Fruit Flies

Diptera: Drosophilidae


Fruit flies are very small size flies about 3 to 4 mm in length with red eyes and brown to tan bodies. These small flies are common household pests that are a nuisance at home. They multiply very quickly and are year-round pests.

Life Cycle

Fruit flies have complete metamorphosis, meaning that they develop through four life stages: egg, larva (maggot), pupa, and adult (fly). They can complete a life cycle in seven days in ideal conditions and have more than 20 generations per year. The average lifespan of a fruit fly is about 40 to 50 days, and the female can lay up to 500 eggs on fermenting fruits or organic material. Within 2 days the eggs hatch into small larvae that eat from their nesting site. The larval stage takes approximately seven days then transforms into pupae. Within five days the adult flies emerge. Adults feed on yeast and fungi that cause the fermentation of overripe fruit or organic matter.

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Fruit flies attack and damage most kinds of fruits and vegetables like berries, grapes, olives, persimmons, and tomatoes. Female flies cause damage by puncturing the fruit skin with their ovipositors to lay eggs. During egg laying, various bacteria from the intestine of the fly are introduced into the fruit. The activity of bacteria and larvae feeding on the flesh of fruit cause the rotting. Also, fruit flies have been known to lay eggs on wet garbage in the kitchen and are a nuisance.



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