Recently, I was conducting a routine servicing of a business with a commercial kitchen in Brielle, NJ. Although any business can find itself with a pest infestation, restaurants and other food-related businesses are prime targets because of the level of food debris, water, steam, and moisture during their operations. Managers, kitchen staff, and for that matter, pest control technicians, must always be aware of potential problems that can lead to infestations, and if there is an infestation, to treat it early while it is still localized and has not become entrenched.
During my inspection, I noticed that there was a heavy fruit fly infestation under the dishwasher station, which was in no small part because of water pooling underneath the sink. Many insects lay their eggs in stagnant water, so any “puddles,” inside or out, can cause an infestation of rapidly multiplying pests. I noticed that the floor had missing tiles and grout that caused depressions in the flooring, allowing water along with food particles to collect. With these attractants, it was only a matter of time for an infestation to develop. I also observed that the sinks and drains were not regularly cleaned and there was accumulated organic matter, food debris and grease, coating the equipment. This breeding ground also contributed to the fruit fly problem.
To treat the infestation, I installed fly lights in the kitchen that attract and lure the fruit flies, which are attracted to light. Next, I applied a bio-enzymatic foam into the sinks and drains that help to break down the accumulated “gunk” that was coating the equipment. I then did some deep scrubbing of the drains and sinks to manually remove the debris. Needless to say, it is important to maintain the cleanliness of sinks and drains to avoid fruit fly and other infestations. Fruit flies breed and thrive in the grease and grime residue left behind in drains. Rolling in the grease actually protects them and makes them less susceptible to traditional pest control methods. A regular cleaning schedule in combination with periodic pest control servicing throughout the year is critical for an effective fly control program.