Picture of Janis Reed, Ph.D., BCE

Janis Reed, Ph.D., BCE

Technical Services Manager PCO Product Development

Post Date
Thursday - October 29 - 2020
Post Title

Control Small Flies in Commercial Kitchens



Control Small Flies in Commercial Kitchens

Infestations’ of small flies in commercial kitchens present a number of challenges for Pest Management Professionals. Drain flies and fruit flies not only are difficult to control but have the ability to transfer pathogens from their breeding areas to food preparation surfaces, ultimately impacting humans. This is due to transmitting disease causing bacteria and other pathogens from the areas they breed on to food preparation surfaces or food products.

Flies can be hard to manage for several reasons:

  • They can complete their life cycle in as little as a few days
  • They breed in small, hard to locate areas
  • Regular cleaning will not always eliminate breeding areas
  • Pesticide re-applications are often necessary due to cleaning activities
  • Where the adults are seen is not always associated with where they breed
  • Large numbers of flies can breed in a relatively small area
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When it comes to small flies, the commercial kitchen environment has all the components of the sweet life – food, moisture, heat and harborage. It’s not a matter of if these pests will appear in these environments, but rather, WHEN. They utilize decaying organic matter as a food and harborage source, making this type of ecosystem important for PMPs to locate and treat or eliminate if possible. If left unchecked, commercial kitchens can quickly become a place where small flies breed extensively and greatly (negatively) impact a diner’s experience.

Pest Identification:

Drain flies (also known as the sewer fly or moth fly), are similar to fruit and phorid flies, and are considered filth flies. Drain flies are very weak fliers, rather they typically prefer to crawl along vertical and horizontal surfaces. To distinguish the difference among these flies, check for the unique vein pattern on the wings and fuzzy moth like appearance

Phorid flies (also known as humpbacked flies) are easily recognized by their humpedback appearance. They area about 1/8 of an inch long and brown in color. While they resemble fruit flies, they lack the red eyes associated with typical fruit flies. Unlike most flies, phorid flies prefer to rapidly run across surfaces when disturbed rather than flying to escape. They are most often found in hospitals and restaurants but are also found in mausoleums and mortuaries. Phorid flies are also easily confused with dark-eyed fruit flies.

Fruit flies (also known as small vinegar flies) are very different from the flies discussed so far.  Red-eye fruit flies can be recognized by a pale brown body color with distinct red eyes Dark-eyed fruit flies are slightly larger than red-eyed fruit flies, appear darker in color and have black eyes.

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Hot Spots & Inspecting:

When inspecting commercial kitchens, make sure to bring a powerful flashlight, inspection mirror and Tekko Trio as well as Tekko Trio Foam (coming soon)! Begin by inspecting the hot spots; wall/floor junctions, catch basins, mops and mop closets, floor drains, sinks and areas where food debris accumulates are all areas flies could potentially breed. Other hard to clean areas known to breed flies such as loose or missing grout around tiles, under bar mats and around garbage or refuse areas, and other areas that collect moisture and debris can also be treated using Tekko Trio. One application of Tekko Trio can break the life cycle of the small flies breeding there in the treated areas.

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Treating with Tekko Trio & Tekko Trio Foam:

To begin, remove floor drain covers and clean out any debris. Removal of decaying organic material is important because it plus moisture is the breeding ground flies need. If organic matter is built up or impossible to remediate or remove, it is important to treat the area thoroughly with Tekko Trio.  The generous label language allows for applications nearly anywhere in a commercial kitchen. Remember, if you are tank mixing an adulticide + Tekko Trio, always follow the most restrictive label language. Inspect and clean debris from cracks and from under food processing equipment and treat any suspect areas using Tekko Trio. Tekko Trio foam can be used to cling to drain walls, the undersides of prep tables or other equipment where liquids will not stay. Pay special attention to areas where water accumulates! 

Managing flies by simply using a space spray to knock down flying adults will not provide long lasting satisfactory control. Utilizing Tekko Trio and Tekko Trio Foam prevents insects like small flies from completing their development and stops future generations.

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How Does Tekko Trio Work?

Hydroprene and Pyriproxyfen are insect juvenile hormone (JH) mimics belonging to IRAC group 7A. JH occurs naturally in immature insects. When JH levels are high and an insect molts, it becomes another larva or nymph. As the immature insect ages and grows, JH level declines. Eventually JH becomes low enough so that at the next molt, the larva molts to a pupa or the final nymphal stage becomes an adult. When immature insects with a low natural JH level are exposed to JH mimics like hydropreneand pyriproxyfen, this disrupts the remaining development process. Some insects are killed, while other become non-viable adults, unable to reproduce.

<<<< See how Tekko Trio works video >>>>

Novaluron (exclusive to CSI) belongs to IRAC group 15, benzoylureas, which are often grouped with insect growth regulators. These molecules inhibit chitin biosynthesis. Chitin is a primary component of exoskeletons, giving them their shape and structure. Novaluron disrupts the normal growth and development of immature insects by interfering with chitin production. When the immature insect molts, it cannot make a new exoskeleton because chitin stores are reduced, so it dies during process of escaping its old exoskeleton. Novaluron is tough on pests, yet labeled for use in food handling establishments, kitchens and other sensitive accounts.

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Why use Tekko Trio?

Tekko Trio stops insects like flies, from completing their life cycle. This stops the nuisance and disease carrying pests from growing their populations. Insect growth regulators (IGRs) such as the tree active ingredients in Tekko Trio disrupt the maturation and growth process of insects. Cockroaches, fruit flies, bed bugs and stored product pests are all affected. Tekko Trio stops normal development, preventing normal molting and inhibits egg production. Ultimately, the population cannot grow.

CSI is committed to providing PMPs with proprietary blends containing Combination Chemistry®. CSI, Innovation you can apply.

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