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Fruit Flies

Drosophila melanogaster

Fruit flies are common household pests that can be a terrible nuisance around your home. These flies are year-round pests, but they are especially prolific in late summer and fall. Fruit flies are known for their small size, red eyes, and brown bodies. These pests are not harmful on their own, but they can be indicative of unsanitary household conditions.

Color: Light tan abdomen.
Legs: 6
Shape: Small oval.
Size: 1/8 inch.
Antennae: Tiny.

What Attracts Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies are mainly attracted to moist, fermenting fruits and vegetables. However, they are also drawn to things such as drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash bags, cleaning rags, and mops. Essentially, they are drawn to food waste and moist environments. Fruit flies only feed on food surfaces, so the chance of ingesting these pests is next to zero.

How Long Do Fruit Flies Live?
Contrary to popular myth, fruit flies live longer than 24 hours. Under good conditions, they can live up to 40-50 days.

Where Do Fruit Flies Lay Eggs?
Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, primarily in fermenting fruit or other decaying, sweet, organic material.

Signs You Have a Fruit Fly Infestation
The clearest way to spot a fruit fly infestation is by seeing these pests flying around your home. Look for them in kitchens and other areas where food can be found.

How to Prevent an Infestation
Fruit flies are attracted to fermenting produce, so the best way to prevent an infestation is to remove sources of attraction. Seal your produce in airtight containers, store it in the refrigerator, and remove any overripe produce. Prevent these flies from entering your home by installing mesh screens on windows and doors.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Though fruit fly populations can be managed with aerosol insecticide sprays, the most effective way to get rid of fruit flies is to make a fly trap. Roll a piece of paper or strip of cardboard into a funnel shape and place it in a jar that holds two to three ounces of apple cider vinegar. Fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and unable to escape once they enter the trap.