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How To Keep Flies Out of Restaurant


As a restaurant owner, you are a premium joy giver. You get to feed different people by serving them delicious and well-prepared meals. At the same time, the aroma from your kitchen attracts many people to your spot to eat.

Unfortunately, this aroma does not just attract humans alone. It attracts flies too! Apart from being disgusting, flies can also chase away your customers and spread diseases.

This guide will walk you through the different flies that invade restaurants and how to keep them at bay.


Flies are one pest you can’t afford to have in or around your restaurant. Besides their disgusting creatures, they can be major carriers of several diseases.

Below are a few tips that can help keep them at bay:

  • Keep the restaurant indoors and outdoors clean.
  • Ensure proper waste management.
  • Install all purchases before bringing them in.

Above are some strategies, but you will find more in the guide.

The sections below will discuss the common flies in restaurants and how to keep them away. We will also answer some common questions about handling fly infestations.

Types of Flies You May See in a Restaurant

Flies can be small or large, and their breeding environment often classifies them. As a result, these pests can spread many pathogens and diseases by simply landing on your food.

Within and around a restaurant, you can find different fly species. The commonest ones include:

1. Fruit Flies

Fruit Flies On Apple

Their name perfectly captures their breeding spot. You can find them perching on moist or overripe fruits and vegetables. They also lurk around empty cans, bottles, and drainage areas where they can get moisture.

These flies lay hundreds of eggs and can develop into adults in as little as seven days. They feed on decaying fruit and multiply very quickly.

2. Blow Flies

Blow Fly

These flies usually feed on dead animals (carrion) and manure. This means they breed, are mostly found outdoors, and can enter a restaurant building through an open door or window.

These substances attach to their bodies when they feed on manure and dung. Then, inadvertently, they perch on other surfaces and food items, spreading germs around.

3. House Flies

Housefly On Cup

This species is the most common fly you will likely see anywhere humans dwell. They can feed on anything, from solids to liquid and even trash.

With their mouth parts, they suck up food as they can not chew. They digest this food very quickly and pass their excreta anytime they lad. They spread pathogens too.

4. Phorid Flies

Phorid Flies

These flies often breed inside the plumbing system. Thus you can find them within a pipe or around sinks. You can also find them around decomposing food materials.

These species do not just spread germs and pathogens. They can also cause damage to your plumbing system when they breed in large quantities. Getting rid of them is no small task and can cost you more.

5. Drain Flies

Drain Flies

These species are weak flyers and usually perch on damp surfaces. They feed on the organic buildup in these moist areas. Unfortunately, you can also find them close to broken pipes or tiles.

They have the appearance of a moth and are often mistaken for moths. They may not always perch on your food, but they can perch on surfaces and spread many pathogens.

9 Ways To Deter Flies From Your Restaurant

Now that you know about the various flies you can find around a restaurant and their different breeding grounds, you will have no struggle keeping them away.

Below, we consider some practical ways you can keep your restaurant free from flies:

1. Keep Your Restaurant Clean

Keep Your Restaurant Clean

Keeping your restaurant clean is non-negotiable – it’s not even a matter up for debate. A clean restaurant will give your customers a comfortable place to eat in.

Dirt and food particles always attract flies, so keep them away from your restaurant premises. You should not just sweep before the start of business every day. You can also clean intermittently, depending on the influx of people.

Once a customer leaves, wipe down their table and sweep away any food particles around them. Then, at the close of work, clean up your restaurant before you close up.

This way, you do not return to a dirty restaurant filled with flies the next day.

2. Keep Your Kitchen Clean

Cleaningn Restuarant Cleaning

With many orders flying around and many people walking in and out, your kitchen is bound to be bubbling with activity. If you do not pay attention, your kitchen could buzz with flies in no time.

With a clean restaurant, your customers are still at risk if you have a dirty kitchen. Therefore, you must keep your kitchen clean always.

After cutting up vegetables, proteins, or any food item, dispose of the waste immediately. Do not leave food lying around for a long time. Use a lid to cover your pots when cooking.

