Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?
Where Do Fruit Flies Come From? – We all know how annoying fruit flies can be. We see them in the kitchen, we see them in the trash; yet we know very little about those little pests that we so often wish they didn’t exist.
Fruit flies are tiny and they’re able to reproduce rapidly — two primary characteristic that makes them hard to catch and get rid of (unlike mosquitos, who appear in single units and are slow enough for you to smack them). They can reach up to 4 mm in length, have red eyes and a body that’s part tan, part black. Because they love over-ripen organic matter, they seem to appear more frequently during the summer and fall months, though they are present all year round.
One of their most important behavioural features is that they lay their eggs on the surface of fruits and vegetables; when the larvae develop, they stay on the over-ripened surface to feed. This prevents the entire fruit or vegetable from being infested by the larvae and having to be thrown away; cutting away the damaged area is enough.
Do fruit flies bite?
Due to their dietary habits, fruit flies are biologically designed to feed only on fermented fruits and food particles found on wet/mouldy surfaces. This means that they do not posses biting mouthparts to allow them to feed on blood, which means the little pests are unable to bite a human — even if there are hundreds of them. They’re vegetarian.
How long do fruit flies live?
These pests have a particularly brief life cycle. It only takes a week for the egg to turn into larvae and then into adults, after which they generally live for a period of 30 days. Furthermore, they posses great reproductive potential, being able to lay up to 500 eggs, given the right circumstances. So the longer you keep your fruits and veggies out on the kitchen counter, the more likely they will be to give rise to a small colony of the pests.
What causes fruit flies?
Fruit flies have one and only one purpose in their short lives: to find fermenting fruit.
They are attracted to organic produce as they can ferment and thus provide the pests with edible material. They are small, but they have a good sense of smell, and if you were to have a bowl of ripen fruit on the kitchen counter, chances are there are numerous fruit flies trying to get inside your house, be it through the window or crevices around doors. Fruit flies will do anything to get to their food source.
Though they love organic matter, they thrive in moist areas and in places where there’s water standing, so even if you get rid of all your fruit, chances are you will still find fruit flies flying around your house on a summer afternoon, as they can easily breed on an old, mouldy mop, a sponge or even inside your plumbing.
Get rid of fruit flies with home made trap
So now that we know the basics, it’s time to learn how to get rid of those annoying little buggers to be able to enjoy a bug-free house. Here are three methods you can choose from:
1) Apple Cider Vinegar Trap
Everybody knows how miraculous apple cider vinegar can be. From your digestive system to your house, everything can benefit from its qualities.
All you’re going to need is:
half a cup of apple cider vinegar
a jar or container with some depth
a few drops of soap
a funnel or some paper to do one
a piece of rotten fruit (optional)
Heat up the apple cider vinegar and pour it into the container, before adding a few drops of soap and dropping the piece of fruit inside it. Then, place the funnel on top of the opening of the jar or make yourself one with some paper.
Since this type of vinegar comes from fermented apples, the fruit flies will be drawn in by the smell, going down the funnel and becoming trapped inside the jar. The soap will break the surface tension and it will allow for them to drown in the vinegar instead of just sitting on top of it. If they don’t drown, just place the jar inside the freezer for 20 minutes. That should do the job.
You can place the jar anywhere in the kitchen and you can keep it there for as long as you want, as there is no need to remove and replace the contents on a daily basis.
2) Lemongrass Spray
If you’re not looking to kill the little pests, but want to keep them at bay along with other bugs, lemongrass essential oil is the solution you were looking for.
What you need:
10 drops of lemongrass essential oil
an empty spray bottle
1/4 cup of hot water
Simply add the water and the 10 drops of essential oil in the spray bottle and shake well. Then spray the liquid along windowsills, around doorways and the kitchen, and directly at fruit flies when you see them. Not only will the solution make the little bugs stay away unharmed, it will also leave a refreshing scent all around your house. It’s a win-win situation.
3) Store-bought Traps
As with anything that you usually buy in these cases, the setup is pretty straight forward and barely time consuming. The solution is immediate.
There are different kinds of traps that you can find around the shops or online, and as such, it can be difficult to pick the right one for you. Two features you should keep in mind when choosing the right trap for you are: its longevity — the longer it lasts, the fewer times you have to re-purchase it and the less money you spend, and its effectiveness — remember quality comes first, so make sure you buy a trap that you know will work.
One example is this trap. It lasts for up to 180 days and it costs less than your Sunday brunch with friends. Convenient, right?
Published by Carla Cometto on 10 September 2017