Fruit Fly, Don’t Bother Me! Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?
There’s little in this world more annoying and disgusting than flies. While there are many kinds of flies, one of the worst has got to be the fruit fly. There are even several invasive species in the United States.
Fruit flies are often called gnats. If you see what you think are gnats circling the fruit in your kitchen, they are probably fruit flies. Like flies, these little critters are both difficult to deal with and repulsive.
Fruit fly infestations are unfortunately common in modern homes.
They pester and annoy us and think of our food as their private breeding ground. Fruit flies lay larvae in the skins of fruit and use juice or the fruit to feed themselves. The female fruit fly can lay up to 300 eggs in her short lifetime.
Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?
Fruit flies are all around us. They hatch in the skins of fruit, hence the name, and also of rotting meat and organic matter.
They can breed like crazy in areas where trash is prevalent. During the summer months, your trash can is probably fruit fly central.
They get into our houses in many different ways and can seem almost impossible to stop. They are small enough that any opening can allow them into your home. They are so tiny that they can even fly through window screens.
Their small size contributes to the difficulty of even knowing when they are about to pay you a visit.
It is not uncommon to head into your kitchen only to be confronted by a fruit fly infestation. A swarm of tiny little flying insects hovering around looking for the juiciest, ripest fruit to exploit.
The Fruit Fly Life Cycle
Fruit flies are drawn to rotting fruit. Once they find a fruit, they consider to be suitable they swoop in for a quick meal.
While eating, the fruit fly will begin to deposit eggs all over the surface of the fruit. They can lay hundreds of eggs each time they visit.
Because their life cycle is so short, these eggs will hatch within only a few hours. The larva of the fruit fly will then continue feeding on the fermenting juice of the fruit they were born on.
Once they reach the stage where they are ready to become adults, they will generally move to a dryer environment.
This entire process takes only 8-10 days for a fruit fly to grow from egg to adult. Once they become an adult they will usually begin mating in as little as 24 hours.
Seeing how rapid their life cycle is, there is little wonder they can become an incredible pest overnight.
Not Just Fruit
While their name would suggest that they only go after fruit, this is not the case.
Vegetables, such as potatoes and even processed foods like pickles, can be suitable places for fruit flies to set up shop. In fact, fruit flies are known by different names in various locations.
Factories and plants that produce vinegar, pickles and other items consider them to be the single worst pest they have to deal with. Fruit flies cause huge amounts of food to become contaminated and are the number one cause of insect-based contamination.
They will find almost any kind of organic matter suitable. They are particularly drawn to anything that ferments as it ages. They can be drawn from far and wide by the fungal and chemical reactions to this process.
Fresh vs Sour
Despite their incredible adaptability, the fruit fly really favors rotting matter. This could be a potato left under the counter for too long, or even a jar of pickles left open on the counter.
They are not drawn to fresh or unripe fruits and vegetables in the same way.
When we buy food from the grocery store, we must always be aware of what we are getting. We often assume all our bought fruit and vegetables are fresh. This is not always the case and bringing home a bad potato in the bottom of the bag can be a sure way for a fruit fly infestation to begin.
If you have any doubts about how long your vegetables will remain good, try putting them in cold storage. While this isn’t appropriate for all fruits and vegetables, it will help slow down the spread of the fruit fly larvae.
Having a fruit fly infestation is no fun, but it is very common. The first step you should take is making sure to clean up the kitchen. Removing potential breeding habitats is vital.
Take your time and inspect the areas under your counters and other hard to reach places. You might be surprised to discover a forgotten fruit or vegetable that was knocked under or behind something. Removing such contaminants is the first step in dealing with your fruit flies.
The next step you should take is to contact a professional exterminator. There are numerous ways you can go about deterring fruit flies, but once you have a fruit fly infestation you need to get it taken care of.
Say Goodbye to Your Fruit Fly Infestation
Fruit flies are a pest that can be found almost anywhere humans are active. There are numerous options for managing fruit fly infestations. The first, and most important, is to determine what is causing the fruit fly infestation. Second, before spraying insecticides, focus on removing the organic or rotting matter that is the cause of the infestation.
They are drawn to our waste and to our food. They will infest any home or business that provides them with what they are looking for. These little critters have been around for a very long time and are extremely adept at surviving.
If you live in a warm state that doesn’t experience cold winters, you are especially at risk. High humidity in many of these states directly contributes to the growth and proliferation of fruit flies. Fortunately, exterminators in these areas are used to dealing with fruit flies and can be a great asset.
If you live in Jackson, Mississippi or the surrounding area, you are probably used to dealing with fruit flies. These disgusting pests can lower your quality of life and are far from healthy to have around you.
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