Have you ever been a restaurant and noticed those extremely tiny little bugs hovering around drains or garbage containers? Or maybe you have seen them in your own kitchen floating above a basket of fruit? These are fruit flies, some of the smallest and most pervasive nuisance insects.
Biology of the Fruit Fly
Fruit flies are commonly found in restaurants, homes, warehouses, grocery stores, wine cellars and anywhere else food is left to ferment and decay. There are two common fruit flies commonly found in Michigan: the Red Eyed and Black Eyed Fruit Fly. Adult Red Eyed Fruit Flies typically have red eyes and measure about 1.5mm- 2.0mm where as the larger Black Eyed have dark colored eyes and measure 3 to 4 mm in length (not that you will probably be able to get close enough to see their eyes). Both species have been known to transmit food born diseases to humans.
Fruit flies are known for their high rates of reproduction/ Females are capable of laying an average of 500 eggs at a time; these can pass through the larval and pupal stages to become adults within just a matter of days. Even a small breeding area is capable of creating a thriving infestation.
Fruit flies typically lay their eggs on moist, organic materials, or near the surfaces of fermenting food. After fruit fly larvae emerge from eggs, they feed on the decaying materials in fermenting food.
Signs of a Fruit Flies Infestation
A sign of a potential infestation is seeing fruit flies resting or hovering near problem areas. As well when areas of fruit fly feeding or breeding are disturbed they will light off the areas and either hover or fly away. They will also actively try to hover and land on food and drinks. If they land on fruit, they will lay their eggs in the creases on the fruit skins.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
To fully eradicate fruit flies, the breeding grounds must be located and eliminated. Killing the adult flies will not solve the problem. Thoroughly search your kitchen, pantry and waste receptacles for rotten food or scraps and dispose of these items and any produce stored nearby. If adult flies are still a problem fruit fly traps can be created with a few simple, inexpensive ingredients: a jar or glass container; sugary bait (apple cider vinegar or a piece of rotting fruit); and something that allows flies to enter the trap but prevents them from escaping (try a paper cone or perforated plastic cling film).
In restaurants, drains where decaying organic matter may collect should be scrubbed and cleaned. Sometimes special tools are needed to access the lower portions of the drains.
Fruit Flies can be a very challenging obstacle and can be best if left to pest control specialist where we can develop a plan to combat a potential infestation. Contact Creature Control’s pest control professionals for efficient, affordable fruit fly control for homes and restaurants.
Tips for Preventing Fruit Flies
- Use refrigerated storage for appropriate vegetables and fruits to prevent attracting and breeding fruit flies.
- Keep kitchen waste in a tightly sealed receptacle and away from fresh produce, preferably outside.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables brought into your home.
- Throw away any spoiled or rotten produce and food scraps and do not allow to linger inside.
- Keep your kitchen counters, cabinets and garbage disposal clean.
- Avoid storing certain kinds of produce such as onions and potatoes in proximity to each other, as doing so can easily promote over-ripening.
- Double-check that all windows and doors are properly screened and sealed to help prevent fruit flies from entering.
Our pest control technicians have broad experience dealing with fruit flies in commercial and residential environments. Please contact Creature Control or call us at 800-441-1519 for a consultation with one of our professionals.