Fruit Flies

Fruit Fly Overview

Fruit flies comprise around six of the thousands of fly species in the world. They are also called pomace flies and vinegar flies.

Appearance

Fruit flies are tiny. Adults are three to four millimeters long. They are brown to tan. Most fruit flies have bright red eyes, though some have been known to have dark eyes.

Lifecycle

Female fruit flies often lay their eggs in attractants like rotting fruit. The larvae feed on the fermenting material for up to five or six days. The larvae then seek a dryer place to pupate. Newly emerged adults are attracted to light. Depending on the weather, they can go through their entire life cycle in a week. Fruit fly populations are normally greatest in the late summer and early fall, as they infest fruits most often during the harvest season. Their entire life cycle can take up to a month, but significantly less time in significantly warmer weather.

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Photo Credit Wikipedia Commons

Damage

Like other flies, fruit flies spend a lot of time around garbage. Because of the sticky feet that all flies have, they carry any filth, bacteria, and disease that they pick up everywhere they go. The fact that they also spend a lot of their time on food becomes a problem. The diseases they pick up spread to anyone who picks the food up or is even around it. Fruit flies also lay eggs in fruit. If a person eats anything with larvae still in it, the larvae can cause diarrhea and intestinal discomfort.

Control

They are called fruit flies, but what they are really attracted to is alcohol. As fruit ripens and starts to rot, it also starts to ferment. This means that not only are fruit flies attracted to fruit, they are also attracted to open beer cans and alcohol containers. They can also be found in old soda cans. If found outdoors, they’ll often be found in drains, as they like to seek out moist places.

Cleanliness is the easiest way to prevent fruit flies. They are so small that they can fit through practically any opening, but if there isn’t any food, they probably won’t stay. Refrigerate as much as possible. Throw out too-ripe fruit. Clean out garbage and spills regularly.

If fruit flies are still an issue, call a pest control service. They might be able to find some in your drains and apply appropriate treatments.

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