Featured Horrible Fly Problem in Restaurant Need HELP!

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by crazycarlsa, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. crazycarlsa

    crazycarlsa

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    Hey all... I own a bbq restaurant in south central TX. Our entire dining area is outdoors and every year when the Texas heat and humidity comes rolling in we experience a horrible fly situation. I know being outdoors flies will be natural and I can live with that... but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about when I set down someone's food within seconds there are literally 10-15 flies swarming their table. It's ruining our reputation, sales are decreasing, and quite honestly it's embarrassing. I've tried everything we can think of. We keep the restaurant as clean as possible, spray down the gravel outdoors every morning with a bleach solution, wipe down the tables with bleach after every customer, and don't keep any trashcans in the dining area. I've gone through 2 different pest control companies now... each one tells me there's nothing that we are doing wrong but they can't seem to help the situation. I've tried hanging several of the plastic baggies with water and a few pennies in each, even tried having a basil plant on each table as I heard that would deter them. Nothing is working. I'm not sure if it's our location, being right on the outskirts of the downtown area and located next to a big open field but I need to improve this before it ruins us for good. Please please please feel free to share with me any tips or advice you might have. I know I will never solve the problem completely, but even marginally improving it would be a big help. In Houston a lot of people I know install misting systems on their patios for the mosquitos, I'm thinking maybe something like that would work for the flies but then I'm concerned adding more moisture to the air will make the problem worse. I appreciate your time for reading this and thank you in advance for your help.
     
  2. fatcook

    fatcook

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    Does the dining area have a roof where you could add ceiling fans or corner fans for a good breeze? A strong enough constant air movement would help with the flies and feel good in the Texas heat as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Screen it off. That limits access for the flies but keeps the air flow.
     
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  4. cronker

    cronker

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    Also it might pay to investigate your neighbors- we have a fly problem in our backyard at home and couldn't work out why they were so bad.
    Turns out the owner behind us keeps a large aviary of racing pigeons, so obviously their droppings attract flys.
     
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  5. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Cut a lemon in half. Stud each half with 6-8 cloves. Put on a plate and place on table.
     
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  6. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    I would do all of the above. Check the surrounding area for the source of the flies. Screen off the seating area. Invest in some bug zappers. Contact the Dept. of Environmental Conservation. They might have some answers and be able to help with sourcing the flies.

    I'm not a fan of pest control companies. They only seem to be good for generating their own income. 
     
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  7. Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh

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    I would do all of the above as well. Solving a problem with pest control companies is always a lottery for me, so I wouldn't recommend it. You may check the article on pestcontrolhacks and, obviously, you won't use sticky tapes and repellent plugs near food, but getting a few bug zappers is a must.
     
  8. halb

    halb

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    I agree. They must be coming from someplace.
     
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  9. someday

    someday

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    They are probably coming from standing water in the big open field right next to your restaurant. I wonder if you could spray or treat the field somehow (maybe before fly season starts??) to slow down or stop the flies.

    Unfortunately I don't have any advice for you that hasn't already been proposed. Let us know if you find a solution.
     
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  10. halb

    halb

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    Dunno about that. Mosquitoes certainly but most flies are born on and live off of rotting organic matter.
    I've heard that setting up fans so that there is a constant cross wind can help with mosquitoes because it keeps them from landing, I would think the same would be true for flies.
     
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  11. someday

    someday

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    I think you're right, I suspect I got my mosquitos and flies mixed up.
     
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  12. cstanford

    cstanford

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    Has to have something to do with the field next to your place. Your problem may not be solvable without a move.
     
  13. halb

    halb

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    Could very well be. Ever take a walk over there to see what might causing the problem? Not saying that you can do anything about what you might find but at least you'll learn something. Also, does anybody else in your area have this problem?

    I think moving is a last resort. Fully screening in the outdoor area would be the first thing to consider.
     
  14. rbrad

    rbrad

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    The OP posted once almost two years ago.....I’ve been wondering the whole time what happened.
     
  15. halb

    halb

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    Love it when someone dredges up an old thread and nobody notices. If it wasn't for other people who might have a similar problem, we just wasted our time.
     
  16. someday

    someday

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    I've learned to be pretty aware of these threads but this one got by me for sure. I advocate for closing old threads that haven't had a new response in (x) number of months/years, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards for this site for whatever reason. A lot of other forums I visit do that type of thing to prevent these types of events from happening.
     
  17. rbrad

    rbrad

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    The older threads don’t bother me so much because sometimes it’s still relevant but what really gets me is when people post once and members spend time giving advice and the OP never acknowledges or gives an update.
     
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  18. Sm_okie

    Sm_okie

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    I've wanted to post on an old thread but didn't want to be that guy that brought something back that maybe had been covered since. FWIW I read the old threads lol
     
  19. rbrad

    rbrad

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    Once again I don’t really see a problem with older threads as long as someone doesn’t ask “chef chop chop” who posted once in 2002 if he decided to go to culinary school or not. If you start a post saying something like “ I realize this is an old thread but still feel it is very relevant” then nobody would really be too bothered.The thing with the professional form is that there are only so many topics and people tend to ask the same questions over and over.If it’s an interesting subject then who cares if it’s three years old.It’s not so bad now but in the past it was pretty common for older members to drive away new posters and the site is worse for it.The home cooks seem to have a better community and make a post about what they had for dinner run for years.
     
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