Everything You Need to Know About Fruit Flies

If you enjoy reading this article, why not check out our articles on Which Bugs Live the Longest? and Small, Tiny, Brown Bugs in My House – What Are They?

What are the fruit flies?

If you’ve ever seen a fruit fly… you’ll definitely remember it. Little flies, ranging up to 4 millimeters long hanging around your fruit, can be quite hard to forget about to be quite honest.

Fruit flies are small flies that are attracted to decaying fruit. They’re bigger than normal flies and tend to stick around longer as well.

Are fruit flies dangerous?

Now, a swarm of flies might seem scary at first, but you don’t need to worry about them harming you all that much (at first). While they may harm your apples, oranges, or any other fruits you leave out, they’re not particularly dangerous insects. This means that you won’t have to worry about being overwhelmed by a swarm of flies.

This means you won’t really have to worry about them biting you, but if you have yourself an infestation, there are some health hazards you should definitely be aware of. These are due to the bacterial organisms they may bring with them.

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This is due to the fact that fruit flies are known to carry around all types of bacteria and illnesses. So while they might not harm you directly, if they’re around your food, it can lead to some foodborne illnesses. Therefore, if you see fruit flies hanging around your kitchen, you’ll definitely want to get rid of them sooner rather than later.

Does this mean that fruit flies are dirty insects?

Insects are not usually clean, by our standards at least, but that doesn’t mean that fruit flies are necessarily dirty by nature. When compared to other insects, they can be quite clean, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll want to share your home with them. Like we mentioned just a moment ago, these insects can expose your home and food to all sorts of contamination.

Fruit flies are not dangerous all of the time, but when they carry feces and bacteria, you can definitely find yourself in quite a nasty situation.

Are fruit flies attracted to UV light?

While fruit flies may seem a bit larger, and a bit more nasty than regular flies, that doesn’t mean that they’re actually all that different. This is due to the fact that all types of flies are attracted to UV light, and fruit flies are certainly no exception to this rule.

 By H8DeadW8 - Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84408415

This means that if you’re dealing with fruit flies, and you want to get rid of them, UV lights are a great way to do so. They’ll zap the flies, and when they fall lifeless, you can use sticky paper to get rid of them.

Lots of bugs are attracted to light. So many that we wrote an article about it: Which Bugs Are Attracted to Light?

Are fruit flies seasonal?

Some insects come and go with the seasons, and a lot of this has to do with weather patterns. The cause of this seems to be based on more than just the weather, and fruit flies are seasonal for a couple of reasons.

You’ll be bringing in fruit from the garden

If you have a garden, and the summer is coming to an end, you’ll most likely be bringing in those vegetables you’ve been growing for the summer season. While this may be great for your appetite, this can actually cause fruit flies to swarm around your house (or wherever you’ll be keeping the fruit).

They don’t enjoy the cold

If you walk outside during the winter, or even the late fall, you’ll notice that the insects seem to be gone. No more buzzing, no more biting, and no more swarming. This means that your chances of a fruit fly infestation will go down, but if they do happen to get into your home, a little cold weather won’t scare them off. So while your garden might be safe, your home may still be vulnerable to an infestation.

Fruit flies are not exactly super seasonal, but in the late summer months, you’ll definitely notice an increase in fruit fly activity.

Spiders are another example of a “bug” (actually they’re arachnids) that sort of has a season – learn more about it in When is Spider Season?

What color are fruit flies?

One of the most important things that you’ll need to know about fruit flies is their color. This will help you distinguish between the different types of flies, and can help you determine whether or not you’re looking at a fruit fly, to begin with. So in this section, we’ll be breaking down the color of these insects for you.

So what color are they?

Fruit flies actually have multiple colors, but they tend to look the same most of the time. While there are a few exceptions, most fruit flies will give off a mostly tan color overall. There will obviously be a black shade mixed in with this tan color, and if they’re flying around, you’ll most likely only see this black color more than the tan one.

This is due to the mixture of colors that makes up the body of a fruit fly, which are:

  • Their thorax is tan in color
  • Their belly (abdominal area) is black in color
  • They may also have a gray patch leading to the major abdominal area

So while they may appear to be tan in color, at first glance, there is a lot more going on beneath the surface.

What about their eyes?

Fruit flies may be tan in color, but their eyes are what give a lot of people the creeps. This is due to the fact that some fruit flies actually have eyes that give off a red color. This is not always the case with fruit flies, and if they do have a red color to their eyes, it doesn’t make matters any worse.

So if you ever come across a tan fly that has red eyes, chances are you’re looking at a fruit fly. The color does not vary much, but there are some exceptions in eye color as well.

Are fruit flies maggots?

Fruit flies have earned themselves the fruit fly name by the way that they reproduce. This is due to the fact that fruit flies are actually born on fruit. First, fruit flies are born as maggots, and then those maggots actually feed on that fruit in order to become full-fledged fruit flies. Therefore, at first, fruit flies are definitely maggots.

The process in which they’re born is actually quite interesting. Fruit flies will find fruits with a small layer of fermentation, and will actually lay their eggs inside that layer. This is why you’ll want to make sure that all of the fruit you have is not left out too long. When it comes to fermentation, it only takes a little bit when it comes to fruit flies.

Fruit flies will lay eggs in fruits, and when that fruit hatches, these flies actually become maggots. From there, they’ll tunnel and eat the fruit, which will allow them to grow into fruit flies.

What will attract fruit flies?

If you see fruit flies roaming around your home, and your not sure why, you’ll definitely want to pay close attention here. This is due to the fact that you’ll need to know what attracts fruit flies if you’ll ever want to get rid of them.

So what attracts them?

As the name suggests, fruit flies are definitely an insect that’s attracted to the fruit. The fruits vary, and even some vegetables are at play, so we’ll be breaking this down in a nice and simple list.

Fruit flies are attracted to:

  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Greens
  • And most other fruits you can think of

So… is it only fruit? What else might attract a fruit fly?

Fruit flies are not just attracted to fruits and vegetables, therefore, you’ll definitely want to make sure that you know everything about them.

This means that you’ll need to keep an eye out for some other special items that may attract fruit flies such as:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Cleaning supplies (mops or other damp utensils)
  • Rags
  • Sponges
  • Fermenting fruits
  • Sugary foods or drinks

So while fruit flies may be primarily attracted to fruits and vegetables, that doesn’t mean that they don’t like other foods or supplies as well.

How long can fruit flies live without food?

When it comes to food, to be quite honest with you, these fruit flies are actually quite resilient. Fruit flies might not live very long, to begin with, but when their food source is cut off, they’ll definitely perish quite quickly. This is due to the fact that fruit flies can only live for around 3 or 5 days (max) without a food source.

Fruit flies may be a menace, but if you do keep fruit flies away from their source of food, they’ll perish pretty quickly.

Final Findings

Fruit flies are not exactly fun insects, and they may look really gross, but if you know the facts you can definitely keep them at bay. We know that we sent a lot of information your way in this article, and while it may seem like a lot, you can always feel free to refer back to this article as a guide.

Fruit flies are a bit gross, and will definitely cause you quite a bit of trouble, but now you at least know the facts.

Fruit flies won’t necessarily attack you right away, but if you do let them roam free for long enough, they can create quite a bit of problem for you in the long run. Therefore, if you ever catch a fruit fly, you’ll want to make sure that you get rid of them as soon as possible.

If you enjoyed reading this article, why not check out our articles on Are Ladybugs Poisonous? and I Saw One Cockroach, Should I Be Worried?

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page https://schoolofbugs.com/about-steve-foster/

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