Recently, I went on a service call for one of our commercial accounts, an assisted living facility in Colts Neck, NJ. The property manager contacted Cowleys after noticing a high activity of drain flies in the kitchen. Drain flies, also called moth flies or sewer flies, are about 1/8th of an inch and are commonly found around drains — hence their name. Their wings are covered with numerous hairs, and one of their key identifying traits is the distinctive pattern of veins on their wings.
As I started inspecting the kitchen, I immediately noticed a number of drain flies hovering near a cabinet underneath a sink. Upon further inspection, I found a thriving colony of drain flies inside the drain. As often is the case with these infestations, there was a substantial amount of grease and food debris coating the drain. Drain flies live and breed in the accumulated “muck” (organic debris) that can form on drain surfaces if not periodically cleaned. This accumulated debris combined with moist, warm conditions creates an ideal breeding ground for drain flies.
Before applying any solution, I first removed all the grease and food debris from the drain. It's not pretty, but it's an essential first step, and someone has to do it, so it might as well be me! Applying a solution without first cleaning out the drain would be ineffective and a waste of product. After removing the accumulated gunk, I sanitized the drain by applying a liquid application that removes the bad bacteria from the drain, which is the foundation for a drain fly's breeding ground. Eliminate the bad bacteria, and you eliminate their breeding habitat.
Next, I applied a bio-foam solution. Bio-foam contains enzymes that effectively removes the organic build-up, odors, and scum in kitchen drains and other areas where these flies breed. What drain flies lack in size, they more than makeup for in sheer numbers. With exponential breeding rates, they can soon overwhelm a commercial kitchen, and become a major problem. After cleaning and treating the drains, I spoke to the property manager about implementing a few simple sanitation procedures that will go a long way to prevent drain fly infestations from happening in the first place.
The property manager was thrilled that the drain fly problem could be resolved so quickly and was appreciative of my recommended sanitation procedures. He wanted to keep this kitchen spotless for the residents, and I was glad to hear that he had zero tolerance for any pest infestations. If all commercial kitchens were supervised with this level of concern, it would make my job a whole lot easier!