Fruit Flies: Identification, Prevention & Control

Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are an incredibly annoying pest that lays eggs in rotting fruit and food waste.

This incredible nuisance pest is most commonly encountered during the harvest season, shortly after adult fruit flies get access to overripe fruit to lay eggs in.

A Fruit Fly’s Life Cycle

The life duration of drosophila melanogaster, or common fruit fly, is usually between 40 and 50 days and is incredibly dependent on the temperature in its environment.

Because of this, a fruit fly infestation can more easily occur during the summer months, when the abundance of decaying fruit allows them to reproduce rapidly.

Laying Eggs In Fruits and Vegetables

The life cycle begins with females of the drosophila species seeking ripened fruit or other sources of organic matter, such as the waste in recycling bins and trash cans near outdoor eating areas, rapidly laying eggs.

Hatching and the Larvae Stage

An adult fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs at once, and all these eggs hatch in as few as 24 hours if presented with ideal conditions, allowing the larvae to feed on the decaying fruits they find themselves in.

Pupa and Metamorphosis

The larvae take about 4 days to grow into adult flies, feasting on the food source they were hatched in.

When the larva reaches its full size, it will look for a less wet space to undergo its metamorphosis into an adult specimen. The intermediate form is called a pupa.

The pupa takes about 6 days to experience the metamorphosis, emerging from its cocoon as an adult fruit fly.

Adult Fruit Flies Looking to Mate

Once they emerge from the cocoon, female fruit flies take about 48 hours to mature fully. They will immediately look for a male to mate with, and it is not uncommon for breeding sites to be covered in hundreds, if not thousands, of fruit flies.

Under ideal conditions, all of these cycle parts will happen simultaneously for different fruit flies, making a fruit fly infestation a real possibility.

But how do you prevent fruit flies from reaching such high numbers, and how do you get rid of them if they do? Let’s find out.

How To Prevent a Fruit Fly Infestation?

Getting your entire home or workplace overrun by an endless swarm of fruit flies can be extremely annoying, not to mention costly to deal with.

Fruit flies contaminate food, fill sink drains, and are generally a great nuisance that can make life unbearable.

Thankfully, there are simple and effective ways to prevent these pests from amassing in great numbers, which we will now explain.

Remove Trash From Garbage Disposals

One of the easiest ways to eliminate fruit flies is by denying them and their larvae food sources. Clearing out your trash bins and outdoor trashcans can significantly reduce the pest problems you face with fruit flies.

Routinely Clean Your Home of Any Organic Matter

Another thing you can do to deny fruit flies a suitable habitat is to clean your home frequently.

This doesn’t include just vacuum cleaning: instead, you should also clean your sinks, fridges, and any other damp places fruit fly eggs can hatch in.

Suppose you succeed in preventing these flies from reproducing within the confines of your home. In that case, you will only need to deal with those coming from the outside, significantly reducing the likelihood of an infestation.

Get Rid of Fruits and Vegetables Before They Spoil

Furthermore, get rid of fruit and vegetables purchased that you don’t eat immediately.

While you may think it a good idea to store fruits in your home, so you have easier access to them, don’t keep more than a few days’ supply during the summer months.

Some of it will inevitably spoil and attract fruit flies, who will then quickly procreate, starting an entire new swarm in just a few days.

Keep Your Doors and Windows Covered by Screens

Having torn screens on your doors and windows is an invitation to fruit flies to visit your home, so keep these in good condition.

Furthermore, choose screens with a dense pattern, as these flies are tiny and can sometimes bypass a screen that isn’t dense enough.

Do Fruit Flies Bite?

Fruit flies are truly annoying creatures; although they bug us, they can’t bite. However, in contact with skin, fruit flies can cause irritations, rashes, or red bumps.

Fruit flies will never attack humans, as they don’t feed on blood. Also, even if they wanted to attack you, fruit flies don’t have the needed biting mouthparts to do so. They are harmful, and you should try to eliminate them from your home, but remember that you’re not their target.

