Summer is a key trading period for all businesses in the hospitality industry, from fully booked hotel rooms to packed out beer gardens and outdoor dining areas. But, the rise in temperatures can also lead to the arrival of some unwanted guests which cause annoyance to customers and hygiene issues for staff: flies.
The biggest threats to businesses in the hospitality industry this summer
Houseflies are drawn to damp, unsanitary areas. Bins outside restaurants, for example, are likely breeding grounds.
These flies feed on almost any man-made or naturally occurring waste, so every business that has waste is at risk.
Its life cycle requires two to three weeks from egg deposition to adult emergence during warmer periods. They live only two to three days without food but can survive up to 50 days where food is available.
Females deposit an average of 400 to 600 eggs each so they can develop large populations rapidly.
Consider this issue in a restaurant where managing food waste is a constant challenge, and you could well be looking at serious problems that could affect your hygiene standards, and, in worse cases, see you shut down.
Items such as tomatoes, melons, grapes and other perishable items are often the cause of an indoor infestation but these flies are also attracted to rotting bananas, potatoes, onions and other unrefrigerated produce.
Such is their addiction to sweet, sticky products, fruit flies are very common anywhere where food is allowed to rot and ferment. The adult fruit fly is around 1/8 inch long and usually has red eyes. The front area of the body is tan and the rear area is black.
Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. Upon emerging, the tiny larvae continue to feed near the surface of the fermenting mass.
Given the opportunity, they will lay about 500 eggs and the entire lifecycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week. Again, it is something that can quickly get out of hand if the issue is not identified and tackled right away.
While both fruit and house flies are nuisance pests, the real danger is the potential they have to contaminate food with bacteria and other disease-producing organisms, which could lead to illness amongst your customers.
Stop these uninvited guests making your bar, restaurant or hotel their chosen destination
Food and materials where flies have laid their eggs must be remove or destroyed. Killing adult flies will reduce infestation, but elimination of breeding areas is necessary for good fly control management.
Bins and surrounding areas should have tight-fitting lids and be cleaned regularly, and proper drainage should be fitted to get keep premises damp free.
All this is well and good, and some may say common sense, but businesses cannot expect to eliminate flies completely unless they adopt a long-term approach to the issue. As soon as standards slip, flies will comeback, so make sure your staff are well educated in ensuring flies choose somewhere other than your property to spend their summer.