Fruit Flies

Family Drosophilidae
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What do fruit flies look like?

red eyed fruit fly in tucson az

Fruit flies are often identified by their red eyes although they may have darker colored eyes too. They are very small flies, growing up to 1/8th of an inch in length.  While they may appear as one color, namely tan, they do have black abdomens and gray underbellies. They are equipped with antenna that has feathery bristles. 

Life cycle of the fruit fly

Complete Metamorphosis

Females lay up to 500 eggs on surfaces of fruits or vegetable.  The larva will hatch and begin to feed on this material.  The larva will molt twice as they continuously feed on the surface of their food.  They will move to a dry area near the original food source to pupate.  The development to the adult stage takes typically 7 days in prime environmental conditions.

Habits of fruit flies

  • Diet: Prefer to feed on rotting fruits and vegetables, but will feed on any fermenting materials including in drains, trash containers, and mops.
  • Activity: Year round inside a structure. Outside more common summer/fall.
  • Preferred Climate: 75-85 degree Fahrenheit
  • Defense: Fast breeding cycle can keep them populating in high numbers making it hard to control populations.
  • Cautions: Mainly a nuisance, however, they have potential to contaminate food with bacteria. One single rotting food source can breed thousands of fruit flies
  • Home Invasion: Brought in when contaminated fruits and vegetables are transported into the home from garden or grocery. Can also enter home through doors or windows left opened or not properly sealed.

Are fruit flies dangerous?

As noted above, fruit flies are typically considered a nuisance pest inside homes and businesses but do have the potential to contaminate food with bacteria. 

Where do fruit flies nest?

Fruit fly activity is often found near or around kitchens or trash receptacles with decaying fruit and or vegetables.

Helpful hints for fruit flies

To prevent a fruit fly infestation in your home or business, our Arizona pest control team recommends the following prevention tips:

  • Keep doors and windows closed or covered with tightly fitting screens
  • Eat, discard or refrigerate ripened fruits and vegetables
  • Locate, eliminate, and sanitize areas where you've detected a fruit fly infestation
  • Find a pest control company that specializes in fruit fly control

An interesting fact about fruit flies

Studying fruit flies has been important in the study of genetics because these flies have a very simple genetic structure and also reproduce quickly. 

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