What Do Fruit Flies Eat?

Fruit flies eat fruits and vegetables, which is how they got their name. They’re especially fond of bananas, tomatoes, apples, squashes, and melons.

One thing in common for fruit flies is they are drawn to rotten organic foods; if you leave any veggie or fruit out long enough, you’ll slowly notice them appear. You should react at the first signs of fruit flies infestation to avoid further problems.

How To Remove Fruit Flies From Your Home?

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, fruit flies will manage to get a foothold in your living space. If this happens, it is essential to know how to get rid of them without compromising.

DIY Fly Traps

A common way to dispose of these pests, at least adult ones, is by using DIY fly traps, such as glue and sugar, purchasable sticky traps, or other pest control inventions.

Using Insecticide

Spraying your kitchen is an excellent way to get rid of fruit flies, though a somewhat excessive one. While it will definitely remove the adults from your home, it does nothing to the eggs or larvae, and spraying the food itself is more likely to ruin your food than help in any way.

Calling Pest Control

When faced with a huge swarm of fruit flies, you may consider calling the town’s pest control for their assistance, though this may be a waste of time as there isn’t much they can do that cannot be accomplished using DIY tools.

What is The Difference Between Gnats and Fruit Flies?

As gnats and fruit flies are common insects that can appear in any household, it’s no wonder many people mix the two up and confuse them for one another. Although they appear similar at a first glance, there are big differences between these insects.


When it comes to the appearance of these insects, they are similar in size, making it hard for homeowners to differentiate them. However, there are a couple of features that can help you distinguish them.


Gnats are commonly darker than fruit flies, with colors ranging from dark gray to black. On the other hand, the color of fruit flies ranges from tan to black and can have reddish tones.


One of the most significant differences between fruit flies and gnats is their shape. Fruit flies have more rounded bodies and resemble common flies. Gnats look entirely different, with elongated bodies and small, dangling legs.


Fruit flies have extremely large eyes for an insect, so that trait makes them easily recognizable. When looking at gnats, their eyes are not visible when looking with a naked eye, so you’ll need glasses or a magnifying glass.


Fruit flies and gnats also have different habitats, and by knowing the areas that attract them, you could determine which pests you’re dealing with.

Gnats feed on organic matter and attack the soil of indoor plants and garden areas. Because of that, you’ll typically notice them outdoors or near your houseplants.

Fruit flies feed on vegetables, fruits, and rotten food, so you’ll see them in your kitchen and dining area. Their larvae feed on waste from dirty drains, which could also appear in your bathroom.

Both insects can cause problems in your household, so remember to practice regular pest control.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Fastest Way To Get Rid of Fruit Flies?

The easiest way to get rid of fruit flies is to spray your entire home with bug spray, as it is highly effective at killing adult flies and will remove them from your house, though you will need to open windows afterward.

How Do I Get Rid of Fruit Flies Permanently?

To deny these flies a living space in your home, you will need to deny them food sources, and the best way to do this is to empty trash cans and keep your living space as clean as possible.

How Do You Get Rid of Fruit Flies In 5 Minutes?

The fastest way to get rid of fruit flies is to spray the house with a bug spray, leaving some sticky traps afterward for any fly that comes in through the windows.

Can Fruit Flies Bite?

Fruit flies are nasty pests, but they can’t bite as they don’t have mouthparts in charge of biting. However, keep in mind they can still be harmful to you and your health, regardless of the fact they can’t bite you.


With their translucent wings and black mouth hooks, fruit flies are annoying, though not dangerous, pests that feed on organic materials found around your home.

The main problem with fruit flies is their fast reproduction cycle, allowing them to swarm any area they inhabit quickly.

Smith Edwards

Smith Edwards is a licensed plumber and writer with over a decade of hands-on construction and home improvement experience and has been providing home improvement advice for over 12 years.

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