Dwell Digital

How to Get Rid of Restaurant Fruit Flies


Whether you call them fruit flies, gnats, drain flies; these small flying insects are an absolute pain in the behind for all restaurant owners and managers. They are common all year round, but most prominent in the late summer into the fall due to their captivation with ripening fruits and vegetables.

Adults are about an 1/8 inch long and have red eyes. The top of their body is tan-colored while the back half of their body is black. Fruit flies always lay their eggs near the surface of fruit or other moist organic materials. Drains tend to be the root of problems in restaurants in bars. It is also important to check the garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops and wet rags. The chilling part is that a single fruit fly can have up to 500 eggs so it is important to get the issues under control quickly.


The best way to avoid a fruit fly infestation is to always properly dispose of half eaten, cut, or ripening fruits and vegetables. The cracked or damaged parts in fruit should immediately be cut out and discarded upon arrival in case fruit flies have already began to lay their eggs in it before you even picked it up. One mistake like an onion dropped under a counter or an untouched bin in the basement can lead to thousands of flies buzzing around your patrons and your restaurant.

Breweries and wineries should make sure that their bottles and cans are sealed shut. It is common for these pests to lay eggs under the lid, allowing the larva to enter upon hatching. Since these little insects are only 1/8 inches, it is important for restaurants to be equipped with tight fitting, well-sealed screens to prevent the gnats from entering their establishment.


Once your restaurant has been breached with fruit flies, all potential breeding and nesting areas mentioned above must be taken care of completely. Your problem will continue to multiply if you forget one wet rag or one mop bucket. Every spot of standing water needs to be dried up in your business. Once you have discovered the main source of the fly infestation, you can no begin to exterminate the rest.

To test areas like drains and garbage disposals, a nice trick is to tape a small plastic bag to the opening overnight. If fruit flies, eggs, or their larva are present in the drain or disposal, flies will buzzing in the bag the next morning. If fruit flies are present in the drain, you can easily poor bleach down the drain to kill all remaining eggs and larvae.

To help eliminate the problem you can place a piece of ripe fruit in a cup and put plastic wrap over it tightly. Poke small holes in the plastic wrap with a fork. Instead of a piece of fruit, you can also mix 1 and a half cups of apple cider vinegar with 5 drops of dish soap. Before you know it, your cup will be filled with more fruit flies than you thought you even had.

We hope you enjoyed our How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in your Restaurant! Check out more blogs on our site!

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