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picture of fruit fly

Common Fruit Fly

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Fruit Fly Control Facts

Fruit flies are small, red-eyed, 1/4 inch long flies commonly associated with overripe and fermenting fruits and vegetables. However, fruit need not be present to have fruit flies, as they can originate from other sources. They are the number 1 pest fly in bars and restaurants.

Fruit flies can reproduce anywhere there is fermenting organic matter that stays consistently wet or moist. Like other flies, the fruit flies develop from larvae, and fruit fly larvae must have moist, fermenting organic matter in order to survive. The most likely of such sites in the home is a slow-moving or seldom-used sink, bathtub, shower, or floor drain in which a layer of slime (organic film) has built up above the water line. In restaurants and bars, other moist accumulations of fermenting organic matter are possible and should be considered. These include wet areas under dripping pipes and refrigeration equipment, garbage containers, and discarded bottles and cans. Regardless of where the flies originate, they will be seen at windows and at sinks, as they are attracted to light and to moisture.

Fruit Fly Life Cycle

Fruit Fly Life Cycle

Female fruit flies lay their eggs on the surface of rotting fruit. These eggs hatch into larvae, which molt twice before becoming full grown. Fruit fly larvae feed on the yeast organisms and fungi growing in the fruit and vegetable materials, and through their feeding efforts, they soon turn their food into a semi-liquid mess. When the full grown larvae are ready to pupate, they leave the rotten fruit for drier areas, usually to the sides of the garbage can. The time required to complete one life cycle is mainly dependent on the temperature of the growth medium and surrounding air; at 64 degrees Fahrenheit, it takes 18-20 days for growth from the egg stage to adult, while at 77 degrees Fahrenheit, only 8-10 days are required to complete the stages of development.

Fruit Fly Identification

Florida carpenter ant

Common Fruit Fly
1/8 inch in length


Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

Easy Fruit Fly Control

Fruit Flies are best controlled by locating and eliminating the source of the infestation. Sprays, fog and traps will capture and kill the adult flies, but control of the larvae and elimination of the breeding area will be the only way to stop them. Persistent presence of adult Fruit Flies indicates the larvae are developing nearby. This is always in the area of decaying or rotting organic matter, especially fruits and vegetables - hence the name fruit fly.

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