As we enter the summer months, many different kinds of bugs are on the move, from ants to wasps to the pesky fruit fly. Often, fruit flies make a nuisance of themselves by taking up residence in homes and kitchens. But what are fruit flies, how do they live, and how can you get rid of them? This week, we’ll answer these and other common questions about fruit flies.
Are Fruit Flies and Gnats the Same?
Fruit flies and gnats are often confused, but they are different. Fruit flies are a specific species of fly attracted to the smell of rotting fruits and vegetables. Gnats, on the other hand, is a more general term and refers to a multitude of other small flying insects. However, the term gnat is not broad enough to encompass fruit flies.
Do Fruit Flies Bite?
Fruit flies do not bite humans. Fruit flies primarily feed on decaying fruits and vegetables, and their mouthparts are not adapted for biting. They have sponging mouthparts that they use to suck up liquids from overripe or rotting fruits. Fruit flies are generally harmless to humans and do not pose a biting or stinging threat.
Can Fruit Flies Make You Sick?
Fruit flies are not among the most likely insects to transmit disease. However, they are certainly capable of it. Their habit of interacting with fecal matter and then injecting their offspring into fruits leads to the possibility of transmitting harmful bacteria such as E. coli, which humans could then consume.
Do Fruit Flies Lay Eggs?
Fruit flies lay eggs as part of their life cycle. Female fruit flies are capable of laying hundreds of eggs in their short lifespan. They typically lay their eggs on the surface of decaying fruits and vegetables or other moist organic materials. The eggs are very small, about 0.5 mm in length, and usually pale white in color. These eggs develop into larvae, which are commonly referred to as ‘maggots.’
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Indoors
Fruit flies are attracted to fruits and vegetables and moist and dirty places. Typically, your kitchen is the most likely place for fruit flies to breed. The best way to get rid of fruit flies is to deny them a place to breed. That means cleaning up food messes thoroughly and storing food in produce in the refrigerator or sealed containers. Drain pipes can also be breeding grounds for fruit flies. Consider using a drain cleaner on a regular basis to keep fruit flies from making a home in your sink drains.