A species of the common housefly called Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly is differentiated by its red eyes (dark-coloured in several species), tan thorax, and black abdomen. They have obtained their name due to their strong attraction to rotting or ripening fruit that serves as a food source as well as a place to lay their eggs.
If you have been noticing small flies in kitchen, they're probably fruit flies. Fruit flies can be a troublesome issue year-round but are particularly common during late summer/fall since they are attracted to ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables.
Tomatoes, bananas, grapes, melons/watermelons, squash, and other perishable products brought in from the garden or vendors are often the cause of an infestation developing indoors. Fruit flies are also attracted to rotting apples, oranges, onions, and other unrefrigerated items purchased at the grocery store.
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Physical Characteristics of Fruit Fly - What Do Fruit Flies Look Like?
Scientific Characteristics of Fruit Fly
Adult Fruit Fly
Adult fruit flies customarily reach 3-4 mm in length and survive a maximum of 40 to 50 days. While fruit flies are most active during the fall harvest, they can be pesky pests inside a home round the year. As you might think, fruit flies are also constant (though non-paying) customers in grocery store produce sections, vegetable vendors and they love to flutter around dumpsters, garbage cans or anywhere else they can mooch a free, fruity meal.
Types of Fruit Flies
Following are the different types of fruit flies-
Fruit Fly Interesting Facts for Kids
There are more than 120,000 species of flies around the world with about 18,000 found in North America.
Female fruit flies lay eggs using rotting fruit or vegetables as their nest.
A female housefly can lay up to 600 eggs in her very short lifespan.
Most fruit flies live an average of 21 days and take on different shapes throughout their short lives.
Some fruit flies only live for 8-10 days.
These little buggers are quite fond of wine and beer! Left open-mouthed?
Likability does not mean, fruit flies crave alcohol – you probably won’t see a fruit fly at an AA (Alcoholic Anonymous) meeting– they’re just attracted to any type of fermenting food source.
Baby fruit flies are called larvae but they are also recognized as maggots.
Amazingly, doctors use a special species of maggots in order to help patients with flesh wounds, particularly burn victims.
Maggots consume the damaged flesh, which helps the wound heal.
These small insects are nuisance pests that have been known to carry over 100 various kinds of disease-causing germs and may transmit diseases.
Fruit flies are a precious asset to scientists performing genetic research, as fruit flies and humans share 75% of those genes which cause disease. Their short lifespan is also compliant with inspecting changes and mutations that can take place between birth and death.
Fruit Fly Trap
A better approach, however, is to build a fruit fly trap by placing a paper funnel (rolled from a notebook paper) into a jar which is then plagued with a few ounces of cider vinegar. Place the jar trap wherever fruit flies are found fluttering. This simple yet effective trap will soon catch any remaining adult flies which can then be killed or dispersed outdoors.
Tiny flies in the house, kitchen or fruit flies in plants are a common problem for many homeowners and are often observed hovering around kitchen fruit bowls and garbage storage bins. How do you catch fruit flies? There are varieties of fruit fly catcher available to capture and kill these pesky insects. These fruit flycatchers use food-based, non-toxic liquid to lure fruit flies inside the apple-shaped trap or catcher. Once they enter the catcher, they are unable to escape to continue breeding. Within a few days of placing the fruit flycatchers, your fruit fly problems will be a thing of the past.
CAUTION! The use of some products may not be legal in your country or state. Please check with your local county agent or regulatory official about specific Pesticides recommendations before using any.
Fruit Flies Diet
Another interesting fact about fruit flies is that they do not have teeth or a stinger. Their mouths suck food like a sponge. They can only absorb liquids; however, they can turn many solid foods into liquid by spitting or vomiting on them. Their tongues are straw- shaped that allows sucking up their food. They consume any wet or decaying matter, but they are specifically drawn to pet waste since the odour is strong and it is easy for them to find.
Fruit Fly Reproduction and Life Cycle
The common Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) display a literal four-stage insect reproductive of egg-larvae-pupae-adult. Like any other insect, they also –start as eggs, undergo larval and pupal stages before emerging as adults. The larvae start to feed on decaying fruit instantly upon hatching. It takes about 8-15 days to complete the whole metamorphosis. What makes fruit flies so complex to control is that one female fruit fly can lay up to 500-600 eggs in her short lifespan.
The early life stages span an estimated few days and fruit flies can complete their development in as little as a week under ideal temperature conditions. Adult fruit flies can survive up to 30 days.
This small insect is known for its ability to reproduce rapidly. Larvae of fruit flies occur in moist areas where organic substances and standing water are present. The whole life cycle lasts 25 days or more depending on the weather or environmental conditions and the availability of food.
Fruit Fly Habitat
A common fruit fly habitat includes homes, kitchen/pantry, restaurants, grocery stores, food marts, and anywhere else where food may be rotting and fermenting. Most visible summer through fall, fruit flies can be a nudnik year-round.
As the name suggests, fruit flies are drawn to fruits, vegetables, as well as liquids or spills sitting out on store shelves, in kitchens bowls, floors, and ripening in the garden. These insects are also capable of breeding and rearing decaying meat, trash cans, and spills of soda or alcohol.
Moreover, they also breed in drains, garbage storage and disposal, trash bins, empty beer and soda cans, and soppy mops and buckets. Fruit flies only require fermenting fruit or a moist film of organic substance to breed and bloom. House flies are inclined to stay within 1-2 miles of where they were born but will travel up to 20 miles in search of food. They breed in compost heaps, pet areas, and garbage containers.
Fruit Flies Impact
These insects are known to carry over 100 different kinds of disease-causing germs and even transmit them to humans. Also, commonly found insects, fruit flies in plants are an irritant to households. The compost, vegetable waste, or humus dumped in plants give rise to these houseflies.
Fruit Flies Prevention
Fruit flies or tiny flies in the house are typically drawn to sugary, syrupy, and organic materials and are commonly found infesting fruit. Thus, an ideal approach to avoid problems with fruit flies is to remove sources of attraction. Let’s check for some of the best prevention tips:-
The first and best step of addressing a fruit fly infestation is the destruction of their feeding and breeding grounds.
Keep your house, garden area, and floors clean.
Remove and empty trash regularly and seal garbage containers to prevent fruit fly infestations.
Regularly wipe kitchen counters and clean spills.
Clean up pet waste instantly.
Use fine mesh screens on doors and windows to avert off flies from entering your home.
Any fruit brought home should be stored in the refrigerator after cleaning if appropriate.
People, who make their own wine, beer, or cider or can their own fruits and vegetables, should make sure that the jars are well sealed; else, fruit flies will lay their eggs beneath the lid and the tiny larvae will enter the jar upon hatching.