Fruit Flies
Scientific Name:Drosophila
Length:About 3 mm
Color:Light yellow, tan
What Are Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies are little tiny flying insects that you often see buzzing around a piece of old fruit or garbage. They are very common and seem to appear magically out of nowhere. Fruit flies are considered a pest and can be an unsightly nuisance in homes, restaurants, and other places where food might be found sitting in the open. Almost everyone has seen fruit flies at one time or another. They are very common and classically fly around garbage pails. They are usually easy to get rid of, but can become an infestation if proper measures are not taken. In most cases if you remove what they are attracted to they disappear as magically as they seemed to have appeared. They prefer old or rotten food and fruits that are sweet.

Many refer to them as gnats, but this is not really correct because a gnat refers to a different species which includes many kinds of tiny flying insects, some of which bite and sting. Fruit flies do not bite nor sting, and pose no threat. It is interesting to note that fruit flies do have a male and female for reproduction, and have mating rituals. The females lay eggs in old food and fruit, and other types of suitable decaying substances. The common fruit fly’s scientific name is Drosophila Melanogaster. It has only four chromosomes and breeds rapidly. Fruit flies can appear in almost any location including all of the continents of the world, and the islands.

Where Do Fruit Flies Live?
Fruit flies live where they can feed off of decaying fruit and other old and rotten food type substances. Sometimes the substances they live on are so minute that we can barely make it out, such as the grime on an old mop, or the kitchen drain. They require very little to find a spot and call it home. If they have to move, they are ready to do so at a moment’s notice.

Your half eaten banana left on a table for a few hours can be a mansion to fruit flies. They live where ever the food is, and they particularly like garbage pails and cans.

Fruit flies have extremely large families and the Momma fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs at a time. The male and female do not mate for life but have several partners when breeding, and do it quite rapidly. It is very easy for these tiny flying creatures to enter “your” home or local eating establishment and set up their home.

Fruit flies can even fit through the openings on some door and window screens. Another common way for them to gain access to your home is by riding in as cargo on a piece of fruit or on vegetables. Not every piece of fruit or vegetable is perfect, including the fresh ones you get at the local produce stand or grocery store. The tiniest bruise on an apple leaking sap can become a place for fruit flies to live.

What Kinds of Fruit Flies Live in My Area?
What kinds of fruit flies live in your area? There are fruit flies all over the Earth, but one species that is in the United States is the Mexican Fruit Fly (Anastrepha Ludens). It is also called the Mexfly. Infestations in the United States were first noticed around 1927.

Its common habitat is Mexico and Central America (where it was discovered in 1863). It is now considered to reign in the United States, including the California and Arizona border. This is why you often see check points as you travel from one state to another. They want to be sure you are not carrying the Mexican Fruit Fly on fruits and vegetables.

Oranges and Mangos have really suffered from the Mexican Fruit Fly and the larvae. The migration into the United States began in Texas as they crossed over the Mexican border. Chances are that the fruit flies you see in your home or business are at least part Mexican.

Also found in Arizona, especially near the borders are the common fruit flies, better known as Vinegar Flies. They are from the Pomace Fly Family (Drosophidae). These are sort of the original fruit fly and they are found most everywhere.

The only difference in the kinds of fruit flies is basically the coloring. Throughout the United States it really doesn’t matter what type of fruit flies live in your area. Their lifestyle and breeding habits are basically the same on the whole planet.

What Damage Can Fruit Flies Inflict On You And Your Home?
Fruit flies normally do not cause any real damage around your home or to you. They possibly could spread germs but there really haven’t been any reported cases of true damage. If they are continually in a home there would seem to be a problem with cleanliness and fresh food, which could produce bacteria. In this case the fruit flies would have other allies such as rodents and cock roaches. In the most common scenario the fruit flies suddenly appear around a fruit bowl or a bag of fruit that is going bad.

Whenever you see a swarm of fruit flies you will often see something decaying. They are particularly attracted to sweet stuff and garbage residue, such as an unclean sink with a garbage disposer. Once the offending substance is removed, such as an over flowing kitchen trash can, they seem to just disappear.

The main damage they cause is visual because they are unsightly. It is not very pleasant to walk into your kitchen and see fruit flies buzzing all around your table because your fruit bowl is going bad, or you left something in a bag and it is beginning to rotten. Fruit flies do not give diseases to humans, but can transmit bacteria to food items and fruit, as mentioned earlier. You can breathe one in because they are so light, or get one in your eye, but no lasting damage will ensue. The chances of fruit flies causing damage to you and your home are fairly well nil and unheard of.

What Do I Do If I Was Bitten/Stung By A Fruit Fly?
A fruit fly, also referred to as a vinegar fly does not bite or sting humans. Fruit flies do not feed on blood, such as the mosquito, and do not have what is commonly known as mouth parts that bite. It may seem a little worrisome because they fly together in such large numbers, but this has no relevance when it comes to landing on the skin of humans, no matter what the number. They also do not have stingers.

