Getting Rid of Flies at a Restaurant?

June 2, 2008

We have a small restaurant out in the woods! Our main dish is seafood and crawfish, and the dumpster is far away. The flies still swarm the whole area, and it is getting worse as it gets hotter and hotter! I need a remedy for an outside area.


We have tried the bags of water with pennies and bleach. The flies are not scared of their reflection; they like it! Help me please! We have an open area where people sit outside.


June 2, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

If I were you, I would resort to carefully placed strips of flypaper! and perhaps set up a screened-in area? Nowadays there are tent-like enclosures with screens available. Also try to burn incense and or use citronella candles - flying insects don't like smoke.

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By Cathy (Guest Post)
June 2, 20080 found this helpful
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We were just given an electric bug zapping machine for the back yard. It seems to attract all sorts of insects. The key is to place it at a distance from the area you wish to keep bug free so they will be drawn from it to the zapper.

I also recall a fly killing bait we used to see at a local farm and garden store (Southern States/Agway.etc.) called Golden Malrin. It is used in horse stalls to attract and kill flies after they feed on it. Check regarding your state laws first as to how close it can be used to food areas. All the best!

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By (Guest Post)
June 3, 20081 found this helpful
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Ok Thank you! Everyone! The pull down tape rolls work really well but not very attractive to the customers. The bait works great, but it is only temporary(and we are able to use it "outside"). We will be purchasing bug zapper machines as well! These bugs are really really bad! We have had the big industrial fans; I think we just need to use everything. They all work but not 100%, so maybe if we use them all the bugs will be gone! Thank you again so much!

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4 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 6, 2012

I'm working in a newly opened fast food restaurant inside a mall and it is near the mall entrance. We serve charcoal grilled foods and one of them comes with a shrimp paste. There are flies in the restaurant especially in the afternoon and it has worsened recently. We've tried fly swatters, an electric swatter, and even aerosol spray. It is also the problem of our adjacent shops. Please help us find a remedy for this. Thank you in advance.

By Theressa C.


March 8, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

Sounds like something is attracting the flies, and giving them a place to breed; yours and the other restaurants in the food court need to find out where the flies are breeding and eliminate the source right away!

More than likely the janitorial service the mall contracts is not cleaning out the public bins properly, and the flies are breeding in the dirty bins. Flies breed in the smallest cracks and crevices between the plastic liner and the bin wall if there is rotting food left behind. One of the restaurants may not be cleaning out their garbage bins properly, too, so it's worth a check of ALL potential breeding areas.

If the health department inspector sees the flies on an inspection visit, and finds the source before the restaurants do, every restaurant in the food court could be given a bad grading or even closed until the health inspectors are satisfied the source is eliminated and steps have been taken to prevent the problem coming back.

Not to mention that customers will see the flies and steer clear of the food court, costing business owner's money, and potentially costing staff their jobs.

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March 1, 2016

I run a chop bar restaurant and the house flies are so unbearable. You find them all over the place, in the dishes, on the tables, chairs, in fact, they are everywhere and this situation isn't good for business.

I've tried the coil interventions (Raid), but to no avail. I need a more practical approach to totally drive all of the flies away, never to return again.


March 2, 20160 found this helpful

Sticky fly ribbons, 4 for a dollar at Dollar Tree, are very effective. I would hope you can hang them somewhere out of sight. I wish you luck and I hope you don't get a surprise visit from State Board before you get this problem solved. Do something today, if you can.

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March 2, 20161 found this helpful

I strongly suggest that you seek help from a pest control company to deal with the fly problem. You run a commercial restaurant business and, altho the pest company will charge, you must avoid having obvious cheap methods like strips, etc., that customers can see. You will certainly be very unhappy if the local authorities show up for a visit.

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March 3, 20160 found this helpful

Walk by the deli in any major grocery chain and you will see, in plain sight, means to eradicate flies affixed to walls and ceilings. Yes, they are called 'zappers' and they are electronic, and they are state board approved. They are still means to eradicate flies and they are visible to the public. Fly ribbons could be considered unsightly, hence the suggestion they be placed out of sight, but they are effective.

One advantage of fly ribbons is that the fly adheres to the strip til the strip is disposed of, whereas a fly zapped with an electronic unit will free fall to the floor or onto other surfaces, creating the potential for contamination.


No Hazardous Ingredients are present.
The components of Raid Fly Ribbon are in compliance with or exempt from national and state regulation

(Excerpt from MSDS Prepared by:
ChemTel Inc.)


I was a restaurant manager for quite some time. During that tenure, I never heard of any establishment resorting to pest control services for the treatment of fly infestation. Roaches, yes. Flies. no.

Most state boards require working fly fans at critical entrances and exits. There are other practices which must be in place, as well. If you comply with all state board rules and regulations, you will not have a heavy fly infestation. If you cannot comply with local and state regulations, you should not operate a dining facility.

Flies are everywhere. While they cannot be completely erradicated, they can be kept under control. No pest control service can do this for you. You must do this yourself through the daily practice of cleanliness, prevention and common sense techniques such as keeping food covered, tight fitting lids on refuse receptacles, etc.

Operating a dining facility is long hours and hard work. It is not for most people. Cleanliness must come before anything else, including profit. Give this business your best shot. If you can keep up with the pace. good. If not, I suggest you choose a less demanding vocation.

Again, I wish you luck.

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September 7, 20160 found this helpful

WOW. People really dont know how to run a restaurant or the health codes. Spraying fly spray during open hours is a health code violation and can possibly get someone sick. Fly paper is also a health code violation. So Family Dollar wont help. If its outside you dont have many choices besides fans to blow them away or screened enclosures to try to keep them out. But with any enclosure it is just like your house they come in when you come in. If its an enclosed restaurant with a commercial AC unit and a exhaust fan in the kitchen then make sure the AC unit is putting enough recovery air back in the building to make up for the air you are exhausting. Dont let the stupid AC guy tell say you are sucking your AC out. Its better to have more air in building than not enough. With enough air to cool right comes less flies. Or they will huddle in an area to easily kill. Vector fly lights work pretty good. Eco-Lab commercial pest control can help with thing also. Main thing with enclosures is "positive air flow".

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June 30, 2014

We are a newly opened restaurant in a free standing area. We have many flies in our store. We don't see any reason why the flies are coming to us.

By Jaymie F. from Phillipines


December 7, 20170 found this helpful

Flies are attracted to food and water. Is it possible to completely spray the area some day when you are closed?

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December 7, 20170 found this helpful

They are attracted to sweets more than non-sweet foods. Make sure all spills are wiped up

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June 8, 2014

I work at a fine dinning restaurant with a back patio that's partially enclosed. Our dumpster is far away, but the flies are everywhere. How can I get rid of them?

By Bartender


September 19, 20180 found this helpful

The food stalls owner in Singapore hangs a bunch of chili near cooked or uncooked food where flies are likely to land. It seems to be effective at least in keeping the flies away from where their food are kept or prepared. Flies are especially fond of seafood. This could be used as baits below or near a fly trap tape. If you can't keep them away trap them. However, the best way is to deny them the breeding grounds. These could be rubbish dumps, toilets with no flushing system, or land where some kind of fertilizers is used. If these 3 is taken care of the numbers will be reduced drastically, at least in Singapore. Flies are like mosquitoes they can smell their meal from miles away but the reality is they prefer to have their meals where their breeding grounds are.

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September 20, 20180 found this helpful

They sell fly traps in any hardware store

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