Where do Fruit Flies Come From? (It’s Really Quite Surprising!)
Where do Fruit Flies Come From? (It’s Really Quite Surprising!)
Our fully inclusive guide on the fruit fly, how to spot it, and where it surprisingly came from.
Fruit flies. Do we want them? No. Do we need them? Certainly not. Are they one of the most common pests to invade our homes on a daily basis? You bet.
The vast majority of the time, fruit flies find their way into our homes from local areas of produce, for example, the local farmer’s market. They may be small, but despite their size, they can cause a rather large annoyance.
Above all else, these little critters tend to be attracted to rotten fruit and veg, sugary drinks, alcohol, and just about anything that’s contaminated or dirty. Yup, they’re about as pleasant as they sound.
Given what it is they’re attracted to and feed on, it won’t surprise you to hear that in the home, they can cause bad sanitation and health issues further down the line.
Want to know a little more about fruit flies, what they do, and where they come from?
Read on for our fully inclusive guide on the fruit fly, how to spot it, and where they come from – it’s really quite surprising!
What Does a Fruit Fly Look Like?
The easiest way to spot a fruit fly is by knowing exactly what it is you happen to be looking for in the first place. So, what does a fruit fly actually look like?
In appearance, an adult fruit fly is somewhere between three and four mm in length. In shape, they tend to be roughly oval, and the colour of their body is usually tan. Their thorax is tan, they are grey underneath, and their abdomen is black.
The vast majority of the adult fruit flies you come across will have red eyes, but there is the odd exception which will have eyes of a darker colour.
How Do Fruit Flies Act?
In terms of behaviour, there is a distinct difference between the male fruit fly, and the female fruit fly.
Typically, a male fruit fly will do whatever they can to attract the female fruit fly with the intention of mating. Usually, the females will be shy because their main priority is confirming that the male is actually of the same species as them. This means that the females tend to be fairly idle and lazy, and the males put more of the work in.
Prior to mating, there is an entire dance ritual conducted by the flies of both gender, which consists mainly of flying around one another. The male is considered to be fairly egotistical, and isn’t said to take too well to rejection…
When it comes to food, the fruit fly will usually eat organic food items which have been left to become rotten or decayed.
They will make a bee – line – or should we say fly – line? – for damaged fruit, vegetables, wine, and beer. Basically anything that contains sugar or alcohol in their ingredients will entice a fruit fly.
An adult fruit fly will enjoy feeding on any spoilt fruit pulp and / or residue, as well as any dirt which can be found in drain pipes and the plumbing of toilets. A delightful pallet.
The babies – or the technical term “larvae” – of fruit flies actually share similar eating habits with their adult counterparts, and particularly thrive on eating rotten vegetable products.
Where do Fruit Flies Come From, and How Have they Gotten inside of my House in the First Place?
Okay, so down to the important stuff. We know you’re wondering where fruit flies actually come from, and how they’ve actually gotten into your house. We did briefly mention that they tend to come from areas with a lot of fresh produce, but let’s look at this in a little more depth…
The truth of the matter is, fruit flies don’t only feed on the produce, but lay their eggs which become larvae inside of the fruit and veg as well. This is because they like to lay their eggs in fermenting liquid, which is usually found in the centre of produce.
So, think about the fruit and veg you either purchase from the store, or the farmer’s market. It’s likely that fruit flies came into your house as eggs in the middle of this produce – and before you ask if you can spot them prior to buying, they’re pretty much impossible to see with the naked eye.
Therefore, a lot of the time, we actually end up eating the eggs in our fruit and veg. We know, the thought of crunching into an apple and accidentally ingesting some fruit fly eggs is pretty disgusting, so always be sure to wash your fruit and veg before you tuck into it. that’s just common sense!
Other than this, it is important to remember that the adults don’t just appear out of thin air, despite the fact it might seem as if they do. A lot of the time, these critters will enter your home through cracks and crevices found on walls and in windows. If it’s the Summer, and you’ve got your doors and windows open a lot to let in the fresh air, then chances are the flies flew right in. You did pretty much give them an open invitation, after all…
So, we hope that this answers your question on where fruit flies actually come from, and how they get inside of the home. They have either:
- Pre – laid their eggs in fruit and veg from the store, and have developed inside of the home.
- Have come in through cracks, crevices, doors, and windows from outside.
It’s that simple – and yet surprising!
Is it Dangerous to Have Fruit Flies in the Home?
Okay, so one of the things home owners tend to be most concerned about when it comes to pest problems, is whether or not it’s actually dangerous to have them in the home.
Sure, fruit flies are annoying, and they’re pretty disgusting in their habits, but are they harmful to us, and do they bite? Read on for the answer!
Unlike many other kinds of flies, fruit flies do not actually bite, and because of this, they aren’t dangerous in a direct sense. They also will not cause illness directly; however they do things that can be slightly harmful to you and the family indirectly.
As we mentioned, fruit flies are attracted to and tend to sit on unsanitary areas, and therefore they can transport bacteria from place to place within the home, and can therefore leave diseases on your possessions as well as your food.
If you touch the contaminated area and then put your fingers around your face, or even eat the contaminated food, then chances are a stomach ache is likely to ensue. This is particularly likely to happen to children, and people who already have illnesses or compromised immune systems.
So, we will say this. Although you don’t have to worry about the fruit fly biting you, you should consider that they could actually be causing contamination around the home, and could have an indirect impact on the health and well – being of yourself, and your family.
How Can I Tell if I Actually Have an Infestation of Fruit Flies in the Home?
Last of all, but by no means least, after reading this you may feel slightly concerned that you have a fruit fly infestation in your home, because of the ways in which they can spread bacteria and germs around, and ultimately have an impact on the health and well – being of your family. But how can you even tell if you have a fruit fly infestation in the home?
If you continue to find these little critters either resting on towels and in and around toilet drains in the bathroom, or even in the kitchen sitting upon produce, then now is the time you should start asking yourself whether or not you have a full blown infestation on your hands.
The best way to find out whether you have one, is to look for both adult flies and pupae. The adult flies are likely to be found buzzing and hovering around bin areas wherein you dispose of your old fruit and vegetable produce.
When it comes to the mature larvae, they tend to choose dry areas in order to begin the process of pupating, and therefore these are the areas in which you’re most likely to find them.
It’s very easy to confuse the pupae with the faeces left behind from rodents and / or cockroaches, so there is one thing you should do in order to avoid becoming confused, and trying to get rid of the wrong sort of pest.
On the pupae end of fruit flies, however, you will be able to spot a small pair of horns, which will help you to tell them apart from the defecate matter of other pests. It’s really that simple.
Thanks for reading!
All About Pests | Guides, Info, Images and Tips