The Fruit Fly

 
  

Appearance

 

The adult fruit fly, or vinegar fly as it is sometimes known, is typically 2 -3 mm long and can be recognised by its dark red eyes.  Yellow brown in colour, they are often mistaken for knats due to their size.  Males
are slightly smaller than females and have a black patch on the rear of the abdomen.
 
 

Life Cycle

 

The complete life cycle of a fruit fly in the UK is usually around a week but will vary massively depending on temperature.
 
Eggs can be laid in varying locations from cracks in timber to rotting fruit or vegetables.  Hatching after a day or so, the larvae will feed from the microorganisms that cause the decaying process and the sugar from the fruit itself.  Growing for around four days prior to pupation, it takes a further four days before reaching the adult stage.
 
 
Treatment
 
Fruit fly infestations can be avoided with good housekeeping.  Fruit and vegetables that have ripened need to be consumed or discarded.  Produce that has already been damaged by larvae can have the affected parts cut out as the insects will stay near the surface. 
 
A regular program of cleaning is essential to avoid a single item falling behind a display causing thousands of flies to breed.  This is also very important in bars as dripping drinks dispensers can cause residues to form in timber shelves providing ideal conditions to breed.
 
Provided the client has prepared the affected area correctly, we can implement suitable treaments such as sprays and fogging.  Good cleaning must be continued to avoid re-infestation. 
 
Fruit fly are not as attracted to UV light as other insects but electric fly killer units can be most effective when fitted with pheromone lures.  Proofing measures such as the fly screens and doors are less effective due to the small size of the fruit flies although there are various options available depending on the site.
 
 

 

 
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