As their name suggests, fruit flies are attracted to fruit – rotting/fermenting fruit to be more specific. They are, however, not restricted to fruits as their only source of nutrition but will also feed on other fermenting organic matter. With the ability to lay up to 400 eggs at a time combined with quick development into adulthood, one fruit fly can lead the charge for a full blown infestation.
The most noticeable signs of a fruit fly infestation would be an adult flying around inside your house and the pupae. Adult flies will be seen flying near trash cans, fermenting vegetables and fruit. The fruit fly pupa can be seen in dry places near the decaying matter and resembles cockroach or rodent dropping, so be keen.
Image of fruit fly pupae:
The lifecycle of a fruit fly
As with most insects, the fruit fly goes through four stages during its development. These stages are egg, larva, pupa and adult. The female searches for ripening fruit, bores tiny holes on it and deposits its eggs there. The eggs are white in colour and resemble a banana in shape.
Soon after they are laid, the eggs will hatch and small maggots will emerge. The maggots then begin feeding in preparation for their next phase. After several moults, the larvae will crawl away from the wet fruit to a dry spot for their next stage.
The larvae then become inactive and turn into an oval brown pupa with a hard shell. It is at this stage that the fruit fly develops its features and emerges as an adult after a few days. The whole process takes about 7- 9 days but could last longer depending on environmental conditions.
How to prevent a housefly infestation.
The best way of preventing fruit flies from invading your home is by eliminating food sources and breeding places.
- Cover all your fruit bowls or keep the fruit inside the refrigerator.
- Cover your bins and take out the trash every day. And while we are still on the issue of bins; make sure you do not throw food into waste-paper baskets.
- Throw away rotting fruits and vegetables.
- Make sure that you clean up all food remnants after meals, dripped juices or alcoholic beverages and other items that may serve as food for these pests.
Although these measures will help you significantly reduce the chances of fruit flies invading your home, they do not guarantee 100% protection. It is, therefore, wise to use professional fruit fly control products to ensure that none of these flies gets into your home.