Fruit flies are common household pests that can be a terrible nuisance around your home. These flies are present year-round, but they are especially prolific in late summer and fall. Fruit flies are known for their small size, red eyes and brown bodies. Fruit flies are not harmful on their own, but they can be a sign of unsanitary household conditions.
The clearest way to spot a fruit fly infestation is by seeing these pests flying around your home. Look for them in kitchens and other areas where food can be found.
Fruit flies often come in to your home through cracks in walls, loose seals around doors or windows, or via eggs laid inside of a piece of produce from the grocery store. Fruit flies can seem to come from out of nowhere to infest your home, but this is mainly due to how quickly fruit flies breed and develop.
Fruit flies are mainly attracted to extra ripe, fermenting fruits and vegetables. However, they are also drawn to things such as drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash bags, cleaning rags and mops. Essentially, they are drawn to food waste and moist environments. Fruit flies only feed on food surfaces, so the chance of ingesting these pests is close to zero.
Despite the popular myth that fruit flies only live 24 hours, the average lifespan of a fruit fly is to 40-50 days under ideal conditions. During that time, female fruit flies can lay several batches of eggs, allowing the fruit fly population in a home to grow quickly. Fruit flies also live longer in warmer temperatures.
Fruit fly eggs are very tiny, and adult fruit flies often lay them inside of fruits or vegetables. Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time — primarily in fermenting or decaying, sweet, organic material.
The best way to catch fruit flies is by using a trap baited with apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Fill a bowl or cup about half way with the vinegar and add a couple of drops of dish soap. Cover with plastic wrap held in place with a rubber band and poke a few holes in the wrap covering the mouth of the bowl or cup.
The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar, enter through the holes, and become trapped in the dish soap. Any fruit flies that manage to escape the layer of soap will be trapped by the plastic wrap. This method is best used alongside measures to prevent future infestations.
best way to prevent a fruit fly infestation is to remove sources of attraction. Seal your produce in airtight containers, store it in the refrigerator and remove any overripe produce. Keep drains and garbage disposals clean and dry and regularly disposing of trash. You can also prevent fruit flies from even entering your home by installing mesh screens on windows and doors.
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