Fruit flies

Identification

  • Colour Tan/yellow to light brown
  • Size From 2.5 mm to 4 mm long
  • Also known as Vinegar flies, Wine flies, Pomace flies.
  • Description Have bright red eyes and antennae made up of three segments, with the last segment resembling a feathery bristle.
  • Notes Their worm-like larvae are cream coloured or white, with no legs or eyes, just a hook-like mouthpiece for feeding.

General Facts

Why do I have fruit flies?

Fruit flies, also known as vinegar flies, wine flies, and pomace flies, feed on the yeast and fungi that cause the fermentation of overripe, rotting fruit, vegetables, and organic matter. As a result, they are attracted to any where there is exposed food, including home kitchens, food processing facilities, restaurants, hotels, cafeterias, farmer’s markets, trash receptacles, recycling areas, dumpsters, beverage stations, and janitorial closets. Contrary to popular belief, fruit flies do not spontaneously grow out of rotting fruit, but find their way inside the building either by following the odours of ripe fruit or hitching a ride on the purchased produce. Female fruit flies then lay eggs inside fruit with damaged skin or in other moist, fermenting organic matter. The emerging larvae then have an immediate food source.

How worried should I be about fruit flies?

Fruit flies cannot bite or chew, so in order to eat, a fruit fly will repeatedly eject its own saliva on to food and then suck up the resulting mixture. This is an extremely unhygienic process, leaving behind bacteria and organisms that were once inside the fly. Fruit flies can also carry and transmit disease-causing germs. When fruit infested with fruit fly larvae is consumed accidentally, it can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. Fruit fly larvae also pose massive problems in Canadian orchards and farms, as the pests have the potential to ruin large amounts of fruit in a short time, due to their quick development and ability to reproduce rapidly. Female fruit flies lay approximately 400 eggs, about five at a time. The eggs hatch into larvae after only 12 hours. The larvae then grow for about four days, before pupating for about five days, to emerge as an adult fruit fly. The females begin breeding after only two days. Unfortunately, most DIY methods, like vinegar traps and fly strips, have minimal results, are unsightly, and do little more than kill a small segment of a fruit fly population. To truly end a fruit fly infestation you need a good sanitation program and professional pest control services.

How can I prevent fruit flies invading?

Reduce presence of ripe fruits and vegetables, Place fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator, Remove all rotting, decomposing produce, Close the lids on all garbage and waste containers, Clean up any kitchen spills immediately, Remove dirty sponges, washcloths, mop heads and buckets, Clean drains, replace broken tiles, remove standing water, Seal any crevices or cracks that may be entry points, Move dumpsters away from the building

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