Three Easy Steps to Manage Summer Flies
Excuse me, there’s a fly in my review. Summer is upon us, and nature is hard at work to increase her armies, which means you could see some flies at work. The reality is you don’t want them, and neither do your customers, but in this world of online reviews, you may wear them like a tattoo if you don’t control them. Negative reviews don’t wash away. But let’s forget about the casual reviewer for a minute; what about the guy with the clipboard? He can potentially knock off 28-violation points if he finds a fly concern. That could put you in a much more concerning spot. Of course, you have a restaurant pest control plan, you’ve hired a commercial exterminator, but you need to know what to do between visits. There are three main areas on which to focus your efforts knocking down these would-be “tattoos,” starting with your inspection and cleaning process, but could include some self-treatment, and may also warrant the use of lights.
Check every day. To treat any challenge area you have to first create a schedule of inspection, which should be daily. So should be the treatment schedule if warranted. The areas of concern aren’t just your drains, but you should start with the drains, and you should include anywhere that moisture collects: puddles, refuse, and business-specific areas. Your inspection process should go beyond just visually checking, as they may be hatching out of sight, down the drain, and flying out when you aren’t looking. To catch them put some tape over the drain with some holes. If you find flies on the sticky part of the tape you have a hatchery down there. If you find flies, then they are likely elsewhere, so check in crawl spaces and anywhere else that isn’t trafficked regularly. You don’t want to knock them down in one area only to find them breeding elsewhere.
Stop using bleach. It’s not doing what you think and is probably causing more harm to the environment than anything. If you find you have an area that is hatching flies, start with making sure it’s clean from obvious debris, flush it well with hot water and then go deeper. Apply a bio enzyme application and follow up with another cleaning, making sure that the drain and any covers or grates are also clean. Retest the drain the next day to make sure it worked. You can knock down adult flies with a household spray but that will not stop the source of the problem as well as sniffing out their breeding grounds. For fruit flies, you will have to also check your food, especially fruit, where they might be multiplying. Once you remove or cover the food you should see them stop multiplying. The next question, of course, is what do you do about the adults, the ones who have already hatched, and are flying about?
Put down the fly-swatter. A more elegant way of dealing with adult flies is by giving them something to fly into… a light at the end of the tunnel if you will. And no we aren’t talking about your parent’s backyard bug-zapper. A good insect light will not only silently draw the attention of your unwanted guests, it will trap them, cleanly removing them and making it easy for you to dispose of them. You can go with either the covered sort of light, for areas where you don’t want your customers to see dead flies or you can use the sort that makes it easy to see trapped flies at a glance. In either case, don’t get caught chasing them with a swatter. The last thing you want to do is squish bugs anywhere in your business. That’ll earn you a review-tattoo as fast as anything.
Good news is your customers are on your side even if it doesn’t feel like it. They want you to be the best. They want you to be fly-free and they may even tell others about how clean you are if the rest of their experience is good. The guy with the clipboard though? We don’t know what designs he has on your inspection. Best to keep him at bay by running an effective inspection and cleaning process until the pros can reset the stage. No bad reviews. No bad tattoos. And no bad news. You’ve got this. That’s why you’re the one in charge.
JP McHale specializes in providing superior pest management services to commercial facilities in the New York City metropolitan area. We are a family-owned and operated company that was founded with the mindset of providing a superior pest management service to our commercial customers by providing unparalleled attention to detail, pro-active communication, overall professionalism, and customer support.