Fruit Flies

Illustration of a fruit flyFruit flies can be a problem year round, but are especially common during late summer or early fall because they are attracted to ripened or fermenting fruits, vegetables and juices. Bananas, tomatoes, melons and other perishable items that are not refrigerated are often the cause of indoors infestations. Fruit flies are especially attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables in the kitchen, but they will also breed in moist decaying organic matter in drains, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops and sponges. The key to controlling fruit fly infestations is to locate and eliminate their breeding sources.

Environmental Health and Safety, and Custodial Services, will work with you to resolve pest infestations. Here are a few simple steps to prevent and control fruit fly infestations and other pest problems.

What can you do?

  1. Produce which has ripened should be eaten, discarded or refrigerated.
  2. Do not leave perishable items out on the counter.
  3. Use sealed containers to store other food items.
  4. Promptly clean and sanitize food spills.
  5. Place scrap food into closed plastic (zip-lock) bag before disposing into trash.
  6. Plastic garbage bags (liners) that contain waste food, and can not be removed at the end of the day, should be tied closed.
  7. Rinse soda bottles before placing into recycling containers.
  8. General cleanliness of staff kitchens are the responsibility of the department where the kitchen is located:
    • Wash dirty dishes promptly.
    • Clean and sanitize sink and other surfaces after use.
    • Do not leave wet sponges in sink.
    • Refrigerator clean-outs should be performed frequently to discard outdated, unclaimed and spoiled food.
    • Please contact Campus Operations and Maintenance for Custodial Services when additional services are needed.
  9. Submit a Pest Management Service Request or call Environmental Health and Safety to report a pest problem.

Garbage bag, tied closedSealed container for food

What will custodians do?

  1. Empty trash containers daily.
  2. Inspect, wipe clean and place a new liner in the container.
  3. Clean and sanitize garbage cans, counters, and other surfaces.
  4. Clean and sanitize drains in kitchens, bathrooms, custodial closets regularly.
  5. Empty recycling containers weekly or when full.

What will exterminators do?

  1. Perform regular inspections of kitchens, bathrooms, custodian closets and other areas.
  2. Inspect recycling bins and garbage cans, drains and other areas where small flies are often found breeding.
  3. Monitor areas suspected of having problems with traps and other monitors.
  4. Use approved pesticides (Pyrethrin spray) in a controlled manner in areas where fruit flies and other insect pests are seen.
  5. Use biocide gel for infestations of drain flies.
  6. Advise departments of actions you have taken and what is required of them to solve the problem.
  7. Report custodial or building problems to Campus Operations and Maintenance.


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