Are flies constituting a nuisance to your food truck work environment? If YES, here are 10 cheap and effective ways to keep flies out of your food truck.
Food trucks, just like other food processing facilities, naturally generate heat through the use of machinery. Once heat is escaping through gaps, cracks, windows, and doors, it may be attracting flies toward your truck. Have it in mind that a fly’s sole purpose in life is to reproduce; the optimal temperature for egg production is between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, so flies will seek out that temperature range.
10 Different Ways to Keep Flies Out of Your Food Truck
These tiny pests may only live for up to a month, but if too many are around they can cause serious damage to the reputation of your business. Below are top 10 ways to keep them away from your Food Truck.
- Use Preventive Measures
Have it in mind that if you aren’t taking precautionary care to keep them away, your food truck could be the perfect breeding ground for them, which is why the first step in keeping these tiny tormentors away is prevention. They love meat and other odour-emitting foods.
You have to always make sure you wipe up prep surfaces whenever possible. Always keep your garbage and waste securely covered, and have it removed as often as possible. Consider talking to a waste manager about scheduling extra pick-ups during the summer months when flies are most troublesome.
Also note that these tiny pests despise the scents of fragrant plants like lavender, basil, mint, bay, and wormwood. Consider planting some of these plants in a vase and mount in strategic places. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even use carnivorous plants like the Venus flytrap, sundews, and butterwort as fly-trapping decorations.
Another effective way of keeping flies at bay is to ensure high levels of hygiene around your facility. Just like we mentioned above, ensure the foods are fully sealed in packages or cans. The raw food should remain refrigerated when it is not being used.
Regularly cleaning utensils, floors, surfaces, machinery and equipment will ensure extra sanitation around the facility. Dispose of the food that already expired and keep away all empty bottles that contained sugary drinks.
Food preparation and production areas need to be kept clean and need to be inspected frequently to make sure that there are no breeding and feeding grounds available. Flies will be attracted even to the smallest pile of liquid or food, so it is important to avoid this by checking for signs of infestation in delivery and storage areas, where spills can occur.
- Use Chemical Spray
Flying insect spray is ideal for quickly eliminating flies from an infested area. Note that once the chemicals are sprayed into your truck (At night or after operations), flies are asphyxiated and die immediately. When sprayed by doors and windows, flies smell the chemicals and are deterred from your truck.
These types of sprays can also work on other unwelcome flying insects like mosquitoes, beetles, moths, bees, and hornets. Please note that if you choose to make use of chemicals to keep away flies from your food truck, you must ensure that it complies to health standard, and your food and serving wares are kept in a safe place before going ahead to spray the chemical.
- Engineering your Truck to Fight Flies
This can also mean working with your truck’s engineering team to reduce the amount of air escaping through door seals, window frames, and other openings. This reduces heat that may be attracting flies to your truck. In addition, when possible, ensure that your facility has positive air pressure. What is positive air pressure?
Once you open the door to a building and feel air pushing back out at you. Positive air pressure works to deter flies because flies can’t or won’t fight against the air current escaping to enter the facility. Changing the air pressure of a facility may simply not be possible, however, if it is a core problem with the facility’s HVAC system.
- Insect Glue Traps
Note that Glue traps are a great alternative to chemical sprays in your food truck. Some of them work by emitting a UV light that draws flies in and then traps them when they land on the sticky inner surface. Others are coated with an adhesive solution that smells sweet to the flies and attracts them to their doom. Pick up a freestanding glue trap for your window or a subtle wall-mounted trap to blend with your truck exterior.
- Truck Maintenance
Any opening like large cracks, holes and pipes should be sealed immediately. Don’t forget to close doors behind you and keep them closed and fitting screens on windows and vents are all good preventative measures. They allow air to circulate without letting in unwanted guests.
Be sure to inspect the breaks of the exterior of the truck such as weather stripping, screens and sealants. Organize a schedule for repair maintenance. Even the smallest gaps can be big enough for flies to enter. Openings around HVAC systems, drains, water pipes, electrical holes, or ventilation holes are all entry points for flies to get into your truck.
- Bug Zappers
Bug zappers are known to attract insects to its internal light, and then kill them with a jolt of electricity when they fly into the machine. Flies and other bugs are then dropped into the easy-to-clean tray, making zappers a sanitary way to take care of pests. Especially since they may make a quiet noise when flies are zapped, these are best to use away from customers enjoying their meals. Mount one inside your truck, or leave it some meters away to keep bugs at bay.
- Odour management systems
You can drastically reduce or even eliminate fly issues by addressing odour issues. When used as part of your Waste Management strategy, odour management technology can be an effective way to deter pests from a variety of operations.
At one time, food processing facilities like food trucks needing odour management systems had to invest in expensive equipment that was unfortunate and regularly needed maintenance. Today, there are alternatives available that are compact, cost-efficient, easy-to-maintain, and utilize environmentally friendly odour neutralizers that work to eliminate odours, rather than just mask them.
- Heat treatments
This can be suitably applied to some food trucks because the food, equipment and products are able to resist high temperatures. The room temperature process may take about 126 °F to 131 °F and increase 5 to 10 °F per hour. Eventually, insects die due to dehydration and it damages some of the proteins and key enzymes throughout the heat treatment process.
The heat treatment process can be held for 8 to 30 hours a day. This method benefits your operations as it prevents production loss and reducing downtime. In addition, the heat treatment is able to eliminate the insects in entirety because it destroys all insects’ life stages.
- Parasitic wasps
Although it may sound foreign, parasitic wasps are actually a very effective and truly green form of pest management that can significantly crush fly populations. These tiny, sterile, non-stinging wasps have a short life cycle with a singular mission: to reproduce. Unfortunately for flies, parasitic wasps depend on fly pupae to do that. A pest management professional can install parasitic wasp release stations at strategic points on your truck.
Once they are released, these wasps begin to hunt out fly pupae in which to lay their own eggs. The wasp uses its non-functioning stinger to break into the fly pupae and lay its eggs. When the wasp egg hatches, it feeds on the immature fly. In doing this, the wasps prevent new flies from becoming adults.
Types of Flies to be Wary of in Your Food Truck
- House Flies
- Blow Flies
- Fruit Flies
- Drain Flies
- Phorid Flies
There’s no one general solution to fly problems. Fly issues will be unique at every truck depending on your menu, processes being used, and environment you find yourself. Howbeit, to best protect your truck and business, consider working with an experienced pest management provider to address the specific risks present at your truck.
Note that the integrated, custom approach to fly problems will ensure that your truck is compliant with audit standards and, most importantly, your foods and services remains safe from potential contamination.