How Grocery Stores Prevent, Control, And Get Rid Of Fruit Flies

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Grocery have many techniques that they use to prevent, control, and get rid of fruit flies. However, most individuals that search for information on fruit flies, is doing so because they want to get rid of them. However, the answer to getting rid of them is in understanding how you got them in the first place.

Fruit flies

Fruit flies are tiny flies that thrive in warm and moist environments. They appear all throughout the year but, mostly in the late spring, the whole summer, and fall. They feed off of decomposing fruits and vegetables. If an open soda bottle or juice containers are left unsealed, they will also feed on these.

They are cold-blooded, which means that they will avoid cold areas, and will become less active in the cold. The inside of fruits, vegetables, and trash cans are some of the most common breeding grounds.

How Grocery Stores Prevent Fruit Flies

Grocery stores prevent fruit flies from attacking their fruits and vegetables by keeping the produce fresh. Even though fruit flies love to attack fruits and vegetables, they look for the decomposing and overripe produce to feed on and lay their eggs. Grocery stores and supermarkets store their foods properly to prevent fruit flies from infesting them.

When fruit flies do appear in the grocery stores (because they definitely do/will), they look for warm places, so often times the produce section is kept cold. The temperatures of some of the produce is kept below 41 degrees Fahrenheit, which also prevents certain types of food from decomposing as fast. This means that when stores have to cull their produce, they don’t have to dump out large portions at a time, which would be an easy breeding ground for fruit flies.

Of course, not all of the produce in grocery stores are best kept in cold temperatures, so the ones that aren’t are kept dry at all times. This prevents the moist environments that fruit flies love. Keeping produce dry extends their lifetime, and prevent the fruits and vegetables from decomposing so fast.

The stands where the fruit and vegetables are on display are also regularly cleaned. The shelves where wet produce is at are cleaned on a daily basis. Even the spots where the dry produce is laid is regularly cleaned once or twice a week. Juice seeping from broken and old produce are wiped off to prevent fruit flies from being attracted to the areas where the fresh produce is on display.

How Grocery Stores Control Fruit Flies

It would be sweet if grocery stores could control fruit flies by just telling them to leave the store, but it doesn’t work that way. The store has practical methods to controlling and preventing fruit flies from infesting their establishment.

Fruit flies will inevitably make their way into the grocery store when the weather is good, so how are they handled? As mentioned, grocery stores keep their produce section cold and dry (Or atleast the good ones do). By doing this the grocery store is controlling the environment that the flies are in, and making it an unpleasant and uncomfortable spot for a breeding ground.

If the produce section wasn’t cold, then it would make the spot like a greenhouse. The flies would be everywhere and more prone to feeding and laying eggs.

Also, the doors in the grocery are usually regulated with air curtains, which controls the amount of fruit flies that are able to come in. The air curtains shoot out a strong breeze of air, which is too powerful for small weak insects to fly past.

Grocery stores and supermarkets also commonly have a two doorway entry. There is a section of doors to enter, but then another set of doors to actually walk into the grocery store. This gives the fruit flies a chance to possibly wander back outside, or get stuck in the middle section. This combined with an air curtain can create a small complex maze in the fruit flies perspective. Entry into the store from this spot becomes very difficult for them.

Other means of controlling fruit flies are the locations of the trash cans, bathrooms, and back storage rooms. The refrigerator and freezers that are behind some of the shelf in the back of grocery stores are too cold for habitation. It is not where fruit flies want to be, however, not all of the backrooms in the grocery stores are cold.

Usually there is an area in the back where the grocery stores and supermarkets recieve their supplies of fruit, vegetables, juices, and other goods. These spots have the least ability to control the population of the fruit flies, so grocery stores and supermarkets have their employees put up all the produce that freshly arrives as soon as possible.

This is important because, not all of the produce that arrives at a supermarket or grocery store is always at its best condition. Some of the produce arrives damaged or molded. It is important for grocery stores to immediately go through their produce, and put everything away as soon as possible. Fruit flies can be attracted by the juices coming from damaged produce, and the rotting produce flesh that may be attached to some of the boxes they arrive in.

The culled produce that is thrown away can become breeding spots, and some grocery stores do get fruit fly infestations in the back of their stores. There can be a hoard of them in the back areas, but not in the front because of the difference in the temperatures.

Bad produce is often kept sealed and far away from the store to prevent infestations.

How Grocery Stores Get Rid Of Fruit Flies

Getting rid of the fruit flies is always a hassle when their is an infestation. These are the methods that grocery stores use to get rid of them.

  1. Find the breeding spot and getting rid of it.
    • This is the most important step. Find out where they are coming from, and get rid of their breeding spots. Once this is done, be aware that they might look for another.
  2. Regular daily cleaning.
    • Clean regularly anywhere where food is stored regularly. This will also prevent breeding spots.
  3. Garbage kept clean, sealed, and away from the food.
    • This includes cleaning the bottom area in the trash bins underneath the trash bags.
  4. Setting up traps near trash cans.
    • Store trash away from food and place traps near them to control the population.
  5. Get rid of damaged bottles, juice containers, and bad produce.
  6. Cold temperatures.
  7. Use air curtains and strong breezes.
  8. Make sure all refrigerators and coolers are maintained and working properly.
    • It can be a bad time if a faulty cooler or refrigerator with produce and other foods stored in it begins to rise in temperature.

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