Fruit Flies

What do Fruit Flies look like?

  • Size: The Drosophila melanogaster is a species of small fly. Adults are 3 to 4 mm long.
  • Eyes: May have red eyes, like though some are dark-eyed
  • Body: Tan thorax  while the abdomen is black on top, grey underneath.
  • Color: The Fruit flies can appear to be brown or tan.

If you see very small insects flying  in your kitchen, they are probably fruit flies. Fruit flies can be a problem throughout the year, but they are very common in summer or autumn because fruits and vegetables are cooling or fermenting.

Tomatoes, melons, squash, grapes and even mushroom products often develop an infestation. Fruit flies also eat bananas, potatoes, onions and other edible products. This fact sheet will explain how outbreaks can occur and negatively affect your home or business, unless Control Pest Management is called in to assist.

Types of Fruit Flies

  • The Mexican Fruit Flies
  • The Citrus Fruit Flies
  • The Olive Fruit Flies
  • The Caribbean Fruit Flies
  • The Mediterranean Fruit Flies
  • The Western Cherry Fruit Flies

Biology and Behavior

Adults are 1/8 inches long and usually have red eyes. The front part of the body is brown, and the back section is black. The fruit flies lay their eggs on the surface of any fermented food, or other damp and organic materials.

When hatching the smaller larvae continue to affect the surface of the fermentation mass. This superficial skin damage may be removed in some damaged parts of fruit and vegetables by cutting it out, without affecting the rest of the fruit or vegetable. The potential proliferation of fruit flies is enormous  Left unchecked, they can produce 500 eggs. The whole breeding cycle can be repeated once a week.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

The common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is known for instant reproduction. It develops in moist fruit and where organic material and water are standing. The entire life cycle is 25 days or more depending on the environmental conditions and availability of food.

Like other bird species, fruit fly plants have a life cycle of four stages: they begin as eggs as adults before ripening larvae and pupal stages. The first phase of life lasts approximately a few days, and the fruit fly may need a minimum temperature for at least a week. Adult fruit flies can live for up to 30 days.

How did I get fruit flies?

The fruit flies are attracted to fruits and ripe fruits, which are rotting or disintegrating. They also love fermented beer, liquor, and wine. Fruit flies also grow and develop in  trash cans, trash bins, and mop buckets.  When they start breeding within the house, they will have about 500 eggs,  for 24-30 hours after they have begun. Control Pest Management will intervene in this process.

Signs of fruit flies’ infestation

The two most visible signs of fruit fly breeding activity would be adult fly and pupae. Adult flies are often seen in kitchens or trash cans, around unhealthy fruit or vegetables. They are also attracted to  liquor and beer bottles.

What do they eat?

They eat fruit and vegetables,  and fermentation products. Fruit Fly populations are going to build in summer being very abundant during the fruit harvest. Inside houses fruit flies are active all year round.

Removal

After an infestation with fruit, all potential breeding areas must be located and eliminated. Unless there is removal and cleaning of the affected areas, the problem will continue with the infestations becoming exponential. Finding the origin of the attraction and growth can be very difficult and often requires a lot of thought and perseverance. The experience of Control Pest Management will solve this for you.

Potential growth sites currently accessible (for example, bins and drains) can be identified by strategic placing of plastic bags overnight. If these areas are infected, adults will emerge and get caught in the bag.

After eliminating the source of attraction and growth, a pyrethrum-based,insecticidal aerosol may be used to kill the remaining adult flies.

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