In this blog we will be listing 4 disgusting facts about flies: one of the most annoying and hazardous (to your brand) pests one can encounter in the food industry.
When operating within the food industry, be it as a restaurant manager or in food manufacturing, there are a number of hygiene factors that one needs to be aware of and control. Chief of which might be pest control and the issues that pests such as flies pose to your business when not correctly managed.
Here are 4 disgusting facts about flies that you may not know:
1. Flies spread disease
Due to their biology and behaviour, flies can spread a range of serious diseases such as Salmonella and E.coli. This is by and large due to their feeding and breeding habits (more on this later). This is especially problematic when running a business that provides food for human consumption, making the possibility of infecting customers that much higher.
2. The terrifying breeding cycle of flies
Common house flies only live for around 30 days. That fact would be comforting if not for the additional fact that they can lay up to 500 eggs in that short period of time!
They do so usually in batches of around 75 to 150 eggs. Couple that with the fact that flies lay their eggs in their food source - and then add to that the fact that warm weather speeds up this breeding cycle - and and you’ve got a terrifying cocktail of hazards for a commercial kitchen.
3. Flies vomit on food
Gross but true, this is because flies don’t have teeth to bite and chew food like we do and therefore live on a liquid diet. Why then do they target our food, you might wonder?
Well this because flies have the ability to turn solid food matter into liquid. They do this by “vomiting” a mix of saliva and stomach acids that have digestive proteins with the ability to break down food into liquid before it enters their mouths. As a chef I’d think the last thing you’d want is your meticulously crafted steak slowly turned into a soup
4. Flies defecate, a lot!
Did you know flies defecate almost every time they land? In their eyes the world is just one big bathroom to explore. This 'park and poop' behaviour stems from their liquid only diet, and therefore food moves swiftly through their digestive system. This is certainly one of the reasons that I won't consider dining in restaurants that have a fly infestation.
Why do flies infest my kitchen?
The obvious answer is that they are attracted to the food that’s present, or that rubbish and discarded food aren’t placed far enough away from the kitchen leading to flies entering through open doors and windows.
To help limit the problem I’d recommend having a housekeeping system whereby you ensure that doors and windows leading into the kitchen are proofed and regularly closed. Furthermore, ensure that rubbish bins and discarded food are removed with greater frequency so as to prevent possible breeding sites. Finally, ensure that you have the correct pest control solution!
Commercial fly control for your business
In a commercial kitchen environment DIY tricks that we use as home, such as spraying insect repellent, may prove to be ineffective and possibly more dangerous than the infestation itself.
Rentokil's expert technicians have solutions that are tailored to a wide variety of establishments - whether you run a big restaurant that has to deal with large infestations often caused by discarded food - or a small establishment like a coffee shop that needs to deal with a small issues that could have been solved with a good swatting. Our solutions include energy efficient Lumnia LED fly trap range, outdoor bait solutions like the iCatchy and the Rentokil Fly Box - designed for out door rubbish areas.
Remember though, employee awareness is also a crucial part of integrated pest management, so download our Filthy Facts Fly poster for your business, to keep employees aware of the dangers posed by flies. And don't forget to subscribe to our blog to receive our monthly pest insight newsletters.