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Fruit Flies

( Drosophila spp. )

Characteristics

SIZE: Common fruit flies are generally three to four millimeters from antennae to wingtip.

COLOR: Fruit flies are most often beige or brown in color, with black markings around their abdomens or rear segments. However, the fruit fly’s most striking feature is its red eyes.

BEHAVIOR: Fruit flies are most often beige or brown in color, with black markings around their abdomens or rear segments. However, the fruit fly’s most striking feature is its red eyes.

Habitats

Female fruit flies lay their eggs in over-ripe or decomposing fruit and vegetables sitting on your counter. They can also breed in dirty garbage disposals, trash receptacles, soda cans or beer bottles and even simple kitchen spills.

Tips for Control

To help prevent fruit flies:

  • Wash all fruits and vegetables you bring into your home, whether from the supermarket or your own garden.

  • Throw out any spoiled or rotten produce and food scraps in a sanitary fashion.

  • Keep your kitchen counters, cabinets and garbage disposal clean.

  • Keep kitchen waste in a tightly sealed receptacle and away from fresh produce, preferably outside.

  • Use refrigerated storage when appropriate.

  • Avoid storing certain kinds of produce such as onions and potatoes in proximity to each other, as doing so can promote over-ripening, which can attract fruit flies.

  • Double-check to see that all windows and doors are properly screened and sealed to help prevent fruit flies from entering.

To fully eradicate fruit flies, you must locate and eliminate their breeding grounds. Killing the adult flies won’t solve the problem. Thoroughly search your kitchen, pantry and waste receptacles for rotten food or scraps and dispose of these items and any produce stored nearby. If adult flies are still a problem, you can construct your own fruit fly trap with a few simple, inexpensive ingredients: a jar or glass container; sugary bait (apple cider vinegar or a piece of rotting fruit); and something that allows flies to enter the trap but prevents them from escaping (try a paper cone or perforated plastic cling film).

Remember, if you feel overwhelmed by fruit flies or remain unsure whether you have a fruit fly problem, a Terminix® pest control specialist can develop a plan to combat a potential infestation.

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