Fruit Fly Information

Fruit Fly Identification

Fruit flies are usually found hovering around fermenting fruits and vegetables. Each fly is about 1/8 of an inch long and has a dull yellow-brown to dark brown color. Some species have distinctive red eyes and wings that either “break” in the leading vein nearest the body or protrude from the side. The rear has black stripes. The tiny larvae are easily identified by an extended, stalk-like breathing tube found at the rear of the body. Pupae are brown and have a seed-like appearance with two horn-like stalks at one end.

Fruit Fly Education

Fruit flies can be a problem year-round, but these pests are especially common during late summer and fall when they are attracted by ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables. A single female can lay up to 500 eggs onto the surfaces of fermenting produce or other areas where moisture and yeast are abundant. It takes about 30 hours for the eggs to hatch and five days for the larvae to develop and crawl to drier areas of the food to pupate. There, it takes another eight to 10 days for the adults to develop and finally emerge from its pupal state.

Oftentimes mistaken for gnats, fruit flies are most noticeable in the kitchen, where they are found lingering around tomatoes, melons, squash, grapes, and other perishable items that have been brought in from the garden. This is often the leading cause of an indoor infestation, but may also result from rotting bananas, potatoes, onions, and other non-refrigerated produce purchased at the grocery store.

Fruit flies can breed almost anywhere:

  • Drains
  • Garbage disposals
  • Empty bottles and cans
  • Trash containers
  • Mops and cleaning rags
  • Under dripping pipes and refrigeration equipment

Other likely places include slow-moving or seldom-used sink, bathtub, shower, or floor drains in which a layer of slime (gelatinous film) has built up about the water line. While these flies can reproduce anywhere there is fermenting organic matter, all that is required for development is a moist film. Also, regardless of where the flies originate, they may be found at windows throughout the house because they are attracted to light as well as moisture.

Fruit flies are also known as vinegar flies because of their development in and attraction to the briny or vinegar-like liquids at the top of imperfectly sealed canned fruits and vegetables. These flies may act as disease transmitters and carriers. As a result, fruit flies may contaminate food with bacteria and other disease-producing organisms. Working with a knowledgeable pest control team for fruit fly pest solutions is key to ridding your home of an infestation.

Customer Preparation

Inside Only:

  • Eliminate organic matter in drain pipes by using a biodegrading bacterial treatment. Follow label directions carefully for best results.
  • Clean slow-moving drains with a stiff brush or similar tool.
  • Use high-pressure water or slowly pour boiling water to “sterilize” drains that cannot be scrubbed.

Note: Bleach and ammonia provide no benefit in the treatment of drains.

Customer Expectations from Fruit Fly Treatment

In response to treatment, fruit flies will die upon contact. The insects do not flush, and no additional swarms will appear. The infestation should subside quickly once breeding sources are located.