Any type of fly is best dealt with by using preventative measures. Fruit flies are attracted to over ripe produce and sweet sticky liquids. Cover foodstuffs, don't allow fruit and vegetables to ferment and wipe up drink spillages quickly. If you do get a problem, we sell a variety of products to eliminate fruit flies from your home.
Once a structure is infested with fruit flies, all potential breeding areas must be located and eliminated. Unless the breeding sites are removed or cleaned, the problem will continue no matter how often insecticides are applied to control the adults.
Finding the source(s) of attraction and breeding can be very challenging and often will require much thought and persistence.
Potential breeding sites which are inaccessible (e.g drains) can be inspected by taping a clear plastic food storage bag over the opening overnight. If flies are breeding in these areas, the adults will emerge and be caught in the bag
After the source of attraction and breeding is eliminated, a pyrethrum-based, aerosol insecticide may be used to kill any remaining adult flies in the area.
Alternatively, hang a fruit fly trap wherever fruit flies are seen.
If you see small flies in your kitchen, they're probably fruit flies. Fruit flies can be a problem all year round, but are especially common during late summer because they are attracted to ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables.
Tomatoes, melons, squash, grapes and other perishable items brought in from the garden are often the cause of an infestation developing indoors.
Fruit flies are also attracted to rotting bananas, potatoes, onions and other unrefrigerated produce.
Fruit flies are primarily nuisance pests. However, they also have the potential to contaminate food with bacteria and other disease-producing organisms.
Fruit flies are yellow-brown, with brick-red eyes and transverse black rings across the abdomen.
They exhibit sexual dimorphism: females are about 2.5 millimeters long; males are slightly smaller with darker backs.
Males are easily distinguished from females based on colour differences, with a distinct black patch at the abdomen, less noticeable in recently emerged flies and the sexcombs (a row of dark bristles on the tarsus of the first leg). Furthermore, males have a cluster of spiky hairs (claspers) surrounding the reproducing parts used to attach to the female during mating.
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. The reproductive potential of fruit flies is enormous; given the opportunity, they will lay about 500 eggs. The entire lifecycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week. The lifespan of the fruitfly is 40-50 days and is heavily influenced by temperature.
The fruit fly's life cycle begins when the female lays her eggs on a piece of fermenting fruit or other decaying, sweet organic material. She can lay up to 500 eggs, making it difficult to control the population. After eggs hatch into small, white larvae they eat from their nesting site for four days, absorbing the nutrients and energy needed to transform into adults.
Larvae then locate dark, dry places for pupation. During this stage, the legless larvae grow six legs and a pair of wings before emerging as adults. Full pupation takes approximately four days. During this time, the faint outline of the transforming fly is visible through the pupa case. Following pupation, adult fruit flies are ready to mate in about two days.
Fruit flies are common in homes, restaurants, supermarkets and wherever else food is allowed to rot and ferment.
Fruit flies are especially attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. But they also will breed in drains, dustbins, empty bottles and tins, mops and cleaning cloths and large spills of soft drinks or alcohol.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.
However, fruit flies are also capable of breeding in decaying meat, trash bins and large spills of soda or alcohol.
The best way to avoid problems with fruit flies is to eliminate sources of attraction.
Produce which has ripened should be eaten, discarded or refrigerated.
Cracked or damaged portions of fruits and vegetables should be cut away and discarded in the event that eggs or larvae are present in the wounded area.
A single rotting potato or onion forgotten at the back of a cupboard, or fruit juice spillage under a refrigerator can breed thousands of fruit flies. So can a recycling bin which is never emptied or cleaned. People who make their own wine, cider or beer should ensure that the containers are well sealed.
Windows and doors should be equipped with tight-fitting (16 mesh) screens to help prevent adult fruit flies from entering from outdoors.