What Are They?
Drosophila melanogaster is the scientific name for the fruit fly. Fruit flies are especially attracted to ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables. Anything brought in from the garden, or left out to ripen from the store, can be the cause of an infestation indoors. They can also breed in garbage, drains, or un-emptied mop buckets. All they need for development is moist organic material and standing water.
Fruit Fly Life Cycle
Female fruit flies deposit up to 500 eggs on fermenting fruit or other decaying material. Fruit fly larvae emerge within 30 hours of egg laying and feed for 4 days prior to pupating. Adults emerge from pupae ready to reproduce and lay more eggs. Given the rapid nature of their life cycle, fruit flies quickly become a major problem during the summer months both indoors and outdoors.
Fruit Fly Prevention and Control
- Prevention is the best fruit fly control. Prevent their attraction by eliminating food sources; ripened fruit should be eaten or refrigerated. Over-ripened portions of fruits and vegetables can be cut away if infested because the larvae do not travel over the unripe portions, nor are the eggs deposited there. Discard anything rotten.
- Ensure windows and doors have tight-fitting 16-mesh screens to help prevent adult fruit flies from entering your home.
- Once you have fruit flies, find all potential food sources and remove them. If you suspect they may be in a drain or garbage disposal, place tape or tape a plastic bag over the drain overnight and see what you catch. If fruit flies are breeding there, thoroughly clean the drain using enzymatic cleaners (Tweetmint) to remove as much organic material buildup as possible.
- If you prefer to treat drains with an insecticide, apply BONIDE Neem Oil or Monterey Neem Oil as growth inhibitors to prevent eggs from hatching and larvae from pupating.
- Use a vacuum hose to suck up as many adults as possible. This is easily done indoors and can be done outdoors in high fruit fly populations.
- Use a fruit fly trap (glass or plastic) to catch the remaining adult fruit flies. Place traps nearby high activity areas
- Apply BONIDE Garden Dust to ripening and ripened fruit to prevent fruit fly egg laying and other common fruit pests.