fruit flies pupae

A Complete Guide To Fruit Fly Pests

Fruit Flies As Pests

As their name suggests, fruit flies are attracted to fruit – rotting/fermenting fruit to be more specific. They are, however, not restricted to fruits as their only source of nutrition but will also feed on other fermenting organic matter. With the ability to lay up to 400 eggs at a time combined with quick development into adulthood, one fruit fly can lead the charge for a full blown infestation.

Most people have had the pleasure of a fruit fly infestation at least one time in their life. These tiny flies seem to appear from out of nowhere and infest your home. The adult drosophilidae flies are between 3 and 4 mm long and have a tan thorax and red eyes. The abdomen is gray underneath and black on the top. Once you notice that you have some fruit flies, the population may be quite large and it is time for fruit flies pest control.

The population of a fruit fly colony will build up over the summer. Fruit flies indoors are active at any time of the year, eating fruit and vegetables that are overripe and products that are fermented such as wine or beer. The larvae of the fruit fly needs a moist area near organic material and standing water in order to properly develop. The average life span of an adult fruit fly is 30 days.

Have a housefly infestation? View our range of fruit fly control products.

The Life Cycle Of A Fruit Fly

As with most insects, the fruit fly goes through four stages during its development. These stages are egg, larva, pupa and adult. The female searches for ripening fruit, bores tiny holes on it and deposits its eggs there. The eggs are white in colour and resemble a banana in shape.

Soon after they are laid, the eggs will hatch and small maggots will emerge. The maggots then begin feeding in preparation for their next phase. After several moults, the larvae will crawl away from the wet fruit to a dry spot for their next stage.

The larvae then become inactive and turn into an oval brown pupa with a hard shell. It is at this stage that the fruit fly develops its features and emerges as an adult after a few days. The whole process takes about 7- 9 days but could last longer depending on environmental conditions.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drosophila_melanogaster)

Have a housefly infestation? View our range of fruit fly control products.

Signs Of A Fruit Fly Infestation:

How do you know if you have a fruit fly infestation?

The most noticeable signs of a fruit fly infestation would be an adult flying around inside your house and the pupae. Adult flies will be seen flying near trash cans, fermenting vegetables and fruit. The fruit fly pupa can be seen in dry places near the decaying matter and resembles cockroach or rodent dropping, so be keen.

Image of fruit fly pupae:

fruit flies pupae

Image source:  http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/pests-weeds/insects/qff

You will see two very obvious signs if you have fruit flies and those are adult fruit flies in your kitchen and around your rubbish bins. They also gather around fruit and vegetables that are starting to decay. Mature larvae crawl out of rotting materials and can be seen pupating in dry areas nearby.

If you see the following then there is a chance that you may have a fruit fly infestation:

  • lots of live fruit flies
  • fruit fly larvae
  • visible Pupa (poop) that resembles cockroach/rodent droppings.

Have a housefly infestation? View our range of fruit fly control products.

How To  Prevent A Housefly Infestation

The best way of preventing fruit flies from invading your home is by eliminating food sources and breeding places.

You should:

  1. Cover all your fruit bowls or keep the fruit inside the refrigerator.
  2. Cover your bins and take out the trash every day. And while we are still on the issue of bins; make sure you do not throw food into waste-paper baskets.
  3. Throw away rotting fruits and vegetables.
  4. Make sure that you clean up all food remnants after meals, dripped juices or alcoholic beverages and other items that may serve as food for these pests.

Although these measures will help you significantly reduce the chances of fruit flies invading your home, they do not guarantee 100% protection. It is, therefore, wise to use professional fruit fly control products to ensure that none of these flies gets into your home.

Controlling Fruit Fly Infestations

Fruit flies can be extremely difficult to eradicate. They are attracted to organic materials that contain sugar and commonly fermenting fruit. These flies are not above reproducing in trash bins, spills of alcohol or soda and decaying meat. Fruit needs to be stored in the refrigerator and every surface should be carefully wiped clean with a good disinfectant product. Rubbish bins should be emptied regularly to remove decaying materials from the home and prevent odours that can attract fruit flies.
A preventative method of fruit flies pest control is to destroy the area where the flies feed and breed. Once you have located the area where feeding and breeding is occurring, you need to clean up the area often and carefully. The process can be frustrating, with repeated treatments required to get the problem under control.

Have a housefly infestation? View our range of fruit fly control products.

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