One of the most enduring myths in pest control is that fruit somehow spawns fruit flies. As in, fruit flies materialize out of fruit, and that’s why they seem to come out of nowhere. Of course, everyone knows that’s completely ridiculous… and yet the myth persists. It’s not tough to see why. Fruit flies really do seem to come out of nowhere.
To overcome your fruit flies, you’ll have to dispel this myth for yourself once and for all. That means learning what fruit flies actually are, and where they actually come from. Once you understand the fruit fly, you can defeat the fruit fly–once and for all. We’re here to help you. This is everything you need to know about the fruit flies in your home. They may not appear from nowhere, but with this, you can make them disappear like they did:
What are fruit flies?
Fruit flies (also known as vinegar or wine flies) are flies belonging to the Drosophila genus and Drosophilidae family. These files are also commonly called “small fruit flies.” They’re generally quite small (1/10 to 1/8 inches long) and brown, tan, or yellow, with bright red eyes. Though there are over 1500 species of small fruit flies, the common name “fruit fly” has become largely synonymous with Drosophila melanogaster, the “common fruit fly.”
Drosophila melanogaster is yellow, brown, or tan, with red eyes and translucent, bright wings. They may have darker spots, blotches, or line-shaped markings on their thoraxes. Adult flies have relatively-long antennae that may appear hairy. Fruit fly larvae look like maggots: they are cream-colored, 1/10 inch-long, thin, and spindle-shaped. Adult flies lay eggs in any fermenting liquid, especially vegetable or fruit matter. Fruit flies practice inbreeding and will reproduce indoors rapidly. Fruit fly infestations can get out of hand very quickly.
Why are fruit flies here?
Fruit fly larvae feed on the yeast that grows on fermenting, liquefying items. Contrary to their name, fruit flies will infest any rotting material, not just fruit. Adult fruit flies seek out rotting fruit and vegetable material to lay eggs in. They’ll find any source of moisture and decaying material, including sponges, mops, or puddles of water. Kitchen sink drains also commonly foster fruit fly infestations. Basically, if there’s any rotting material in your home, fruit flies will find and use it.
Unsurprisingly, you’ll usually find fruit flies congregating in your kitchen. They’re particularly attracted to garbage, compost, drains, and anywhere else they can find rotting food. If you leave fruit out until it ripens, it’ll attract all kinds of fruit flies. You may also find flies around other garbage cans, in your pantry, or even in your basement or attic. Check for plumbing leaks, garbage or garbage runoff, or other sources of moisture and rot.
Where do fruit flies come from?
Fruit flies end up on your food a couple different ways. First, there’s an unfortunately high chance they were already on your food when you brought it home. Fruit fly eggs are extremely tiny, and adults often lay them inside of fruit or vegetables. It’s possible some of your food had fruit fly eggs inside it and no one noticed. When larvae hatch, they may make their way to nearby food sources and burrow inside.
Even if they aren’t already inside, fruit flies are extremely good at seeking out their food sources. Their highly-focused and acute sense of smell enables them to follow even the faintest scent of fermentation. If you keep fruit out at any time, you can bet fruit flies can smell it and want a piece of it. Fruit flies are so tiny that they can also squeeze through even the tiniest of wall or door cracks. Once inside, they’ll start reproducing and laying eggs immediately.
How can I keep fruit flies out?
First, try attracting and eliminating the fruit flies already in your home. Make a homemade fly trap out of a jar and some vinegar. First, pour some vinegar into the jar. Place a plastic bag over the jar and cut a small hole in it. Push the baggie down into the jar so it creates a funnel. Then use a rubber band to secure the bag. The vinegar will attract flies, and then you can take them out.
While you’re waiting for your trap to take effect, try cleaning up any other fly habitats. Clean out your garbage and rinse the bins or boxes. Make sure you don’t leave behind any food residue on dining or food prep surfaces. Clean your pantry and cabinets thoroughly. Rinse out or throw out your sponges or other dishwashing equipment. Look for plumbing leaks. The more you can control moisture and fermentation accumulation, the better.
Fruit flies are one of the most enduring pests people contend with all year. They’ll take whatever you give them, and they’ll thrive on very little. If you want to wipe out your fruit flies, you’ll have to give them nothing. Hopefully, we’ve shown you how to start doing just that.
If you ever decide you need a little help wiping out some particularly pesky pests like fruit flies, give Plunkett’s a call any time. Whether you have a minor infestation or a full-blown invasion, we’ll wipe it out and keep it out. Every time.BACK TO BLOG