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Why Don’t Grocery Stores Have Fruit Flies?

By Ferdi Vol
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You bring in a few fruits and veggies and put them on the kitchen counter. It doesn’t take too long for your house to get infested with fruit flies. Grocery stores usually have none even with giant produce sections. But, why don’t grocery stores have fruit flies?

The short answer is, they don’t have fruit flies because they control the situation by constantly cleaning up and getting rid of any items that might attract the flies. Their strict cleaning and tight environment make sure fruit flies don’t populate the produce section.

While it does sound simple enough when put like that, in reality, this process has quite a few steps. In this article, I will explain the various details related to controlling fruit flies in a grocery store environment. So I wholeheartedly urge that you read the article all the way through to understand everything better.

How Do Grocery Stores Control Fruit Flies?

The best way to get rid of something is prevention. Grocery stores control fruit flies by taking every single possible measure to prevent them from populating the produce section. They keep everything clean and get rid of anything that might attract these flies so they do not enter the grocery store in the first place.

Fruit flies are not attracted to fresh barely ripe or just ripened fruits. They are attracted to fruits that are fermenting. Fruits attract more flies the more closer to rotting they are. They are attracted to the smell of ripening and rotting fruit. The goal of these flies is to lay eggs on the fruits which can cause many harmful germs to contaminate the fruit.

If you get rid of the smells of over-ripening, rotting, and damaged fruits then you won’t get any fruit flies. And that is exactly what grocery stores do. They get rid of any rotten, over-ripened, and damaged fruits and vegetables instantly. They are constantly culling their produce section so that no flies populate the area.

The staff is always checking the fruits and vegetable shelves to see if they can find any rotten or damaged product. If they spot one then they instantly remove it from the produce section to some other section or they get rid of it entirely. Grocery stores get rid of any impure products and that is why they always have the freshest products.

Grocery stores also have their shelves cleaned every day, and sometimes multiple times a day. They do this so that there are no juices or extracts of any fruits and vegetables left there. Because juices and extracts on shelves can fermentate and cause smells similar to rotting fruit that might attract fruit flies.

That is the key to keeping fruit flies out of grocery stores; cleaning and getting rid of any smell of fermentation. Any damaged or rotten product gets discarded so the flies do not contaminate the good ones. Grocery stores control any and all fruit fly invasions by taking preventive measures.

Do Grocery Stores Use Pesticides To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies?

Although you are not alone in wondering this, they don’t. It is extremely unlikely that a grocery store would use pesticides to get rid of flies. Grocery stores do not use pesticides for anything. The materials of pesticides are not only unsuitable but also not allowed for use in grocery stores.

Pesticides are suitable for use when growing fruits and vegetables and that is within controlled limits. But, they are not good for usage on retail food products on shelves. Usage of food items directly can cause poisoning even after washing the fruits and vegetables.

Pesticides on fruits and vegetables in the produce section would prevent flies at the cost of making the products unsuitable for human consumption also. Grocery stores do not want that. Pesticides are also among the materials not allowed in stores containing food items as they can be very harmful.

So, you do not have to worry about the fact that your nearby grocery store might be using pesticides to control fruit flies. No need to worry about getting harmful elements from the fruits and vegetables of grocery stores. One of the many reasons people love large grocery stores so much is because fresh and healthy fruits and veggies are always available.

Do Grocery Stores Use Traps To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies?

Grocery stores sometimes use traps but you might not be able to spot them. Light traps, sticky traps, zappers, etc are some of the most effective traps to get rid of fruit flies and many other bugs. A grocery store might use some of them but they won’t use them anywhere where the customer might be able to see them.

Traps are not harmful and are very effective in terms of controlling pests. Grocery stores use multiple traps but none of them are usually in the area where customers are buying products. They usually set those up in the back rooms and near the garbage disposals.

Grocery stores would have a few sticky traps and light traps in their storage areas to control all kinds of bugs there. The garbage disposal areas have a lot of wastage and rotten materials and it becomes almost swarmed with flies and bugs usually. So, grocery stores would put a few traps around that area to keep that in control.

They don’t usually have traps in the retail area because traps accumulate dead flies and bugs. That might not be harmful but can be an unpleasant scene for many customers. Grocery stores do not put traps there to keep the clean look of the whole produce section.

What Happens If Fruit Flies Are Spotted In A Grocery Store?

Well if an employee spots a fruit fly they try to get rid of it before too many customers spot the insect. They take measures instantly to remove the fruits or vegetables and clean the area so everything stays clean.

It is not an unfathomable situation where a piece of fruit accidentally ends up under a shelf and rots there. Or an overripe or damaged product gets mistakenly placed on a shelf. In these cases, flies can easily appear in the produce section and the staff is always conscious to manage such a situation.

If a staff member spots a fruit fly they follow it to see what it is exactly attracted to. They then sort out the products as much as they need to find out the piece of rotten product attracting the insect. Then they remove the product and any nearby products that might be affected along with it.

They remove as many products as they need to ensure that nothing is contaminated. After the removal of bad products, they then proceed to clean the place. The floor, the shelves, everything is cleaned with bleaching agents or something else to make sure that they are rid of all germs and contaminants.

Once the cleaning has been done everything is put back in place and no flies nor any piece of bad product is left on the shelves. If the situations are too serious the grocery store administrators call in expert professionals to get rid of pests and sterilize the place. So, there is no need to worry even if a fly is ever spotted in a grocery store.

Why Do Grocery Stores Need To Control Fruit Flies?

Grocery stores thrive based on customer satisfaction. It is very unhealthy to let fruit flies roam around fruits and vegetables. An unhealthy environment is an obstacle in the way of ensuring customer satisfaction. So it is almost mandatory for stores to control these insects.

Fruit flies lay their eggs on fermenting fruits and vegetables. Fermenting fruits include overripe and rotten produce. Flies carry a lot of germs and they spread them by sitting on food and laying eggs. This can cause people to get very sick.

Grocery stores do not want their customers to get sick from their products. It would create a bad reputation for them. It would also cause customers to question their integrity and work ethics relating to health and cleanliness.

Flies roaming around also creates a nuisance and unpleasant scenery for customers who are shopping at the grocery store. A grocery store tries to ensure that you have a good time shopping there so you would come back.

Wanting to keep the store clean, willingness to prevent customers from falling sick, and a general concern for their reputation is what drives grocery stores to control and get rid of fruit flies.

Here I've discussed why exactly grocery stores do not have fruit flies. It is because they try to take every single preventive measure feasible to them. They keep their products fresh, shelves clean, and get rid of any product that might attract the flies. They also do a thorough cleaning if they ever do find flies in the store so the customer has no reason to worry.

Thank you for reading till the end. I hope this article answered your question of why don’t grocery stores have fruit flies and any questions that came up alongside it. Farewell for now, and, happy shopping!

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About the Grocery Store Academy
The Grocery Store Academy is a blog about everything that has to do with grocery stores. This is your #1 spot to find the right information for your needs.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol has worked several years in a grocery store and has a passion for good food. He's happy to share his passion with you!
About Ferdi Vol
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