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Food Safe Insecticide to deal with serious infestation of fruit flies

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#1 ebb30

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 09:48 PM

Hi everyone,

 

we are dealing with a serious infestation of fruit flies and need some help. We had food buildup in a piece of equipment that did not get cleaned out because it somehow was forgotten about. We identified the issue, and cleaned up all the debris, however, the room also houses silos and we are not able to fog to kill all the adult fruit flies. Our pest control company is not able to suggest anything (we are looking for a new one for other reasons) so we are stuck with thousands of flies and no way to kill them.

 

Has anyone encountered such an issue? Is there anything you've used that kills insects but is safe on food contact surfaces? Wet clean area. Our silos are behind giant plastic curtains so a spray is OK, just no fogging.

 

Thank you for your help in advance! 



#2 012117

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Posted 12 September 2018 - 11:22 PM

Hi, ebb630?

 

Can you empty and stop for atleast 2 hours? Anyway, there are none and it might get detected in your finish good if you dont follow thru cleaning (especially on silos where it have vents and breather). By the way by spray what do you mean? Using ULV or space spray?or residual/surface spray? As if you ULV or space spray, you may contaminate still your silo. If you use residual, it will not be recommended to use residual chemical inside food production and if you use non-residual, will still not be as effective.

 

What normally I suggest for fruit fly is if I can disassemble some of the equipment, put it in plastic and wash it outside. If this is not possible, wet wash the equipment and the environment (deep cleaning or intensive cleaning) then apply some sanitizer. As oppose to other pest, fruit fly can be eliminated by thorough cleaning (as it normally attracted to decaying organic matter). Now, as the risk of having it spread to and other rooms, I will enclose the area with durable plastic (as it the most feasible). It is always not the case that you must resort to pesticide application.

 

P.S. I hope that production team is not recommending that you push thru production despite this event. If this is the case, it may meant that volume is being prioritized over quality and safety.



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#3 Brendan Triplett

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 12:03 AM

There are food grade chemicals that can be used to kill off the infestation without impacting your line but as mentioned by 012117 there is a chance that they might be detected in your final product without a full production line flush.  Further, if you did find a solution it would be great but without follow-through in disassembling your line and flushing the debris and fly bodies you will run the risk of your final product being laden with dead fruit flies, despite having the infestation controlled.  There wont be a good solution here because the end result is that if you cant get your line shut down for a thorough cleaning you will run the risk of losing consumer trust, possible recalls, and in a worst case scenario a third party audit asking why you did what you did and what reasoning you had for not cleaning the equipment after controlling and insect infestation. 


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 04:53 AM

Not my area but I don't understand why the presence of silos prevents you from fumigating ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#5 Scampi

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 02:22 PM

the best thing with fruit flies are the diy traps

https://gardentherap...fruit-fly-trap/

 

It sounds silly I know, but fruit flies are one of those bug that is really hard to get rid off because of the very short life span so try a bunch of these traps around and change them once they are covered

 

Used this at home and was fruit fly free in 2 hours

 

even if you made traps out of 5 gallon pail and dumped the contents daily cheaper and just as effective as fumigating


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#6 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 02:32 PM

You could fumigate with gas instead of chemical? Maybe ethylene oxide or something.

 

Agree with above that you will probably have to purge all materials at some point to be free of them.


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Interested in more information on food safety and science? Check out Furfarmandfork.com for more insights!

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#7 ebb30

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 05:30 PM

Not my area but I don't understand why the presence of silos prevents you from fumigating ?

 

The silos are mesh so any chemical can permeate and get into the flour and sugar.  



#8 ebb30

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 06:31 PM

Thank you for all your replies, I will see if I can try the DIY trap. Luckily this room is somewhat isolated and it is not our main production line. It is a room with silos and two mixers that can't be taken apart. The flies are in a spot that is hard to clean so we are just continually cleaning every day and we have a trap hanging from one of the mixers. We are not running one of our products that would be impacted by this until this is resolved, no matter how much production would like to. 

 

My idea was to turn off all the lights to the room and place several fly lights on the floor by the two mixers most affected. Our sanitation supervisor suggested adding traps along with the lights. What we ended up with was one lonely trap hanging from one of the mixers....   :doh:



#9 Brendan Triplett

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 10:02 PM

Have you considered the option of tenting the machinery and fumigating inside of the tent? It will protect the silos but still kill everything at the source, then if you are able to throw a ton of fluid through the machine it will clean the majority of the bodies and debris out. Just a final thought on it.


