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Author Topic: Tiny little bugs
Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12700
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-29-2012 11:59 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We are having an issue with these little tiny bugs in our concession area. They don't seem to be infesting anything, they're just THERE, buzzing around.

They look kind of like a miniature house fly, except they have a red body. They're just a little over 1/16" long They're very fast...they buzz around slowly, but if you try to grab one or slap one it's almost impossible. They don't sting or anything.

We've had a bug guy come in and he first said they were "fruit flies" and then he changed his mind and said they were "drain flies," and then he did some research and decided they were "vinegar flies." I looked up all three of those on the internet and none of them look exactly like the little bugs we are having here. They seem to hang around the soda machine the most -- there might be five or six floating around at a given time. They seem to disappear when there is a lot of activity -- you don't really see them too much when we're open. But if I go in during the day to get a soda, there'll be a half dozen of them floating around the machine. I do see them occasionally just about anytime -- not clouds of them or anything, just one floats past once in a while.

I'm at my wits end on how to get rid of these things. The bug people sprayed some stuff around, plus they've cleaned out our drains, and the stupid things are still here. I've tried things like "Raid" (after removing all the food items) but they don't respond to that either.

We aren't doing anything different than we have always done; the soda machine gets a deep clean every Tuesday and the whole counter area gets at least one wipe-down every night so it shouldn't be the problem. I've looked in every nook and cranny and can't find any kind of "nest" or gathering of these things anywhere. The only thing different than usual is we had a very wet year last year and we've had a very mild winter this year.

Has anyone had any experience with anything like this? I'm about ready to order a whole fumigation or something if nothing else can be done.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8367
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 02-29-2012 12:58 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Little buggers are Fruit flies.

They feast on anything mouldy or loaded with bacteria.

Have any garbage cans that needs to be cleaned out, bleached out or similar?

Any old vegetables or organic food floating around that needs to be tossed?

Might have to tear apart the soda towers and give them a good bleach water cleaning to sanitize the units.

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2180
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 02-29-2012 02:02 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I put an electric bug zapper machine in an out-of-the-way corner of my lobby in the summer. In addition to killing them, the light attracts the bugs over and keeps them away from the rest of the lobby.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12700
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-29-2012 02:54 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What's another strange thing about these little dudes is, they don't seem to be attracted to light, so I don't think a zapper would do much. Our Pepsi machine has a lit tower that stays on all the time, and there are bright lights in the ceiling, but they don't go buzzing around those. They just seem to fly around at random, but concentrating on the area around the Pepsi machine. I'm thinking Monte might be right about bleach-cleaning the nozzles. I'll give that a try next.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 02-29-2012 03:07 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Have you checked the restroom for dead people?

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4441
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 02-29-2012 06:00 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Do you soak your Pepsi nozzles daily (like McDonalds). If not, you can't imagine what is "living" inside there. Louis

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12700
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 02-29-2012 06:44 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Joe - HOLY CRAP, that could be it!

Louis, we use the ProStar nozzle soak formula and I think it's only supposed to be used once a week, which is what we do. But, I'll review that for sure. Be that as it may, we've had the exact same procedures for a dozen years or more and have never had this problem till now.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 02-29-2012 07:02 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Every theater I have ever worked for soaked the nozzles daily.

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Edward Havens
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 614
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Mar 2008


 - posted 02-29-2012 09:38 PM      Profile for Edward Havens   Email Edward Havens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have my crew soak the nozzles in warm water, pour hot water down each drain and wipe down the bottoms of the soda towers (where the fizz from the drinks hits when the cups are filled to the top) with a hot clean wash cloth every single night. Twice a week (on Sundays and Thursdays), we add a soda tower drain cleaning solution we get from our concession supply company to the mix. We have never had an issue with any kind of flying nuisances in or near our snack bars.

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2302
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 02-29-2012 09:38 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Maybe it's just the weird weather this winter? Fly hatches are weather triggered, and if a species has hatched early because of the non-winter we've had, their natural food may be missing and they're out looking for any nourishment they can find.
I've been places where the air is black with some species of small - or giant for that matter - fly for a few days every few years. There may be some cycle involved, but Hawaii has a fruitfly infestation every few years and around Lake Erie there's an occasional mayfly hatch that they bring the snowplows out for (seriously).

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Chris Slycord
Film God

Posts: 2986
From: 퍼항시, 경상푹도, South Korea
Registered: Mar 2007


 - posted 02-29-2012 10:45 PM      Profile for Chris Slycord   Email Chris Slycord   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Once you get everything cleaner overnight, one thing to do with fruit flies is:
1) Put sweet vinegar (like apple cider or balsamic) inside cups
2) Cover them in plastic wrap.
3) Poke tiny hole
They get in to drink the stuff but can't find their way back out.

And you can also cut soap into it and that breaks the surface tension so that if they get in the fluid, they get stuck (and they get stuck easily at night when they can't see where the fluid begins).

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Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000


 - posted 02-29-2012 11:52 PM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The over night false teeth soak products cleans the residue from nozzles very well.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8367
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 03-01-2012 12:07 AM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, agree with the weird weather-early hatching for sure.

In December, I saw some theatre's roller dumpsters that are store in a receiving room outside crammed full with fruit flies due to garbage that wasn't completely removed that had become mouldy.

Heard the staff members had to take the roller dumpsters outside on a good day and totally give them a degreaser wash and scrub down

I would like to add and maybe drift off topic here a bit, but it does pertain to conc cleanliness that one really has to be aware of:

Okey, wer're focusing on the excess syrup/mould/bacteria issue on why the attraction of these fruit flies, but we also need to pay attention to the syrup/water drains of the soda tower.

The tray drains and ice bin drains: if not flushed with hot water, or a light mixture of bleach and water, a build up of algae growth can begin like something fierce, esp if no conditioned water is used.

Algae growth will harden up in the lines to be like a black, rubbery substance that will plug up both ice bin drain lines and soda drain lines. I've had to clean out both using compressed air since the goo can easily be discharged under pressure.

Some theatre companies forbid the use of bleach on the premises due to safety issues, thus a degreaser is a close second choice. Thus, the daily washing out bins and drain lines with hot water is the most helful.

Some tips to look at. - thx Monte

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Steven Stroud
Film Handler

Posts: 13
From: Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 03-01-2012 02:13 AM      Profile for Steven Stroud   Email Steven Stroud   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My question... what kind of bug guy do you have that can't ID fruitflies?

That's like... bug guy 101.

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Edward Havens
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 614
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Mar 2008


 - posted 03-01-2012 09:44 AM      Profile for Edward Havens   Email Edward Havens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Some theatres still allow bleach in the building? I've worked for four different companies over the past twenty years, and all of them have had a strict policy about bleach. Can't order it from vendors, can't bring it in on our own, tell the janitors not to use it.

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