The fruit fly is one of smallest and most ubiquitous flies found in our homes. It finds its way into our homes on fresh veggies and fruit brought from the grocery store. Finding plenty of food in the home it hangs around.
It has a yellowish – brown body with a tan underside and black rings across its abdomen. It has red eyes dominating the head. In length it’s 3 to 4mm.
Its scientific name is drosophila melanogasta though it is commonly known as fruit fly. It feeds on fermenting liquids such as beer, soft drinks, rotting vegetables, overripe fruit and foods in garbage. It can’t resist vinegar and pomace. Fruit flies are found in bakeries also because they are attracted to yeast.
A large amount of fruit is harvested at the tail end of summer and during fall attracting huge numbers of fruit flies.
The female fruit fly lays about 20 eggs in rotting fruit or in garbage that will be a food source for the larvae when they hatch. The eggs are very small and are easily overlooked. They will hatch after two days.
The second stage is the larvae. It lasts for about four days and within that period these worms eat night and day molting several times to accommodate the bigger body.
In the third phase the larvae seal themselves up in a cocoon and wait as the metamorphosis happens.
Fourth phase the fly emerges as fully formed fruit fly and the cycle begins again.
All these stages from egg to adult take just about two weeks.
Fruit flies can lay 500 eggs in their lifetime. They have a lifespan of 50 days.
The fruit fly doesn’t damage the home but it is a total nuisance.
Fruit fly control
The most effective way of controlling fruit flies is by identifying their source of food and their breeding habits
Refrigerate or throw away ripening fruits.
Before recycling beverage containers wash them out.
Make sure trash and garbage containers are clean.
Clean up any spilled soda, juices and beer.
Make simple effective homemade traps.
You will need :
Apple cider vinegar
Put a cup of the apple cider vinegar into a small bowl. Add a few drops of dish soap .
Place the bowl in where the fruit flies are let the trap work its magic.
This is effective because fruit flies can’t resist the smell of vinegar and they will try to land on top of it but will fall in and drown because the vinegar’s surface tension is broken by the dish soap.
This method is eco friendly cheap and has no harsh fumes.
Make another simple trap by putting a bit of overripe fruit in plastic bag that is open. Seal the bag carefully after the fruit flies have congregated on the fruit trapping them inside.
Prevent future infestations
Infestation happens when fruit that is infected is brought home from the grocery store. Don’t buy any produce that fruit flies are hovering around.
Make sure that fruits are eaten before they overripe.
Ensure your trash is taken out regularly and the bin scrubbed inside to get rid of bits and fluids that are left at the bottom.
If these measures don’t deal with the infestation call a professional pest exterminator to help you out.