Sometimes, fruit flies hitch a ride into your home on fruits or vegetables. Fruit flies lay eggs on the skin of very ripe or fermenting fruit. |
Fruit flies are built to find fermenting fruit. Though small, they can detect the smell of ripe fruits and vegetables from a good distance away. If there's a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter, there's probably a fruit fly or two looking for a way into your home to get to it. Because these insects are so tiny, they can get in through window screens or crevices around windows or doors. Once inside, they reproduce. Before you know it, you've got yourself a full-fledged fruit fly infestation
Those bananas you brought home from the grocery store may already harbor a new generation of fruit flies. If you let your tomatoes over ripen on the vine before picking them, you may be harvesting fruit fly eggs along with your crop. Unrefrigerated fruit, whether its on display in the grocery store, still in the garden, or sitting in a bowl on your kitchen table, may attract fruit flies.
"Where the heck did all these fruit flies from from?!" Have you ever found your kitchen teeming with fruit flies that seemed to appear out of nowhere? These tiny nuisances can quickly multiply in number, and be tough to get rid of once they're around. So how did these fruit flies get in your kitchen? Contrary to popular belief, this isn't a case of spontaneous generation.
Fruit flies have notoriously fast life cycles; they can go from egg to adult in just 8 days. That means one overly ripe tomato left unused on your counter can give rise to a small fruit fly swarm within a week. Fruit flies are also known for their persistence once indoors. They don't even need fruit to keep reproducing. Fruit flies can breed in the slime layer inside slow-draining plumbing, or on an old, sour mop or sponge.
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.
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. Regularly wipe counters, clean spills and empty your trashcans to prevent fruit fly infestations. Fruit Fly Control
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 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 over-ripe fruits beneath the trees from which they have fallen.
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