One of the most common household pests, especially in the late summer and early fall, is the fruit fly. This insect may seem basic enough, but here are five things you didn’t know about fruit flies that can help you understand their habits. After all, the better you understand fruit flies, the more you can improve your pest control for the home against these tiny insects.
Fruit fly facts:
- Adult fruit flies, which are also called vinegar flies, are about 1/8-inch long with red eyes and a brown or tan body. Some things you didn’t know about fruit flies are how populations are normally built in the summer, and stronger fliers can travel long distances!
- Fruit flies are attracted to fruit and sweet things, just as their name suggests, but things you didn’t know about fruit flies are that they also like to breed in decaying meat, trash bins, damp “sour” mops, garbage disposals, and sink drains. Any sugary or greasy organic material—including overripe fruits and vegetables—provides a breeding ground for fruit flies.
- These insects live for up to 45-50 days. During their brief lives, these insects reproduce rapidly, which may be one of the things you didn’t know about fruit flies (or didn’t like to hear…). This quality makes them formidable pests. Only 24 to 30 hours after a female fruit fly lays her eggs, they hatch and begin feeding. It takes about 8-10 days to grow from egg to an adult. A female fruit fly will lay an average of 500 eggs in her lifetime.
- You can prevent fruit fly infestation with a number of efforts. Store fruits and vegetables in the fridge and readily dispose of any overripe produce that you won’t be eating right away. Wipe the counters of spills immediately and empty the trashcan regularly. You can also rinse out cans and bottles before you toss in recycle bins to further prevent an infestation.
- If you already have a fruit fly infestation, there are some things you can do to get rid of them. The kitchen drain might a hidden breeding ground for fruit flies, but bacterial digesters poured down the drain should destroy any eggs or fruits there. You can also set up fruit fly traps to capture the adults by filling the bottom of a jar with cider vinegar or an overripe piece of fruit. Place a paper funnel in the jar so the insects can easily enter it, but cannot get back out again.
These are only 5 of the things you didn’t know about fruit flies. For more information about how to prevent fruit fly infestation, please visit our website, pestdefense.com, or call one of our professionals at 855-855-4873. We also invite you to join us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for additional tips regarding pest control for the home.