Drosophila spp., or more commonly known as small fruit flies, are insects of the fly family that are more of a nuisance than a major threat. However, this does not mean they are not harmful. Fruit flies may also be vectors of some diseases. They receive their name from their behavior and their preference of fruits as breeding and developmental sites. They are distributed all over the world and are common pest throughout the United States.
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Adult fruit flies range in size from about 3 mm - 4 mm long. All matured adult fruit flies possess wings as well as antennae. The antennae of fruit flies are bristled that seem almost like feathers. They have a dull tanish- brown color and some are brownish-yellow to a brownish-black color. Fruit flies have bright red colored eyes.
The larvae of fruit flies are about 7 mm to 8 mm long. They are nearly white in color except for two dark hooks and the end of their abdominal areas that are yellowish in color. Like most typical fly larvae, fruit fly larvae are legless and do not have eyes. They taper in shape near the ends around the head. The opposite end is larger and rounder compared to the area around the head. Recognition of the head is noted by two dark hook-like appendages. Some various species of fruit flies may have darkened cross bands on the entire bottom sides of their abdomens.
An entire life cycle of a fruit fly can actually be completed in just 8-10 days at 85 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the reason why their nuisance is so hard to get rid of is because of their rapid reproduction rate. One adult female may leave up to 500 eggs on average and in less than 30 hours, the eggs are hatch and begin to develop immediately.
Small fruit flies get their name for their strong attraction to fresh fruits including vegetables and materials that have begun to ferment. Some prime areas of infestation are areas like broom or mop heads, areas where fruit is kept like under the cabinet, fruit bowls or baskets, and even in the cracks and crevices of where dishwater and mop water will accumulate. Some foods or materials that are commonly infested with fruit flies are bananas, pineapples, potatoes, and fermenting liquids like beer, vinegar, wine, and etc. All these materials and areas will be ideal locations for breeding.
The key to fruit fly control is using sanitation and chemical control in conjunction with each other. Eliminate all sources of larva food and breeding sites. If you are noticing a continual infestation, this probably means that there is a valid and reliable food source somewhere that the larva has access to. Eliminating such things as fresh fruit and fermenting materials will significantly reduce the population of fruit flies. Correctly labeled pesticides will provide control for adult fruit flies that do not need to feed. Generally, the fly group feeds during the larval stage and adults are primarily present for the purpose of reproduction. Therefore, eliminating food sources will not reduce the number of adult fruit flies and may not prevent them from reproducing. Therefore, chemical control is necessary to kill fruit flies. Appropriately, labeled pressurized aerosols will kill on contact and will eradicate concentrated areas. However, for a broad treatment that will cover large areas, using Ultra Low Volume application of pesticides that act as a mister or fogger will be effective against fruit flies as well. Other methods of control are also available for fruit fly control. Mechanical control like glue traps or fly light traps that attract flies is one of the safest ways to control fruit flies. All flies come from the outside. Fruit flies are so tiny in size enabling them capability to fit through common sized screens. Reducing the size of the screen holes to use something that is more mesh-like will prevent flies from entering your home or business.
Please keep in mind that all product labels must be thoroughly reviewed before they are applied. If you are unsure of how or where to apply certain pesticides, you can always seek aid and advice from our team via email or live chat.
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