Fruit Flies

Fact Sheet Table of Contents

What are fruit flies?

food - fruit flyFruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of rotting foods or other moist, decaying food. The reproduction of fruit flies is enormous; given opportunity, they will lay about 500 eggs. They will also breed in drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, wet mops and soiled rags. The entire life span from egg to adult can be completed in about one week.

Where to fruit flies breed?

Fruit flies are common in homes, restaurants, supermarkets and wherever else food is allowed to rot and decay.

Adults are about 1/8-1/4 inch long and usually have red eyes. The front portion of the body is tan and the rear portion is black.

Where can fruit flies be found?

Fruit flies are especially attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. The adults can also fly in from outside through inadequately screened windows and doors. Fruit flies are primarily nuisance pests, however, they have the potential to contaminate food.

How can I prevent fruit flies?

The best way to avoid problems with fruit flies is to remove sources of attraction.

  • Discard cracked or damaged portions of fruits and vegetables.
  • Windows and doors should be equipped with tight-fitting (16 mesh) screens to help prevent adult fruit flies from entering from outdoors.
  • Clean inside drainpipes to remove all decaying materials. Clean slow moving drains with a stiff brush or other tool.

How are fruit flies eliminated?

Once a structure is infested with fruit flies, all possible breeding areas must be located and removed. Taping a clear plastic food storage bag over the opening overnight can show possible breeding sites, which are uneasy to reach, e.g., garbage disposals and drains. If flies are breeding in these areas, the adults will come out and be caught in the bag. Once a sight of breeding has been identify, a cleaning and sanitation schedule must be put into place. A professional pest control company may also be contacted to prevent and eliminate fruit flies.