless, but flies actually carry hundreds of diseases that can affect both your employees and customers. So, read on to learn about the health and business impacts of having flies in your restaurant. We’ll also share tips on how to keep them away.
The Health Risks from Flies
Sanitation in the food industry is crucial. It’s a sign that your restaurant is safe for customers to eat in and for your staff to work in. But a few pesky flies can quickly ruin that.
According to the World Health Organization, flies can transmit over 65 different diseases. All these diseases can have a direct impact on the health of your customers and staff.
Flies love to feed on decaying matter, rotten food, and feces. These often contain parasites, viruses, and bacteria that can cause serious illnesses. Unlike other insects that transmit diseases, flies don’t need to bite humans to pass on the illness they’ve picked up. Some of the most common diseases transmitted by flies are:
- Typhoid fever
They spread these diseases by regurgitating a liquid that contains their saliva and digestive enzymes into your food. This fluid helps them break down solid food into a liquid they can ingest. But it also contains pathogens that can make you sick. But that’s not all, they can also transmit diseases by urinating or dropping their feces into your food or onto your kitchen countertop.
Now you know just how easy it is for flies to transmit disease. This is why having a fly-free restaurant is so important.
How Flies Can Affect Your Business
It goes without saying that a good reputation is everything for a business. No matter how tasty your food is, if you can’t keep the flies out, nobody will want to eat at your restaurant.
The existence of flies will make customers doubt the hygiene in your kitchen and in the restaurant as a whole. No restaurant owner wants that because it leads to the loss of customers, revenue, and, in some severe cases, the loss of the business. On top of that, if your employees keep getting sick, they’ll be unable to give 100% and this could lead to additional concerns.
A fly infestation can easily spread to other nearby establishments. So, if the fly problem gets out of hand, it could even lead to the closure of the surrounding businesses.
How To Keep Your Restaurant Fly Free
Flies reproduce extremely quickly and are attracted to food and sugary drinks. This makes getting rid of flies quite the daunting task. It is, however, not impossible. So, below we’ve listed some of the best fly control methods that restaurants can use to help keep their business a fly-free zone.
Be extra clean
As we already established, flies love dirt and rotten food. One of the best ways to keep flies at bay is to ensure high levels of hygiene in your kitchen and restaurant.
Make sure that your employees scrub the kitchen counters, tables, and chopping boards regularly. Keep indoor and outdoor trash cans covered. Quickly and properly dispose of your customers’ food because this will be the first thing to attract flies. Wipe down and sweep under the tables every time a customer leaves. This extra cleanliness will make it even more unlikely that your customers will get sick in your restaurant.
Also ensure that you constantly check the food in your kitchen, disposing of the food that is past its expiration date. Keep all empty bottles away from the dining area, especially those that held sugary drinks, since sugar attracts flies.
Use fly repellents
Fly repellents are a great way to keep the flies at bay. Spray the repellent on doors, windows, and in any cracks that the flies can use to get into your restaurant or kitchen. The scent will keep them away so you won’t have to worry about a fly infestation entering your establishment.
Apart from commercial repellents, you can also plant herbs that repel flies. Put them around your restaurant or on the windowsills.
Install fly lights and traps
Another alternative to keep the flies away from your kitchen and restaurant is to invest in fly lights. These are fly traps that emit UV rays and will help you keep the flies away.
Commercial kitchen fly control units and sticky traps are also handy tools for keeping these pests out of your kitchen. They can also help to eradicate any existing fly problem. Installing a restaurant fly trap in your food storage areas is a good idea as well. It’ll keep flies from contaminating the food in your kitchen and will help keep everything sanitary and safe.
Another trick you can use to keep the flies away is to invest in cooling fans. These will keep the air circulating and stop the flies from landing on your food.
Installing mesh netting in restaurants with open doorways and windows will really help control the entry of flies. The mesh will keep the insects out while your customers remain cool thanks to the open windows.
Call a professional
If you’ve done everything you can think of to keep these annoying pests out of your restaurant and the fly problem persists, you should think about contacting a pest control expert. They won’t only help you get rid of the flies but will also asses your business and give you tips on how to keep the flies away in the future.
To successfully keep your restaurant a fly-free zone, it’s important to think in the long term. All the practices mentioned above will be of no help if you and your employees aren’t consistent. Once even one person stops caring about the cleanliness of the restaurant, your fly problem could return. Make sure that you constantly educate your staff on the importance of maintaining a high level of hygiene in the establishment to minimize the risks of a fly infestation.