Fruit Flies Follow Fermenting Fruit
Fruit flies are built to find fermenting fruit. Though small, they can detect the smell of ripe fruits and vegetables from a good distance away. If there’s a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter, there’s probably a fruit fly or two looking for a way into your home to get to it. Because these insects are so tiny, they can get in through window screens or crevices around windows or doors. Once inside, they reproduce. Before you know it, you’ve got yourself a full-fledged fruit fly infestation (say that 5 times fast!).
Sometimes, fruit flies hitch a ride into your home on fruits or vegetables.
Fruit flies lay eggs on the skin of very ripe or fermenting fruit. Those bananas you brought home from the grocery store may already harbor a new generation of fruit flies. If you let your tomatoes over ripen on the vine before picking them, you may be harvesting fruit fly eggs along with your crop. Unrefrigerated fruit, whether its on display in the grocery store, still in the garden, or sitting in a bowl on your kitchen table, may attract fruit flies.
How a Few Fruit Flies Quickly Become an Infestation
Fruit flies have notoriously fast life cycles; they can go from egg to adult in just 8 days. That means one overly ripe tomato left unused on your counter can give rise to a small fruit fly swarm within a week. Fruit flies are also known for their persistence once indoors. Although a female fruit fly adult will only live about a month at best, in that short time, she can lay 500 eggs. They don’t even need fruit to keep reproducing. Fruit flies can breed in the slime layer inside slow-draining plumbing, or on an old, sour mop or sponge. So you can get rid of all your fruit, but still find your home infested with fruit flies.
Getting Rid of Fruit Flies for Good
Have a fruit fly infestation now? You’ll need to eliminate all possible food sources and make your home inhospitable to breeding adult fruit flies.