Drain flies are just one of several nuisances that can disrupt a restaurant. Drain flies, sometimes called moth flies because of their furry bodies, are generally harmless. They do not bite or transmit disease, but they are unsightly particularly in the sight of restaurant diners or during an inspection.
Drain flies require standing water to lay their egg. The young larvae feed on organic matter like grease and food waste. Areas under refrigerators, sinks, and dishwashing stations are a prime breeding ground for these intrusive pests. In ecological terms, the drain fly larvae are beneficial because they consume the organic matter in your drains and can help keep the drains clean. Unfortunately, the adult flies, though harmless, are unsightly.
The only way to prevent drain flies is to remove their food source and breeding grounds. This means keeping drains clean and preventing standing water in your facility. Abrasive chemical cleaners may not kill drain flies and can cause more damage to your drain system.
Maintaining clean drains is the best way to prevent standing water in a restaurant. There are a number of ways to make sure that your drains remain free of blockage. First and foremost, never dump solids down the drain! This is the most basic principle in maintaining any drain system, but it bears repeating. Restaurants plumbing systems don’t function any different than a residential system, but they are subjected to a greater level of strain due to higher liquid volumes and increased presence of fats and grease in the system. For most commercial kitchens, a grease trap is a necessary investment to help maintain proper drain function. The grease trap operates similar to a septic tank. Check out our blog on septic tanks. As heavier solids enter the trap, they sink to the bottom while lighter fats and grease float to the top forming a scum layer. The relatively clean water between the two layers is then released into the drain and on to the sewer system. Grease traps require regular cleaning to remove the solid build-up that forms.
Grease traps will reduce the amount of organic solids that enter your drains, but will not prevent all material from moving into your system. Even with a grease trap in place, it will be necessary to have your drains cleaned out periodically. There are simple solutions that can help slow the accumulation of solids in your restaurant’s drains. Pouring hot water down the drains at least once a weak can help prevent accumulations that prevent blockage It is also a good idea to use an enzyme cleaner in commercial kitchen drains. The enzymes feed off of the grease and fat that line the drains and eliminate the food source for drain fly larvae. Enzyme cleaners are also effective because they do not cause corrosion of the steel pipes.
Drain flies can be an inconvenience for a restaurant but clogged drains and downtime can be an absolute disaster. Having preventive measures in place to maintain your restaurant’s commercial kitchen is the best way to ward off unnecessary emergencies. McElroy’s is proud to provide commercial drain cleaning and preventive maintenance services that can keep your drains clean and your commercial kitchen ready to shine during that next inspection. Our hydro pump system allows us to clean drains and grease traps in a faster, more efficient manner than traditional methods. This means we are in and out without causing costly interruptions to your staff. Contact us to schedule monthly drain maintenance. We’ll keep the drain flies away, you can worry about the bar flies.