If there is food around, this annoying little creature will probably be close by. Most people are familiar with the fruit fly, whether they have experienced them in a home, a restaurant or in the grocery store. The flies are particularly attracted to food items such as fruits and vegetables that are over-ripe or have started to decay.
There are several families of flies and tephritidae is one of those commonly called fruit flies. The Drosophila is the particular fly that is most often thought of as the fruit fly that pesters homeowners, restaurant managers and food processors. While biologists and entomologists understand the problems that individuals can have with fruit flies, this small insect does have some positive effect to balance the damage it can cause to plants and food crops. Some fruit fly species have been known to help keep other pests under control. But that is another story.
Food containers should be washed carefully and put into a closed container immediately. The tiny fruit fly is especially attracted to sweet drinks and mixes such as carbonated soda pop. In addition to making sure that food and drink containers are thoroughly cleaned immediately after use, it is strongly recommended that dishes be washed and dried as soon as possible after use.
One of the biggest problems with the fruit fly is the number of flies that can appear in a short time. According to most scientific records, these little pests can produce hundreds of eggs and they all hatch within a short time period. Huge numbers of the flies can appear around food items quite quickly.
Some people have had success trapping the fruit fly using red wine in a dish. Others have used a mix that contains sugar and pepper to attract the fly. The standard fly strips and sticky substances used for house flies can also help keep fruit fly numbers under control.
Most experts in this area emphasize that the best way to deal with the problem of fruit flies is to keep food items stored properly and to keep only fresh fruits and vegetables around. For control of fruit flies in the residential kitchen, keep food dishes and bowls of fruit tightly covered. Keep them in the refrigerator if possible.
Crumbs and other food particles in cabinets and pantries are prime places to look for fruit flies as well as other household pests. This is especially true if the food particles are moist or damp, rather than dry. Cleanliness in the cabinets is one good answer to the fruit fly problem. Periodic, regular cleaning under the stove, refrigerator and in the cabinets will go a long way toward reducing fruit fly populations.
Some people are surprised to find that house plants can be a prime breeding ground for fruit flies, especially if substances are used that keep soil sweet and moist. The nectar of flowers may also be a place to look for fruit fly problems. Talk with a professional or expert in your community about commercial products that can also help in the fight against the pesky fruit fly.