Also Known As:
Pomace flies, vinegar flies, wine flies
How to Identify:
Fruit Fly – Identification and Treatments. Fruit flies are small winged insects who have six legs. They have large red eyes and are often tan or brown in color. They are also known to be black or grey on some parts of their body. Fruit flies are around 2-4 mm long and females are typically smaller than males. Signs of a fruit fly infestation include seeing active adults in kitchens or near trash cans or seeing the pupae, which looks similar to rodent droppings with one pair of horns on the end.
Fruit flies are most active in the summer and periods of warm weather. Hot weather is ideal for mating and growth of these insects, so population increases in the summer are common. However, they can be active year-round inside a heated home. These flies eat ripe fruit and vegetables as well as rotting food. Fruit flies reproduce rapidly and the females can lay up to 500 eggs. These eggs then undergo larval and pupal stages, each lasting only a few days. They then become adult and live for about 30 more days.
It is a common misconception that fruit flies bite people. Fruit flies do not have biting mouthparts and do not eat blood. Other small species of biting flies are often mistaken for fruit flies.
How to Stop Them:
Fruit flies are attracted to sugary, organic, or rotting materials so one way to keep them out of your home it to keep your trash cans clean and covered. It is also helpful to place any fruit or vegetables in the fridge or a sealed container if possible and to throw away any overripe or damaged fruit. Fruit flies can also live and breed in unclean drains. Getting rid of all or most of fruit fly food sources and breeding ground will help keep infestations out of your home. Fruit fly traps bought in stores may help kill some adults but won’t affect the larvae or eggs. If a fruit fly problem persists in your home, it can be beneficial to contact a pest control professional.