Making The Grade: Small Flies. Big Problems

By Michael Broder, BHB Pest Elimination

April 14, 2014

It was a very long and very cold winter. Do you think we were the only ones waiting for spring? Sorry – but flies and other pests were just as anxious for the warmer weather, as we were.

Flies are one of the main pests the health inspector is looking for – for good reason. 

They can transmit bacteria and microorganisms that cause many illnesses including E. coli and salmonella. Now is the perfect time to really attack this issue – before they find a home inside your restaurant.

Flies can be a year round pest if the right conditions exist inside your restaurant.  But, if you were fortunate enough to go the entire, long, cold winter without flies – what suddenly changes with the warmer weather that causes them to show up?

Two things:

1.    They are introduced into your restaurant.

2.    There are favorable conditions inside your restaurant for them to easily establish themselves.

So how are they introduced into your restaurant? 

If we are talking about the small Fruit Flies, they can be brought in on a daily basis from deliveries.  Many of us assume they come in with fruit deliveries, and of course, this is very possible.  But, what most don’t know is, they are even more likely to come in with vegetable deliveries.   Just one rotting onion, tomato or potato can easily have hundreds of fly larvae inside of it.

Once they do enter, it is essential for flies to find the nesting areas.  This requires any area that allows moisture to mix with organic matter.

Check for these Prime Fruit Fly Breeding Sites

  • Stored fruits and vegetables.  Check for rotten onions, potatoes, tomatoes, etc in bins or bags.
  • Fruit and vegetable scraps.  Look under appliances and counters.
  • Empty Bottles.  Fruit flies can breed in the residue of “empty” returnable or discarded wine, beer, milk, ketchup, and other bottles.
  • Beer or wine dispenser.  Fermenting residues in a drain or from spills are prime breeding sites.
  • Garbage cans.  Food scraps and sticky residues should be removed by periodic washing.
  • Cleaning water runoff.  Mopping and cleaning water can carry food “goo” under walls and into cracks in broken tile and damaged grout.
  • Utility Sink.  An incrustation of food can build up on a sink used as a common drain for dishwashers, mop basins, etc.
  • Traps and drains.  Check for leaking grease traps and broken or stagnant floor drains.
  • Dishcloths and mops.  Old forgotten dish cloths and mops can sour and ferment and breed flies.
  • Food carts.  Food scraps and sticky residues should be removed by aggressive washing.

Fruit flies, in particular, are very difficult to eliminate once they are established inside a restaurant.  Breeding sites can be anywhere.

For any questions, or specific issues you may be having in your restaurant, please contact Michael Broder at BHB Pest Elimination at 212-242-3383 or

Michael Broder is the President of BHB Pest Elimination. Since 1969, BHB Pest Elimination has been dedicated to NYC’s food and hospitality industry. If you need help identifying your pest conducive areas, or for any information on our Pest Elimination Programs., please contact us and we will gladly provide you with a free site evaluation. 212-242-3383 or




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