Learn how to identify common pests; understand their biology, diet, and habits; and find out what you can do to control them.
Facts, Identification & Control
Fruit flies get their common name from their small size and liking for some fruits.
Where do they live?
Fruit flies feed on decaying fruits and vegetables. They are commonly found in homes, restaurants and other facilities where food is processed or allowed to rot and ferment. They are especially attracted to garbage that has just been sitting around.
How do they live?
Fruit flies only live for 8-10 days. In that time, females lay around 500 eggs, using rotting fruit or vegetables as their nest. Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials.
As soon as they emerge, the tiny larvae feed near the surface of the fermenting mass. The entire lifecycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week. Adults are about 3mm long and usually have red eyes. The front portion of the body is tan and the rear portion is black.
How do they affect us?
Fruit flies are primarily nuisance pests. However, they also have the potential to contaminate food with bacteria and other disease-producing organisms.
How do we control them?
The best way to avoid problems with fruit flies is to eliminate sources of attraction. Produce which has ripened should be eaten, discarded or refrigerated. The home should be kept clean. Kitchen trash should be removed every day and kitchen counters should be kept clean. Cracked or damaged portions of fruits and vegetables should be cut away and discarded in the event that eggs or larvae are present in the wounded area.
Windows and doors should be equipped with tight-fitting screens to help prevent adult fruit flies from entering structures.