Normally fruit flies just buzz around and do not sit very still unless they are feeding on old fruit or food. Occasionally a person could breathe one into their nose because they are so minute and light. They are easily swept by wind motions, such as a fan. It would also be easy to get a fruit fly in your eye, but there would be no cause for concern other than a bit of discomfort at having a foreign object in your eye. It would be no different than getting a fleck of dust or some other fairly harmless matter in your eye.

Fruit flies lay eggs on fermenting fruit which could cause bacteria on the fruit or old food on which they feed, so there is a possibility that you may have even eaten a few fruit flies in your life time. There is no danger or concern in being bitten or stung by a fruit fly, as they are not equipped for this function.

What Can You Do If You Already Have Fruit Flies?
If you have fruit flies it means you have something that is attracting them. It is very common for fruit flies to gather around decaying fruit. That is how they got their name. They are also attracted to certain old food residues, and continually damp areas around your dish washing area, or old mops with mildew.

Trash cans are also a great source for fruit flies. Seldom do you see a garbage can, especially outside, without fruit flies flying around it. So keep your garbage can well away from entrances into your home or other areas where you wish to eliminate the annoying critters.

After cleaning and removing the offending substances you can place a commercially made fly trap in the locales where they usually are, if needed. Fruit flies are very light creatures so they stick easily to the sticky and economical common fly traps that you can get most anywhere. Place the fly traps where you won’t run into them as they are extremely gooey, while being nontoxic at the same time.

After the fruit flies are all stuck to your fly trap, remove it, and toss in the trash. Remember, it is very sticky, so carefully place the fly trap in a used grocery bag, or something similar before tossing it in the trash. The whole process should take no longer than a day or so. They usually disappear after the offending item or items are removed. Repeat the process if needed, and try not to leave food stuff, such as old bananas, apple cores, and like items laying around to prevent a sudden invasion of fruit flies.

How Do You Prevent Fruit Flies From Invading Your Environment?
It takes a lot of conscientious effort to keep fruit flies from invading your environment. There are so many ways a fruit fly can come in. They seem to appear out of nowhere. All it takes is for a person to unwittingly leave out a piece of half eaten fruit, and presto! You suddenly walk in and you have a whole swarm of fruit flies buzzing around the piece of fruit. If you decide to forgo washing your cereal bowls, or even leave a baby bottle unattended, and it goes sour, you are likely to get fruit flies buzzing about.

A lot of times you might think you have gotten rid of a bunch of fruit flies only to find that you actually have an invasion. If fruit flies gather quickly every time you leave practically any food substance out you have an invasion. They are so small individually that you can barely see them. It only takes a few hiding out in your garbage disposer or some other place with similar conditions. They multiply amazingly fast. It does take a male and female for them to reproduce, but there are so many that this seems to be no problem. Plus, they lay several eggs at a time.

The best way to prevent an infestation is to keep all areas clean and free from improperly stored food or garbage. Sticky fly traps also seem to help if you are having trouble with fruit flies invading your environment.

Are Fruit Flies Dangerous For My Pets?
Fruit flies are not dangerous for your pets, but they can be annoying, just as they are for humans. On occasion something in your pet’s eating bowl can attract fruit flies. Moist pet food is often a detriment if you do not want to attract fruit flies to your animal’s feeding dish. If the fruit flies are swarming over your pet’s bedding, wash it, and keep it clean.

Many worry about the fact that they lay eggs in their pet’s food bowl, which can turn into larva. They think their pets will get “worms” by eating this food. This is not the case, and we as humans have probably consumed our fair share of fruit fly eggs when eating ripened fruit and vegetables. Fruit fly eggs and larva are barely discernible, as they are extremely small. You can see them, and yes, fruit fly larvae are a form of maggots. The best way to eliminate this worry is to feed your pet dry food, such as the kind you get in a bag from a commercial store. Do not add liquid to it if it is going to be standing.

Always keep your pet’s feeding bowl clean and replace if needed. Use soap and water to clean it out on a regular basis and rinse well with clean running water. Practice good standards for feeding your animals, and storing their food, just as you would for yourself. Fruit flies are not dangerous for your pets.

When Are Fruit Flies Most Active?
Fruit flies seem active all of the time. You can get up in the middle of the night, turn on the kitchen light and alas! There they are, the dreaded site of seemingly a million little fruit flies buzzing around your kitchen trash or kitchen table. The common house fly appears to be inactive at night time, and you will see them attached motionless to the ceiling. This is not true for the little tiny fruit fly, they seem to never sleep. The question should be “Do fruit flies sleep?”

