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Fruit Fly

Fruit flies are common in homes, restaurants, supermarkets and wherever else food is allowed to rot and ferment.  Adults are about 1/8 inch long and usually have red eyes.  The front portion of the body is tan and the rear portion is black.  Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials.  Upon emerging, the tiny larvae continue to feed near the surface of the fermenting mass.  This surface-feeding characteristic of the larvae is significant in that damaged or over-ripened portions of fruits and vegetables can be cut away without having to discard the remainder for fear of retaining any developing larvae.  The reproductive potential of fruit flies is enormous; given the opportunity, they will lay about 500 eggs.  The entire life cycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week.

Fruit flies are especially attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables in the kitchen.  They also will breed in drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops and cleaning rags.  All that is needed for development is a moist film of fermenting material. Infestations can originate from over-ripened fruits or vegetables that were previously infested and brought into the home.  The adults can also fly in from outside through inadequately screened windows and doors.

Fruit flies are primarily nuisance pests.  However, they also have the potential to contaminate food with bacteria and other disease-producing organisms.

Prevention Tips

Eliminate sources of attraction.

Produce which has ripened should be eaten, discarded or refrigerated.

Rinse beverage cans or bottles if you recycle.

Windows and doors should be equipped with tight-fitting screens to help prevent adult fruit flies from entering from outdoors.

Use an all-purpose cleaner to wipe down food prep areas, including the bottoms of trashcans, to rid the area of decaying organic matter.

Replace kitchen sponges and mop refills regularly.

Make it a habit to clean your garbage disposal.