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#10 012117

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 11:02 PM

Hi, Brendan.

 

The problem if you do it in isolation is how you aerate it after given that it is all around silos with vents. Then again, I will request the line to be stopped.



#11 Brendan Triplett

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Posted 13 September 2018 - 11:06 PM

Good point 012117,

I am thinking of how homes are fumigated and tented. The chemical is filtered out within the tented area so as not to impact any other home around them then the tent it removed, the filtered chemicals are either held in filter containers or neutralized through the use of another non-toxic chemical.


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#12 Charles.C

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 01:00 AM

The silos are mesh so any chemical can permeate and get into the flour and sugar.  

 

Hi ebb,

 

I had deduced that yr problem had been assessed as of such a magnitude that small-scale manual methods were not likely to be effective. If otherwise the options are obviously different.

 

My experience with a supplier of battermix (= flour et al) Production facility is that fumigation of the entire Production area is a frequent, routine operation.

 

It looks like any wide-scale method will involve the sealing off of various items.

 

I anticipate the fumigation procedure is something like this -

 

https://www.westerne...ood-processing/

(via googling << fumigation of food production facility >>)

 

Clearly not an insignificant expenditure if the area/volume at risk is substantial.

 

Perhaps you also need a consultant with a wider experience than that currently used ?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#13 ebb30

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 02:58 PM

Hi ebb,

 

I had deduced that yr problem had been assessed as of such a magnitude that small-scale manual methods were not likely to be effective. If otherwise the options are obviously different.

 

My experience with a supplier of battermix (= flour et al) Production facility is that fumigation of the entire Production area is a frequent, routine operation.

 

It looks like any wide-scale method will involve the sealing off of various items.

 

I anticipate the fumigation procedure is something like this -

 

https://www.westerne...ood-processing/

(via googling << fumigation of food production facility >>)

 

Clearly not an insignificant expenditure if the area/volume at risk is substantial.

 

Perhaps you also need a consultant with a wider experience than that currently used ?

 

Thank you Charles, we have a different pest control company coming in and giving us quotes. The issue was the our old one had no idea what to do and just said we can't fumigate and that was it. So for over a week we are sitting here trying to figure out what to do besides constantly cleaning. We did discover multiple harborage sites and cleaned them, so at least it is forcing us to look in areas we would not look normally. We also figured out that the part of the equipments most affected are, in fact, removable (we were initially told they were not). So progress is at least being made that way. Hopefully with this new company we can figure this thing out.



#14 kkalpakidis

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 04:18 PM

Could this be similar to having gnats in areas? 



#15 Brendan Triplett

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 05:04 PM

kkalpakidis - This is looking at pests that are creating a health concern provided a poor environment.  Ebb has a particular challenge because his production area where the infestation is occurring cannot be disassembled and is in the same area as exposed ingredient storage so it cannot be fumigated.  I hope he gets a good solution today.


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#16 lorlandini

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Posted 14 September 2018 - 06:59 PM

Hi,

 

From you description of the silos, it sounds like they are supersacks.  If so, can they be moved to an alternate location and allow you the freedom to perform the correct tasks to remediate your situation?

 

Another area that is a dandy fruit fly harborage area are sink drains and floor drains.  Make sure you adequately clean and treat those areas to prevent continual infestation.

 

Good Luck.

 

Leo



#17 ebb30

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 12:33 PM

Thank you everyone. The conclusion to this saga has been thorough deep cleaning daily for almost a week now. We were still missing parts of the equipment but as we cleaned up the rest of it, it became easier and easier to see what other sources were left behind. We had a fan that was shut off with water in it still, so as that started molding, fruit flies congregated there as well, and same with under the leg of the equipment, and other areas where water pooled. We removed everything from the room except the silos, they are very massive and can't be easily moved, and have a large fruit fly trap hanging in the area, which got a lot of the adults. 

 

We're still not out of the woods but at least it is significantly better, and the flies only live a couple days so as long as we make it so they can't reproduce in high numbers, we'll get through this. I hope none of you have to go through this!!



#18 Scampi

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 03:00 PM

i can only imagine, my kitchen at home was challenging enough!!!

 

 

did you use the DIY trap?


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