Keeping fly infestations under control


August 24, 2022

Dr. Jamel Sandidge

Dr. Jamel Sandidge

Fly problems can get out of control quickly if the source of the infestation is not found. In commercial kitchens, improper sanitation of just one area, drain or spill may be the initial population source — but it can be extremely difficult to find all infested areas after populations have spread.

One of the best ways to solve small fly issues is to understand four primary levels of filth and decay, to identify which small flies are associated with each level:

  • Level 1. Moth/Drain flies: Gelatinous biofilms, with recent deposits in drains, ice machines, etc.
  • Level 2. Red-eyed fruit flies: Early decay, such as fermenting fruits and vegetables; spills and decaying organic matter; fermenting liquids; mop water; etc.
  • Level 3. Dark-eyed fruit flies: More advanced decay, with organic materials in a further stage of rot. Examples include food particles
    in drains and cracks, under floor tiles, in recycling bins and beer stations, etc.
  •  Level 4. Phorid flies: This is late-stage decay, with such conditions as garbage residue, sewage, rotten food, mulch, dead animals, and feces. However, phorids are unique because they infest a wide range of decay levels and breeding materials.

For small fly success, find and eliminate breeding sites through sanitation, and apply products that attack the larval stages by contaminating their food supply. Use an IGR to stop the breeding cycle.


About the Author

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Dr. Jamel Sandidge, BCE, is national director of technical services at Nisus Corp.

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