Most of us have seen fruit flies in our lives. These pesky bugs seem to appear when we want them around the least. But they don’t just appear out of thin air. Read on to find out what brings them into your home and what to do about them.
Fruit Flies Love Fermentation
Adult fruit flies are small, only about an eighth of an inch long. This means they can easily penetrate even the smallest gaps in your windows and doors. But what brings them inside? In a word: fermentation. Fruit flies seek out moisture and organic materials. This combination can create fermentation, which thereby creates an environment suitable for fruit fly eggs. Fruit flies can lay up to a whopping 500 eggs at one time, with the egg to adult cycle taking only about a week. Larvae feed on any fermenting mass, which allows them to grow to a reproductive age themselves.
This means that any over-ripened or damaged fruits and vegetables in your kitchen are a potential breeding ground for fruit flies. Even if you store your perishables properly, your food prep area can be a haven for these insects. Drains, trash containers, garbage disposals and even cleaning tools can harbor enough fermenting material to attract them. Once these areas are infested, you’re at risk for contaminating your food, as well as other parts of your home.
Fruit Fly Prevention
Fortunately, a fruit fly infestation can be prevented. It all starts by eliminating the sources of attraction. Eat your produce in a timely manner. Do not let it ripen for too long-- that is a surefire way to create the fermentation that fruit flies love. Refrigerate items that need to be kept cool. Cut and throw away damaged parts of fruits and vegetables, as eggs or larvae may be present. It only takes a small amount of food to create an infestation. As such, ensure that you take out your trash and recycling on a regular basis.
If your hobbies include activities like winemaking, produce canning or beer brewing, always take care to properly seal the containers you use for these processes. Fruit flies can breed under lids if this step is not handled.
As always, it’s a good idea to cover your windows with well-fitting 16-mesh screens. This will keep bugs of all kinds from getting inside.
Do you have an out-of-control fruit fly infestation? Get in touch with Termagon Termite and Pest Control today.