Get Rid of Fruit Flies at Your Bar

Flies buzzing around your bar is more than an annoyance to patrons. It can be bad for business and your brand perception. Additionally, but both species can transmit bacteria and other pathogens to the surfaces they come in contact with.

To determine the proper way of getting rid of these pests, first make sure you know which type of fly you are dealing with.

5 Tips from Our Bartending Friends

  • Put saran wrap over the drains and top with a rocks glass or shot glass to make sure it stays sealed. No need to waste towels!
  • Use a a rocks glass of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap. Wrap that with some saran wrap and poke a few holes in the top.
  • Wrap drought tap spouts with shrink wrap when not in use and use golf tees to stop up open pour spouts on your liquor bottles.
  • At night we leave fans on to prevent the fruit flies.
  • Hot Shot Pest Strips. I hide them in the well, and you see an almost immediate difference.

Fruit Flies, Drain Flies Oh My!

Fruit Flies

fruit fly near bar stool

There are two kinds of fruit flies: one with bright red eyes, and one with dark eyes. The front part of its body is tan in color, whereas the other half is black. Generally, the size of an adult fruit fly can be about two inches.

Fruit flies are considered a health risk because some of them can transmit bacteria and diseases – which translates to food contamination. A female can lay more than 500 eggs, where the eggs’ lifecycle is just about five days. Thus, it is important to check your place for these flies and get rid of them immediately.

Drain Flies


The body of drain flies or moth flies is dark in color. It is covered in fur-like hairs including the antennae. They grow to about ¼ inch in size. You could notice them resting on top of sinks and drains, some on the ceiling or walls. When disturbed, drain flies will just jump as they only fly in a short distance.

Normally, they are not harmful compared to fruit flies; yet, they can be a pain for just about anyone when an infestation occurs.

Your Bar: Perfect Breeding Ground

getting rid of bar flies

Product Mention List

Fruit flies are, by its name, mostly attracted to almost everything sweet. Typically, they eat vegetables and fruits. But in your bar, they live off beer and wine stains since alcoholic drinks often contain fermenting sugars.

Likewise, if you have food lying around, nearing its rotten or fermented stage; surely these sweet-loving flies can be seen “flying” around it.

How about drain flies?

Though not necessarily an indication of a dirty surrounding, the presence of drain flies might mean a thorough pipe-cleaning is due. When the pipes have accumulated grime, it turns into a drain flies-magnet.

Aside from the danger of triggering a person’s asthma – caused by dead/decaying fly bodies – flies at your business can lead to poor reviews from your customers. Nobody appreciates swatting away these little buggers between drinks.

Every bar essentially has all the things these tiny flies love, hence making it a perfect breeding ground for these nuisances.

How to Prevent Flies from Invading Your Bar

Both insects propagate in wet, dark areas near organic matters such as drainage, waste disposal, and stagnant water. So, these measures are necessary to prevent them from living anywhere near your bar:

  • Clean your bar properly at the start and end of each shift. Segregate the trash, and throw the garbage out daily.
  • Keep all areas dry as much as possible to prevent stagnant water and molds, so that flies won’t have a place to breed.
  • Constantly check your fresh produce. This way, you would always know which one is rotting, fermenting, or needed to be refrigerated.
  • Seal liquid containers after being used. It only takes one week before the flies begin to live and breed in them if left opened.

How Do You Get Rid of Flies at Your Bar?

Getting rid of flies may be a meticulous work because you can’t just use any chemical sprays against them. But if done right, it is well worth the effort. These are a few effective methods that go a long way:

  • Trapping method.
    • For the drain flies: pour around 4 liters of warm water into the drain. Once done, use a plumbing snake to shake and pull the grime out. Then, pour a drain cleaner and wait a few hours before finishing it off with plenty of water.
    • A natural drain cleaner is ideal to use in your bar instead of harsh chemicals. The natural microbes contained in Invade Bio Drain makes it effective in dissolving organic buildup without compromising your safety.
  • Thoroughly wash your drip trays, bar mats, pourers, and other bar supplies with soap and water. This also includes floor mats, service mats, and such other materials.
  • Wipe off alcohol spills and food stains using appropriate cleaners. Fix everything that is broken at once; from pipes to cracked tiles to anything where water can be found.
  • If you find the hotbed in these places, you must disrupt the breeding cycle first before killing them. Use a spray ideal for restaurants like Gentrol Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) to prevent adult flies from laying more eggs.
  • With these techniques and tips, you will be mostly successful, but If otherwise, it is best to contact pest control. These professionals are trained to locate hard-to-reach places and eradicate the nests of flies. They can also give you a customized pest control plan that is unique to your situation.

Final Thoughts

Getting rid of gnats and flies is possible with the right products that are both effective and safe. Using a cleaning and sanitation program will not only help get rid of flies, but also protect your bar from future infestation.

Follow a strict protocol in the maintenance and cleanliness of your space. This will ultimately enable you to focus more on serving the customers and your business instead of worrying about flying pests!

Article Reviewed By:

Dakota S. MS in Biology

Dakota holds a Masters of Science in biology/biological sciences, with an emphasis on entomology and parasitology. An accomplished researcher and writer, Dakota has completed numerous research papers and published peer-reviewed literature. Notable accomplishments include the study and documentation of new structures not previously known to be fluorescent in Ixodida (ticks).