Fruit fly control is most often required in the late summer and early fall because this is when there is ripening or fermenting fruits and vegetables around and this is the attraction. Garden crops such as tomatoes, melons and squash as well as purchased items such as bananas, onions or any other unrefrigerated produce are the culprits when it comes to the things that attract fruit flies in the first place.
Although fruit flies are most often attracted to rotting fruit and vegetables there are other attractions for them in the home and these too must be identified and dealt with for 100% fruit fly control. The attractions other than fruit and vegetables can be drains, empty cans and bottles, damp floor mops and rags as well as garbage disposals. Any surface that has a film of damp or moist material that is fermenting can be a breeding ground.
Although they are more of a nuisance than anything, fruit fly control is important as they can carry with them bacteria which may manifest itself in a disease.
Fruit flies can be found wherever rotting and fermenting food can be found; this can be a restaurant, the supermarket or your home. As adults they don’t amount to much, they are about 1/8” long, have red eyes and a two tome tan and black body. The females lay their eggs, up to 500 at a time on the surface of rotting vegetation or other moist organic material. The entire life cycle from larvae to adult is about a week and as the saying goes, “they breed like flies”. Adequate fruit fly control is urgent and can be tempered by following a few rules which helps in preventing them in the first place.
The greatest form of prevention is the elimination of the attraction itself. Either eat refrigerate or dispose of ripened produce. If there are portions of the fruit which are damaged or the surface has cracked open, cut this away in case eggs have been deposited already. One rotting potato hidden in the back of the cupboard or fruit juice that was spilled and ran under the refrigerator can act as the breeding grounds of thousands of these nuisance insects. If you keep the re-cycling bin for plastic juice and soda bottles in the basement, this can also provide them with a home.
If you make wine or beer at home or can their own produce must make sure that all the containers and vats that are used are tightly sealed. Fruit fly control must be exercised as they can get under the caps and lids and lay their eggs and the larvae can get into the container as they hatch.
Windows and doors should be fitted with wire mesh screens, preferably 16 mesh to keep them out.