Fruit flies could be driving you crazy; they revel in access to decaying fruits and vegetables. Picking up any produce that drops off in your garden, and ensuring that your trash can lids are on tight, are great first steps. However, Fischer can really help you understand and rid yourself of these buggers!
Fruit Flies Defined
Fruit flies are tiny insects that feed on fruits and vegetables. In fact, they are found both in and on them. They have six legs and are generally no bigger than a 1/8th of an inch. These insects are certainly a nuisance, but they might also be carrying diseases (something far worse than irritation).They have a black abdomen, with a grey underbelly, and their eyes are sometimes red. These features make them all the more menacing in appearance, though their small size reduces the seeming threat.
Fruit flies are classified into two major groups: drosophilidae and tephritidae. The drosophilidae are thought to include up to 1500 species, while the tephritidae family may incorporate upwards of 5000. Numbers could be potentially larger as scientists have been unable to identify all of them yet. The drosophilidae family includes the flies with the least interesting appearance, while the tephritidae family tends to have those with colorful wings (sometimes labeled peacock flies).
They are known to inhabit homes and restaurants and other locales where moist, sweet, decaying matter has been left stationary for some time. They can even reproduce and infest places in which drains have not been cleaned. Be on the lookout for areas like the garbage disposal when trying to ascertain where the flies are coming from.
Fruit flies are technically found all over the world. However, the warmer the climate, the more varieties you’ll find, as the heat produces larger amounts of desirable food and reproduction potential. Because they are remarkable fliers, capable of flying several miles a day, fruit flies can spread very rapidly over an area.
Fruit flies love decaying fruits and vegetables. Fermenting, and extremely ripe, veggies and other produce are quite desirable to them. In reality, they are actually being drawn to the yeast that breaks down the sugars during fermentation. Since many species like the byproduct of this process: alcohol, you might see them around beer and wine bottles.
Although their true preference is fruits and vegetables, they will also survive on rotting meat or drain scum. Some even eat the sap and nectar from flowers, or feed on other parasites. It is their ability to eat a wide range of foods that makes them a challenging pest to eradicate. They’ve been known to ruin entire crops, but in some instances, they have also been used to control other harmful insects. One must sometimes take the bad with the good.
Shockingly, the process of the fly from egg to adult takes only 14-30 days. Even more jaw-dropping is the fact that one female can lay up to 500 eggs (dependent upon the species, of course) and these wee ones can hatch in as long as one day, or as short as a few hours! Additionally, fruit flies can produce young more than once in their lifecycle. They lay their eggs in the food they are eating, and the four day larval stage allows them plenty of time to ingest the rotting material they are surrounded by. Ultimately, they will molt and then enter the pupal stag, where they grow wings and legs. Then, off they’ll be to start the whole process again.
How to Control them
The most obvious place to start is to rid the area of any rotting, old or decaying matter. You might even want to keep your fresh produce in the refrigerator rather than out and accessible. Perhaps unbeknownst to you, mops, rags and sponges can hold fragments of decayed matter and should be properly cleaned, or replaced if an infestation is suspected.
If you have ensured that all potential attractants are removed and yet there are still flies in your vicinity, you might want to make a trap. You could purchase one, but making your own is usually just as effective. Get a plastic bottle and add a small amount of wine, beer, or decaying matter to the bottom. Then insert a paper funnel into the mouth of the bottle. The files will enter in, to retrieve the food, but will not know how to get out.
Fruit flies are disgusting and irritating and should definitely be removed from your home, or place of business, as soon as they are observed. Ridding the area of all garbage or other decaying matter is the first step. If necessary, traps can be made to remove the remaining flies. Just make sure you’ve cleaned the drains and the mops, sponges and rags too. If you have additional advice or questions, contact our professionals to offer advice and services for eradicating fruit flies.
Filed in: Flies