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Where do Fruit Flies Come From

Fruit flies are tiny winged creatures that breed on fruits and other moist, decaying matter. Read on to know more about the origins of fruit flies and how to control these pests.
Remember the time you came home to find a riot of specks swarming over your fruit basket. While many of us may have heard of fruit flies and certainly seen them on the over ripe fruits, the story of the origin of the fruit flies makes a fascinating read. Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are tiny two-winged insects measuring just 3mm in length. Yellowish brown in color, fruit flies have brick red eyes and are distinguishable by the black rings across their abdomen.

So how is that these creatures seem to be magically attracted to fruits and other foods quickly and without fail, in an otherwise insect-free kitchen? The answer is simple, fruit flies have a sensory apparatus which is devoted to sniffing out the distinctive odors of fermentation. This is because the flies tend to feed on the yeast, which breed on the fruits, which have gone beyond ripe.

Origin of Fruit Flies

As opposed to popular opinion, fruit flies do not really like fruits, they just like the fermenting smell of the rotten fruits. As a matter of fact, fruit flies are found in any place that smells of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. Ripe fruits such as bananas, strawberries, peaches, and pineapples are the common breeding sources. Although they actually thrive in the wild, you can find fruit flies in homes, supermarkets, restaurants, and all the other places where food is allowed to rot.

It starts with the flies laying their eggs near the surface of the matter. At a time, there are around 500 eggs. These eggs hatch into the larvae within 30 hours of laying eggs. The larvae then feed for five to six days, before transforming into adult flies. Once these flies have established themselves in your house, they can exist on quite a range of moist household items such as wet mops, dirty dishes, and even a damp floor.

They can take different routes to your kitchen, from being hitched on to your grocery bags to squeezing in through the screens, open doors, and cracks. While they do have the potential to contaminate the food with disease-causing organisms and bacteria, in reality fruit flies are primarily nuisance pests which need to be eliminated.

Terminating Fruit Flies

The best way to kill fruit flies and grubs is to remove the breeding source of the flies by using some simple home remedies for fruit flies. Since these pests are usually attracted to moist places, you should try checking for the flies in the fruit bowls and anywhere that you have stored fruits and vegetables which have not been refrigerated. Once the breeding ground is removed, the adult flies will not be able to reproduce and sustain for more than 10 days. You can eliminate the remaining flies by putting a piece of fermenting fruit or wine in a jar and place a funnel on the mouth of the jar. So once these flies enter the jar they are not able to get out. You can later destroy them or just release them into the outdoors.

To rid your house of fruit flies, keep the place clean or else you will be hit with the next batch of fruit flies on the fruits and veggies.
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Published: August 4, 2009
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I love grapes - Parul Solanki [November 24, 2010]