How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Exclusion & Sanitation
- The first step in order to get rid of Fruit Flies in the kitchen or elsewhere is to have proper sanitation. It is critical to eliminate any breeding sources.
- Clean garbage cans and dumpsters. They should have tight lids.
- Get rid of any extra moisture with proper drainage.
- Use screens on building openings.
- Re-grout tiles in bathrooms and kitchens; this will prevent any water leakage in the walls and possible fruit fly breeding sources.
Fruit Fly Inspection
Look first for fruit fly sources in areas where vegetables or fruits are stored outside refrigeration. Also look for fruit fly sources in garbage cans, under appliances, and recycling bins. When searching for fruit fly breeding sources, remember that the larva can only survive in decaying organic matter that is moist. All stages of a fruit fly infestations depend on organic debris to complete the complete fruit fly cycle. Whenever possible, food and materials on which fruit flies can lay their eggs must be removed.
Killing adult fruit flies will reduce infestation, but elimination of fruit fly breeding areas is necessary for good management.
Fruit Flies are not only the only small fly that you may see in your kitchen area. If you see a small type of fly or gnat type of fly, it may not be coming from the drains. So using a typical enzyme drain treatment like Invade Bio Drain Treatment or DF 5000 may not work if they are not coming from the drains. They could be coming from various sources like rotten fruit, garbage, or other damp organic matter. Also, Fruit Fly Traps would not work for other small flies such as Drain Flies, Phorid Flies, or Sphaerocerid Flies.
Below is a list of possible breeding sources for various small flies found in kitchen areas and other breeding areas. If you understand the various breeding sources, you can manage these flies with better success.
Drain flies: Drain Flies can breed in sewers, drains, septic tanks and contaminated soil from sewage.
Fruit flies: You can find Fruit Flies flying around fruits and vegetables, both fresh and rotten. They can also be found around any moist organic matter and garbage.
Phorid Flies : Phorid Flies are also found in contaminated soils from garbage, in drains and garbage. They can be found in human cadavers.
Sphaerocerid Flies: These small flies breed in rotting fruits and vegetables, garbage, and drains.
Fruit Fly Traps
Vector 960 Fruit Fly Traps and Invite Fruit Fly Traps are professional fruit fly traps on the market. They are ready to use traps with special attractants to lure the Fruit Flies into the traps and get caught. If you prefer to make your own fruit fly traps, using a special fruit fly lure and glue boards, use Invite Fruit Fly Lure.
Fruit Fly Control - Aerosols
Gentrol Aerosol is an IGR in a convenient aerosol can. An IGR (insect growth regulator) will prevent the complete fruit fly development. This aerosol can be sprayed around possible breeding sources such as, around plants, floor mats, under applicances and into drains.
Drain Treatments - Get Rid Of Possible Sources
You may find fruit fly larvae feeding on the sides of your drains. In order to investigate this, put some clear tape over the top of a dry drain with some holes in it for air flow. If the flies get stuck on the tape, you have located a source.
Using a bleach is not effective. In order to break up organic build up and eliminate any possible breeding sources, use drain a treatment like Invade Bio Drain Gel.
Fruit Fly Control - Residual Insecticides
Cyper WSP or LamdaStar UltraCap 9.7, are residual insecticide concentrates that yield several gallons of finished solution. Spray surfaces where fruit flies would land and rest, sprayed once a month. This would also treat other types of flies. Both products have a broad label for general pest control.
Fruit Fly Indentification
Fruit Fly Size (3mm)
Fruit flies are small about 1/8-inch in length including the wings.
- A key identifying character of a Fruit Fly is its bright red eyes.
- The Fruit fly is about one third the size of the filth or house fly.
- Body color is usually a light yellow to tan color.
- Fruit flies comprise several different species belonging to the genus Drosophila. The most common species encountered in homes and other structures is the D.melanogaster. Fruit flies are also identified as pomace flies or vinegar flies. These pests can be found throughout the world, in homes, food processing plants, warehouses, grocery stores, wineries, restaurants and other structures.
- Fruit Fly populations tend to be greatest in late summer and early fall as they infest fruits during the harvest season.
- The fruit fly is among the smallest flies found in homes.
- With the end of the summer season, many homeowners often encounter fruit flies in and about their kitchens and near garbage storage areas.
- Fruit flies are generally found hovering around decaying vegetation and overripe fruit. The fruit fly is most often found hovering around overly ripe fruit. Fermenting materials, such as leftover beer or soft drinks, also are a favorite food of fruit flies. Fruit flies are often found in the kitchen, especially when vegetable or fruit materials are present after major home canning efforts.
- Pomace Flies look like Fruit Flies and may infest homes. However, the breeding source may be something like a forgotten mop pail or open sewer drain.
- Because Fruit Flies frequent such unsanitary areas as garbage, it could potentially carry disease-causing bacteria onto food products.
- Like all flies, the fruit fly develops by complete metamorphosis. Eggs are laid near or on top of attractants (fermenting materials) such as beverages, decaying fruit and vegetable matter, garbage or slime in drains. The fruit fly is attracted to any area where moisture has accumulated including mops and wet rags. The larvae emerge from the eggs and feed near the surface of the fermenting material for 5-6 days.
- This surface-feeding characteristic of the fruit fly larvae is significant in that damaged or over-ripened portions of fruits and vegetables can be cut off without having to discard the remainder for fear of retaining any developing larvae. However eating the larvae can cause intestinal discomfort and diarrhea. For this reason, health professionals and sanitarians are concerned when fruit flies are found infesting facilities where food is prepared, processed, or served.
- Newly-emerged fruit fly adults are attracted to lights, but egg laying females will not leave fermenting materials. The fruit fly larvae then crawl to drier areas of the food source or even out of the food source to pupate. Under ideal conditions, the life cycle of the fruit fly, from egg to adult can be completed in as little as eight days. Life cycle from egg to adult is approximately 10 days.