What are Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies are small pests that are usually 1/16 to ¼ of an inch in size. Average life of fruit flies is between one to two weeks. They are usually found in warm and humid season of the year. Fruit flies can be seen on dirty mops, overripe vegetables and fruits, near leftover beverage and in the trash that contains leftovers.
What Do Fruit Flies survive on?
Adult fruit flies are mostly active when the temperature and climate is warm and humid. They nourish upon the surfaces of leaves, fruits, plant secretions and honeydew produced by aphids. During the period of pre oviposition, adult grown-up fruit flies spend time nourishing themselves through vegetables, fruits and other decaying materials.
After this stage, the female fruit fly lays her eggs under the skins of fruits. Fruit fly larvae feed themselves through the decaying masses under the surface where they are laid.
Fruit flies enter the household near the season of summer and spring. These flies are so small in size that people don’t notice them coming through their windows and doors.
How Long Does a Fruit Fly Live?
Fruit flies usually don’t live a long life. Their whole life cycle, which is from being an egg and then to an adult fly, completes in 7 to 8 days. Infestation of these flies should be done immediately as they can reproduce fast as well.
Do they bite?
Despite what numerous people believe and say about this issue, fruit flies can neither bite nor stick to humans. They don’t have teeth so they can bite or harm humans through biting. When it comes to eating their food, the science confirms that they produce a fluid on the surface of the food they want and that fluid breaks their food for their digestion.
But a lot of people are still allergic to them and get these allergic affects after contact with fruit flies. People may see slight redness and swelling on the affected skin, this is similar to that of a mosquito bite except this is minor than that. This makes many people think that these are actual mosquito bites. Nevertheless, it is an allergy that is caused by the bacteria which fruit flies have in them.
It is hard to estimate how common fruit fly allergy looks like as it depends upon the type of bacteria that they get by coming in contact of the numerous surfaces. Measuring the exact allergic reaction by the fruit flies will then have to be tallied with reaction of millions of people to millions of bacteria on our earth that can be spread by these flies.
Is Fruit Fly Allergy Harmful?
Fruit fly allergy itself is not harmful, but the bacteria that are spread by the fruit flies can be dangerous. In fact, the bacteria are a common cause of dysentery and Diarrhea in people. If a person has noticed several red spots caused by a fruit fly, then there is no need to visit a physician. But it is advised to take a decent shower to get rid of the bacteria which are left by the fly, to avoid any possible health effects from the bacteria.
Fruit Fly vs Gnat
Fruit flies and fungus gnats are both similar yet dangerous pests. They cause a lot of similar problems and that’s the reason people easily get confused by them. Although the flying insects have comparable habits and look similar but fruit flies and gnats are different from each other.
Fruit Fly v/s Gnat- Appearance
Both of these insets are about one eighth of an inch tall when it comes to size, making it difficult for the people to notice any differences in the way fruit flies and gnats appear. Nonetheless, a few features make it easier to distinguish between the two:
Fungus gnats are black in color whereas fruit flies’ color varies from tan to black.
Fruit flies have a round shape like a smaller version of the common housefly. On the other hand, fungus gnats have long slinging legs and long bodies that make them look similar to a small mosquito.
Fruit flies are easy to identify because of their big, red eyes. But fungus gnat eyes are small and are difficult to see.
Fruit Fly vs. Gnat Habitat
An additional difference between fruit fly and gnat infestations is where the insects gather. Fungus gnats gather on the soil of lawn or garden to nourish them from it. Adult fruit flies feed themselves on overripe fruits in home or rotting food in garbage cans and also the fruit fly nymphs nourish themselves on the slime found in dirty drains.
Natural way to get rid of fruit flies
Here is the list of natural ways by which you can get rid of fruit flies:
1. Establish a Fruit Fly Trap
The easiest and most effective way to get rid of fruit flies and gnat is by using a fruit fly trap. The trap lip of the trap needs to be open and panted near the affected area of the house.
2. DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Trap
One may also make their own DIY apple cider vinegar trap. Things required are: a container, apple cider vinegar, dish soap, sugar and water.
The first step is to mix two tablespoons of sugar, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a few drops of dish soap, and less than half a glass of warm water in a container and mixing it until the sugar dissolves.
Next step is to put the vinegar solution-filled container next to the spot where the fruit flies are usually found in the house, such as the kitchen sink.
The smell of vinegar and sugar will tempt the flies to get inside the container. When the fruit flies get in touch with the solution they won’t be able to back away due to the dish soap.
3. Candle Trap Setup
This trap only needs a candle. When it gets dark, place a candle on a tray or a pot, which is filled with water then set the tray next to the fly-infested region. And then turn off the lights.
This homemade trap will finish these pests in two ways. First, any fruit flies that get near to the candle flame will get their wings burnt and die. Second, some flies might try to avoid the flame and rather go for its reflection in the water.
4. Build a Trap Using sour Wine
First step is to pour some wine into a bottle then place the bottle next to the area where flies gather. The purpose of this remedy is to use the smell of the wine to get the flies in the bottle. The flies will drown once they make a contact with the surface.
Beer or any type of drinks that is made through fermentation will also work well.
5. Entice the Flies with Rotten Fruits
Fruit flies are attracted to the rotten fruits due to the smell of fermentation. Place a rotten fruit in a pot or bowl then seal it with a plastic wrap. Make some small holes in the wrap. The flies will get their way into the bowl and will get trapped there.
6. Use an Adhesive Fly Trap
Adhesive fly traps works very well for the people who are dealing with severe fruit fly infestations. Place several of these traps around the kitchen and washroom.
These traps may also help you to get rid of different common household pests like fungus gnats, pantry, whiteflies and clothes moths.
What Kind of Spray can eliminate Fruit Flies?
In addition to the above mentioned homemade traps sprays can also be used to get rid of fruit flies. According to graduate learners at UNC, fruit flies don’t have a “nose” to smell any scent. They depend on their antennae to detect the scent in the air.
One procedure of creating homemade fruit fly spray at home is: mix two cups of water and a few drops of essential oil such as peppermint, rosemary, and lemongrass. Mix well and pray the solution on areas where the flies are found.
How to Prevent Fruit Flies
The most useful form of insect control is prevention. These are some ways to avoid fruit flies from appearing in the future.
Wash the Dirty Dishes
One should make sure that there are no dirty utensils in the kitchen sink by making a habit of doing the dishes right after having a meal.
Cover the garbage
It is important to make sure that the lid of the garbage can is sealed so that it doesn’t attract more gnats to the house. Because not doing so may also cause different pests, such as ants and roaches, to make their way to the home.
Get rid of the Damp Location
Fruit flies also grow in damp and moist regions. One should always check if there’s a leakage in pipes or faucets in Kitchen and Bathrooms. A dehumidifier may also be used to get rid of the moistness in the bathroom and kitchen.
Change low-quality Potted Soil
Some species of flies, such as the fungus gnats may appear due to the low quality of the soil in gardens or lawns. So one should always check if there’s any possibility of flies coming through any potted plant or the garden, if found so, the person should replace the soil with the soil of better quality.
There are a lot of ways to get rid of the fruit flies so there isn’t any need to worry about them. Either one can make the trap by them or if it doesn’t work then one may always buy a trap from the market, which are good enough to get rid of the fruit flies. Just putting the trap near fruits, vegetables or any such areas where flies gather, will get rid of them.