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Fruit Flies

Latin Name

Family Drosophilidae

  • SizeDrosophila melanogaster is a species of small fly. Adults are 3 to 4 mm long.
  • Eyes: May have red eyes, though some are dark eyed
  • Body: Tan thorax. The abdomen is black on top, gray underneath.
  • Color: Fruit flies can appear to be brown or tan in color.

How Did I Get Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies often infest homes with ripe, rotting, or decayed fruit and produce. They also enjoy fermented items such as beer, liquor, and wine. Fruit flies also may breed and develop in drains, garbage disposals, trash cans, and mop buckets. Once they begin reproducing indoors, females are able to lay about 500 eggs and the eggs will hatch in as little as 24-30 hours after being deposited by the female. This makes the pests difficult to control.

How Serious Are Fruit Flies?

Aside from being a nuisance, fruit flies they have the potential to contaminate food with bacteria and other pathogens. To avoid a fruit fly infestation, store produce in air-tight containers or refrigerators and inspect any fruits or vegetables brought into the home. Also, establish a schedule to regularly clean drain lines, garbage disposals and any location where food waste accumulates.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

What do they eat?
Fruit flies eat ripened fruit and vegetables and fermenting products. Ream more about fruit flies in food.

Populations tend to build during the summer, becoming very abundant at harvest time. Indoors, fruit flies are frequently active at all times of the year.

Reproduction & Life Cycle

The common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)is known for its ability to reproduce rapidly. Larvae of fruit flies develop in moist areas where organic material and standing water are present. The entire life cycle lasts 25 days or more depending on the environmental conditions and the availability of food.

Like other fly species, fruit flies experience a four-stage life cycle: beginning as eggs, they undergo larval and pupal stages before emerging as adults. The early life stages span approximately a few days and fruit flies can complete their development in as little as week in ideal temperature conditions. Adult fruit flies can live up to 30 days.





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