An infestation of fruit flies in both the dish washing and the serving areas forced Montgoris Dining Hall to call in an exterminator last week, as well as post a number of signs warning students of the impending problem.
“Earlier last week people noticed that there were some fruit flies around, so we investigated the problem, and called in our exterminator,” said Jody Fisher, director of Media Relations. “The exterminator came back, took a look, and did some targeted spraying in places where he found some clusters of insects.”
The clusters of fruit flies were found in two main areas. The exterminator, who is hired by the Dining Hall to come every week to “keep a lid on things,” according to Fisher, found the biggest infestation in the area where the dishes are washed.
Uneaten food from the disposed dishes had gathered in the washing area and was not cleared away, and the collection provided the insects with the ideal area to nest. “They targeted [their spraying] in the area where they wash the dishes. Apparently, where they wash things down, there was some food that had collected and the flies had used the food to germinate,” said Fisher. “They laid their eggs in the food, and the food provided a nice warm moist place where eggs need to grow. They used the food for substance.”
The other area the insects infested was the serving area, where the food is laid out and served during dining hours. Although fruit flies were not found on the food itself, the insects had spread from the dish-washing area to the floors and the walls of the serving area.
In order to warn students of the threat of the insects, the Dining Hall posted a number of signs throughout the serving area, warning students of a “massive bug problem on campus” and asking them to cover self-serve foods, such as salads, desserts and fruits.
After repeated visits from the exterminator, the Dining Hall was assured that the infestation was virtually gone. All the warning signs were removed and the concern has subsided. Regardless of the exterminators assurance, the Dining Hall is not taking any chances.
“We are continuing to monitor. Certainly, you don’t just spray and walk away. We are keeping an eye on it, and we will continue to keep an eye on it,” Fisher said. “Bugs are a part of life. You don’t want them in your cafeteria, but they are a fact of life. We responded very quickly and very effectively, and we’ve taken care of the problem.”