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Fruit Flies

 

Fruit flies are a common kitchen pest, but can be found anywhere around the home as long as conditions allow breeding. Adult fruit flies are about 3-4mm long, may appear to be brown or tan, and depending on the species may have red or dark colored eyes.

During summer is when fruit fly population it’s at its peak, and become more active.  Fruit flies that have made their way indoors can be active all year round, even during colder winter months, as long as conditions allow breeding, as mentioned above.

What conditions allow fruit fly breeding?

Fruit flies are attracted to and eat ripened fruit, vegetables and fermenting products.  The fruit fly will puncture the skin of the over ripened fruit to lay eggs inside and feed on the fruit.  Fruit flies are also attracted sap flows, and fermenting sugars found in spilled alcoholic beverages.  Mushrooms and bananas seem to be food of choice for fruit flies. The two most common signs of fruit flies would be noticing the adults flying around and seeing the pupae.  The adults are commonly seen flying around kitchens, trash cans or areas near the decaying fruit or veggies.  The larvae crawl out of the breeding material and may be noticed in a nearby dry spot.  They can go unnoticed at first and be mistaken for rodent droppings.  You can tell the difference by looking for a pair of horns at one end of the pupae.

Fruit flies can sometimes be difficult to remove as there can be many places for them to breed.  A thorough inspection and sanitation is key in gaining control over the situation. Like many other types of home infestations, you must locate the source allowing for feeding and breeding.

Start by inspecting places outside of the fridge that you have kept fruit, a fruit bowl on the counter, in the pantry.  Check all drawers, cupboards, selves, around and under all appliances, around and under sinks/drains, be sure to inspect the kitchen trash bin.  You will be looking for any forgotten fruit/vegetables that have been left behind, or perhaps spills that have gone unnoticed.  Giving everything a good wipe down with warm soapy water while you looking around is a great idea. Also, any new fruit/vegetables that are brought into the home should be stored in the fridge if applicable.  If you have completed your indoor inspection and have come across no clues, it’s time to take your inspection outside.  Check around your outdoor garbage/recycle bin, and any drains that may need cleaned.  If you have fruit trees on your property, fallen fruit on the ground may be the source you’re looking for.

After eliminating the feeding and breeding source, you should see a significant decrease in fruit fly population.  Without a secure place for feeding and breeding the fruit flies will eventually die out.   Be sure to keep up on sanitation and prevention to avoid a re-infestation.

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