Fruit Fly Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from fruit flies by learning techniques for identification and control.

Family Drosophilidae
3 to 4 mm
Red or dark eyes
Tan thorax
Black & gray abdomen
Brown or tan body

Treatment

How do I get rid of fruit flies?

What You Can Do

Bacterial digesters are available to pour down infested drains. Bleach can sometimes be effective; although it is rarely stays in the drain long enough to address the accumulated slime that attracts fruit flies. While not effective at eliminating an infestation, fruit fly traps may provide temporary relief by trapping some of the adults.

What Orkin Does

Orkin technicians are trained to help manage fruit flies. Since every home is different, the Orkin technician will design a unique fly treatment program for your situation.

Keeping fruit flies out of your home is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkin’s exclusive A.I.M. solution is a continuing cycle of three critical steps—Assess, Implement and Monitor.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep fruit flies in their place...out of your home.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Fruit Flies

Appearance

  • Size: Drosophila melanogaster is a species of small fly. Adults are 3 to 4 mm long.

  • Eyes: May have red eyes, though some are dark eyed

  • Body: Tan thorax. The abdomen is black on top, gray underneath.

  • Color: Fruit flies can appear to be brown or tan in color.

Diet

Fruit flies eat ripened fruit and vegetables and fermenting products. Ream more about fruit flies in food.

Activity

Populations tend to build during the summer, becoming very abundant at harvest time. Indoors, fruit flies are frequently active at all times of the year.

Reproduction & Life Cycle

The common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)is known for its ability to reproduce rapidly. Larvae of fruit flies develop in moist areas where organic material and standing water are present. The entire life cycle lasts 25 days or more depending on the environmental conditions and the availability of food.

Like other fly species, fruit flies experience a four-stage life cycle: beginning as eggs, they undergo larval and pupal stages before emerging as adults. The early life stages span approximately a few days and fruit flies can complete their development in as little as week in ideal temperature conditions. Adult fruit flies can live up to 30 days.

Types of Fruit Flies

  • Mexican Fruit Flies

  • Citrus Fruit Flies

  • Olive Fruit Flies

  • Caribbean Fruit Flies

  • Mediterranean Fruit Flies

  • Western Cherry Fruit Flies

Fruit Fly Prevention Tips

It is extremely difficult to rid a home of the common fruit fly. Fruit flies are attracted to sugary, organic materials. As their name suggests, they are commonly found infesting fruit. However, fruit flies are also capable of breeding in decaying meat, trash bins and large spills of soda or alcohol. Any fruit brought home following that should be stored in the refrigerator if appropriate.

Regularly wipe counters, clean spills and empty your trash cans to help prevent fruit fly infestations.

The first step in addressing a fruit fly infestation is the destruction of their feeding and breeding grounds. Fruit flies often lay their eggs in rotten fruit and other soft, sweet, organic materials. If you identify a fruit fly infestation in your kitchen, dispose of all over-ripe or damaged fruit. Any subsequently purchased fruit or vegetables should be kept in the refrigerator until the fruit fly infestation dissipates.

If there is no fruit or vegetable matter in your kitchen, check your garbage and recycling bins. Fruit flies may also use unclean drains as breeding grounds. Outdoor drains are likely sources of yard-based fruit flies, as are overripe fruits beneath the trees from which they have fallen.

After isolating the fly breeding ground, control methods may be utilized. Although eradication may require several treatments, the lack of food available to fly populations will eventually cause them to die out.

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