Ask The Expert: Fruit Flies

These small (1/8th inch or 3mm) mainly red eyed, golden brown to dull brown insects are usually found in the spring and over the summer months buzzing around any fruit or vegetables in your home. Most likely, you have brought them home with your fruits and vegetables purchased at a grocery store. The eggs, larva or pupa of fruit flies can easily be on any spoiling or near ripe fruit or vegetable so it is important to inspect all your produce at the store before taking them home. Look for the characteristic small white eggs that once laid by an adult female will hatch in 24 hours into a larva. The larva will take about 7 to 14 days to develop depending on conditions into a pupa which lasts approximately 6 days and then will emerge as an adult fruit fly that will live for a month or more depending on conditions within the home. The female fruit fly will lay several batches of eggs over her lifetime and the number of eggs can vary from 1-20 eggs. Fruit flies like to lay their eggs on spoiling or rotting fruits and vegetables, moist damp areas, sink drains and in moist soils of plants.

To control fruit flies there are several important tasks to do and several options available. Make sure that there is no spoiling fruit or vegetables present in the home. Clean out sink drains by using boiling water or Hot-Spot to remove any biofilm in the drains that can be conducive for fruit fly development. Make sure soils in plants are not moist, not provide enough water that the plant needs and do not over water as moist soil can also assist in producing fruit flies.

There are adult control options as well such as the Dew Drop Inn fruit fly trap or the creation of wine-vinegar poured into a container and covered with saran wrap with a small hole in it to attract adult fruit flies. This will assist in reducing adult fruit flies in the home after the clean up of your kitchen area. There are several registered aerosols that can knock down adult flies where there are being seen or resting. Please come to Poulin’s for all your monitoring, control products, service and devices.

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