Fruit flies come in varying yellow shades, brown-black or brown-yellow. As their name suggests fruit flies feed on fruits. They have red eyes dominating the head and a tan thorax. They are about a fifth of an inch to one tenth of an inch in length. Fruit flies are related to the house fly.
Fruit flies do not bite
The mouth structure of fruit flies does not aid biting so it cannot puncture or pierce anything. Fruit flies feed on liquids only. They will spit on solid food to soften and liquefy it before sucking it through their proboscis.
Fruit flies have a strong sense of smell. They are attracted to over ripe and fermenting fruit. The trash bin with the discarded salad remains of tomatoes, onions, avocado and other bits of fruits emit a scent that is irresistible to fruit flies. They fly towards the smell and right in to your trash can.
The life cycle of the fruit flies is about 50 days. The weather and temperatures greatly influence their development . During warm weather female fruit flies lay batches of eggs in garbage or rotten fruits which will act as food when they hatch into larvae. A female fruit fly can lay as many as 500 eggs in its lifetime increasing their population rapidly.
There are four clear phases in a fruit fly life cycle.
Egg phase: the female fruit fly lays about 20 eggs that hatch into larvae within 2 days. At this stage fruit fly eggs are so small you might fail to see them on your vegetables and fruits.
Larva phase: this stage lasts for about four days. The eggs change into maggots that eat night and day voraciously, readying for the next phase of transformation. They molt several times to accommodate their growing bodies.
Pupa phase: this is where the magic happens and the larva transforms into a fruit fly and emerges fully grown.
Adult fruit fly: this is a fully grown fruit fly and now the cycle can begin anew.
This whole process from egg to adult fruit fly metamorphosis takes less than two weeks.
During winter they enter a kind of sleep mode known as diapause during which their growth and appetite slows down until the weather warms up again.
How fruit flies get in your house
Fruit flies enter you home through open windows and doors. If these are closed they can pass through tiny gaps around the windows and cracks and crevices in the walls. You may import the fruit fly eggs laid in fruit and vegetables into your home when you buy them from the grocery store.
Fruit flies can be dangerous to your health because when they walk on garbage and rotting matter, bacteria laden debris sticks to their legs and when they alight on your fruit salad they leave some of these bacteria behind causing diarrhea and cholera.
To avoid attracting fruit flies in to your house make sure you keep vegetables and fruits in the fridge. Garbage bins should have tight fitting lids and frequently emptied and cleaned. Fruits that are about to rot should be discarded immediately.