Technical Papers

Fruit Flies Driving You Bananas?

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 by Bill Cowley


Fruit Flies Driving You Bananas? - Image 1

Fruit flies are small flies that can pass through ordinary insect screens and are often found in homes, restaurants, bars, and any other place where fruits and vegetables are found. They can also enter buildings from nearby dumpsters, trash cans, or damp compost piles. 

Fruit flies are attracted to rotting produce, which will ferment and produce alcohol which they will feed on. They are also attracted to the yeast in bread. Although more popular during the late summer and fall months, fruit flies are a major headache all year-round.

There are two types of fruit flies that we deal with most:

Red-Eyed Fruit Flies

Red-eyed fruit flies are attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables in the kitchen or wherever food is allowed to rot and ferment. They are about 1/8 inch long, are usually yellow and brown in color, have black rings around their abdomen, and have red eyes. They have a life span of about a month, but under the right conditions they can live up to three months.

Dark-Eyed Fruit Flies

Dark-eyed fruit flies are brown with dark eyes and are a little more difficult to control than regular fruit flies. They thrive in moist, smelly organic debris that is out of sight. They are most common in bars, restaurants, and delis where they breed under equipment, near drains, sinks, and beverage taps where water can settle and allow a buildup of organic matter. 

While neither of these types of fruit flies can bite or transmit any diseases, they can carry around bacteria from one place to another and contaminate food. The fruit fly's life cycle begins when the female lays her eggs on a piece of fermenting fruit or other decaying, sweet organic material. She can lay up to up to 500 eggs at a time and the entire life cycle from egg to adult takes only about eight to ten days!