Scientists often choose the fruit fly for experimental studies because they have only four chromosomes and other factors about them which make them a good target for examination. Even though the fruit fly never seems to sleep and appears extremely hyperactive they do sleep. The sleep habits of a fruit fly closely resemble those of a human being. Caffeine has been proven to have an effect on the fruit fly, just as it does a human. If you see them awake at night it is because you also are awake and normally would be sleeping. They are very light sleepers and move extremely fast, so the sudden turning on of the lights can awaken them. They are not sluggish as they awake. Fruit flies sleep about seven hours a night on the average. In studies they have been shown to make up for lost sleep the next night. Fruit flies are the most active during the day time.

Where Are The Common Hiding Places For Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies do not seemingly seek hiding places. They can sneak in on a piece of fermenting fruit or other like substance without being noticed. Many insects hide in cracks and crevices, but this is not true for the fruit fly. It is very obvious when fruit flies have taken up residence and fly around your kitchen table or trash cans.

Many would say they are hiding in garbage pails, fruit bowls, sinks, mildewed mops, kitchen dish rags, and other places with possible feeding surfaces. It is true that fruit flies lay eggs on these surfaces and at that time they might be barely noticeable, but they are only doing what comes natural to them. A few fruit flies could enter your home and become many.

The common house fly is tricky when dodging a fly-swatter, this is not true for the fruit fly. If you reached out your hand and closed it upon a group of fruit flies you would most likely have several in your hand. They seem oblivious to sudden movements and the light or darkness, even though they prefer the more dusky moisture ridden surroundings.

Fruit flies don’t usually land on humans, as they appear to be only led by the decaying food substance and aroma of sweet stickiness. If you carry the piece of fruit they are congregating on out the door they will fly right along with it in order not to lose contact. The fruit fly’s whole life revolves around what they are feeding on and they are not concerned with hiding places.

What Is The Birthing Cycle Of Fruit Flies?
The birthing cycle of fruit flies from egg to larvae hatching spans 24 hours. There are many different kinds of fruit flies if you go continent by continent throughout the world, but it can only be seen with microscopic study. They are all basically the same, except for coloring. They live anywhere from one week to several weeks depending upon the weather in the geographical area into which they are born.

Fruit flies go through three different stages before becoming full pledged adults. From the egg, they turn into larva, as mentioned earlier, then into pupa. The common fruit fly lays about 500 eggs at a time. The food source is always an important matter to the fruit fly. In fact the food supply is the driving force in the life cycle of a fruit fly. It is created and born on a feeding surface. This surface is often decaying fruit or other food type substances.

Adult fruit flies spend most of their time reproducing and feeding. They do sleep, though, at night time for about 7 hours. In order for an egg to turn into a larva it needs a fairly consistent temperature that is warm, such as we humans have when maintaining the environment in our home. Freezing weather is not a friend to fruit flies. The best temperature for laying eggs is somewhere around 80 degrees Fahrenheit or so. Even though there are different kinds of fruit flies throughout the world, their birthing cycle remains the same.

What Is The History Of Fruit Flies?
The history of fruit flies is interesting, especially beginning around the early 1900’s. There are many things about the fruit fly that benefits mankind when it comes to scientific and medical research. Its scientific name of Drosphila Melanogaster is hailed as the model organism for research in the science and medical field. Genetic research found a wealth of information while studying the fruit fly and its life form.

We are all basically living organisms. There is no easier way to begin than with the common fruit fly and its four chromosomes. It was through the fruit fly that discovery and realization was made of the harm that ionizing radiation causes mutations and problems in genes. It is amazing how much we have in common with the tiny little fruit fly. They sleep like we do and are also affected by too much caffeine. The complex nervous system of the fruit fly is also valuable in the neuroscience field providing a chance to study neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. The basis of the “Circadian Rhythm” was discovered and studied, thanks to the fruit fly. The fruit fly may be annoying but the medical and science world are certainly appreciative of it and the benefits it offers mankind.

The chromosomes in the fruit fly are approximately 1/20th of the human size, but have basically the same number of genes. Even more amazing is the fact that almost three quarters of human genes that are disease affiliated have fruit fly homologues. The fruit flies have a strong history of being pertinent to research all over the Earth.


Fruit flies normally do not cause any real damage around your home or to you. They possibly could spread germs but there really haven’t been any reported cases of true damage. If they are continually in a home there would seem to be a problem with cleanliness and fresh food, which could produce bacteria. In this case the fruit flies would have other allies such as rodents and cock roaches. In the most common scenario the fruit flies suddenly appear around a fruit bowl or a bag of fruit that is going bad.

Whenever you see a swarm of fruit flies you will often see something decaying. They are particularly attracted to sweet stuff and garbage residue, such as an unclean sink with a garbage disposer. Once the offending substance is removed, such as an over flowing kitchen trash can, they seem to just disappear.

Watchdog Pest Control and exterminators will monitor your home and help prevent an infestation with FRUIT FLIES.

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