Everything You Need To Know About The Elusive Fruit Fly

June 15, 2020

By: Dr. Claude Thomas

We all let bananas ripen on the countertop and tomatoes sit on the windowsill to ripen to that perfect shade of juicy redness. However, if they sit for one day too long, the likely result will be an influx of fruit flies. When fresh produce comes indoors, it's free of these flying pests. Suddenly, fruit flies seem to appear out of nowhere. Where to fruit flies come from?

fruit flies on banana

Fruit Fly Identification

What do fruit flies look like?  These insects are quite small and look like small flying dots congregating around rotting organic material. Adults are about 1/8-inch-long and usually have red eyes, however, some have black eyes.

Once inside your home, they will fly directly to their food source - fermenting fruit. Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. The eggs will hatch, and adult fruit flies will mature in eight days. The adult female fruit fly will live about a month and may lay up to 500 eggs in that time which, as you can imagine, will quickly result in an infestation.

How Do Fruit Flies Get Into My House?

During the warm months of the year, fruits and vegetables are ripening outside, and fruit flies fly around in their normal life cycle. They are hardwired to smell fermenting fruit and can do so from a long-distance away. If there's a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter, there's probably a fruit fly or two looking for a way into your home to get to it. 

With their instinct to smell ripening fruit, they will detect the odor as air exits your home through any small openings such as doors, windows, or other small entryways. They will continue to fly around the exterior of your home until they find a way inside by following air currents that are moving in and out of your home.

Fruit flies will also hitchhike their way into a home on fruit that has already begun to ripen. If you let your tomatoes over ripen on the vine before picking them, you may be harvesting fruit fly eggs along with your crop.

Preventing Fruit Flies

The following tips will help keep these unwanted bugs away:

  • Refrigerate produce items whenever possible.

  • Monitor fruit and vegetables that you keep outside of your refrigerator. Be sure to eat them before they begin to rot.

  • Clean up any organic matter in areas where fruit flies will congregate.

  • Don’t overlook drains and garbage disposal units. Clean up garbage receptacles, and look under the garbage bags to make sure no matter is left behind.

Despite your best efforts, you still may find yourself plagued with an unwanted fruit fly infestation. Fortunately, the experts at Lindsey Pest Services have the tools and experience to eliminate all unwanted pests from your home. We also offer solutions to keep these pests away in the future. Reach out to us today. 


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