Suppose there are any leftovers. Please put them in a container with a cover or wrap them with a food wrap. Keep the food in a refrigerator to keep it fresh.

If there is a door that connects the kitchen outside, keep it closed to prevent flies from rushing in. You can also use a screen net to keep the door open.

Finally, sweep your kitchen often. Wash up dirty dishes as they come and avoid stacking them. Wipe down your workstation and take all the trash outside.

3. Engage in Proper Waste Management Practices

Proper Waste Management

If you keep your interior clean but dispose of your waste improperly, you are wasting your efforts. Eventually, flies will still be attracted to your junk and find their way into your restaurant.

After cleaning up:

  • Pack all trash into a trash bag and tie it up.
  • Please dispose of the waste in a trash can with a lid and cover it at all times.
  • Ensure you contact the waste management authorities in your area to pick up your waste when it is full.
  • Do not keep your trash cans directly outside your restaurant door. Instead, take a few meters away so the odors do not attract more flies.

4. Keep Your Doors and Windows Closed

Closed Doors

Doors are the primary ways flies come into restaurants. So, to keep them at bay, always shut them. With this, these unwanted guests will have no access to sneak inside.

Suppose your restaurant is not adequately ventilated, and you cannot afford to install air conditioners. You can use a screen net instead. Please attach it to your windows and doors.

This way, you can let fresh air in and keep flies away.

5. Keep Your Outdoor Dining Area Clean

Cleanin Table

Does your restaurant have an outdoor dining area? If it does, you should ensure it is always clean. Flies are often found outdoors, so they can easily disturb your customers.

Wipe down any food particles or spills from your tables. Next, sweep the floor and ensure no food particles are lying around.

Also, check the drainage and ensure they are flowing correctly. Remove any stagnant or dirty water sources that can allow insects to breed.

Disinfect your tables at the end of the day to kill any germs.

6. Inspect All Your Purchases

Inspecting Food Items

Imagine that after all your measures to keep flies away from your restaurant, they end up coming in through your purchases. That would be disheartening, right?

No matter how bulky your food purchases are, inspect them for any larvae or flies. Although this may take a while, it can help prevent a fly infestation.

7. Keep Your Surroundings Clean

Cleaning Surroundings

The energy you use in keeping your indoors clean should also be applied to keeping your outdoors clean.

Look out for any dirt that can attract flies and clean it up. Contact a plumber to fix any leaky pipes or clogged drainage.

Your surroundings should be neat at all times.

8. Install Electric Fans in Your Restaurant

Electric Fans

In addition to the abovementioned strategies, you can consider investing in electric fans. Flies do find it easy to move around in windy environments.

Besides reducing fly activities, electric fans would also help keep the environment cool. So, you will kill two birds with a stone in the long run.

9. Contact a Pest Control Expert

Pest Control Expert

If you still have flies in your restaurant even after applying the steps above, you should contact a pest control professional. There may be some hidden things attracting them close to your restaurant.

The pest control expert will eliminate them, leaving your restaurant fly-free.


Flies are not just unhygienic pests but also bad for your business. A fly can drive your customers away and even keep them away. The last thing you want is reduced patronage because of a fly infestation.

Thus, you must do all you can to keep them away. Above, we discussed some practical strategies you can apply.

Keep your restaurant indoors and outdoors clean—close doors and windows. Inspect your purchases before bringing them in, and ensure a proper waste management system.

If cleaning doesn’t help, you can invite a pest control expert to handle the job.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use a Fly Spray in a Restaurant?

Absolutely, yes. There is nothing wrong with applying fly-deterrent sprays. Fly sprays contain pyrethrin, a substance that breaks down quickly when it comes in contact with heat, oxygen, or moisture.

How Do Restaurants Prevent Food Flies?

Keep your restaurant clean. Clean up all sinks, drains, and containers. Keep your restaurant area dry and store your fruit correctly.

Does Onion Repel Fruit Flies?

Yes, onions will repel fruit flies. Onions emit a strong smell that fruit flies do not like.

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