Place fruit flies eggs in food

Fruit flies

On this and the following pages, you will find all useful information about fruit flies. These settle on our fruit especially in summer and autumn and are also called fruit flies, vinegar flies or fruit flies. You will learn what fruit flies are and how to get rid of them. Find out which remedies are particularly effective in dealing with these little pests and which home remedies really work.

A tip in advance: At Amazon there are some remedies against fruit flies that work very well. You can find more information about these products and which of them are recommended on the page Remedies against fruit flies. But there are also many good and effective fruit fly traps that do not require the use of insecticides.

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What are fruit flies?

Drosophila melanogaster, better known as the fruit fly, is just one of more than 3000 different species of flies worldwide. Here in Germany alone 50 of these species live. They are divided again into game species and cultural followers.

The fruit fly as we know it belongs to the group of culture followers. It is adapted to human habitats and conditions. A fruit fly of this type is rarely found outside of human settlements.

It is an insect about 2.5 mm in size with a brown-yellow carapace and reddish eyes. A distinction must be made between the large fruit fly (Drosophila funebris) with a total length of 3-4 mm and the small fruit fly (Drosophila fascida) with a slightly shorter body length of 2 mm.

The fruit fly got its name from its fondness for fermenting fruit and vegetables. The alternative term fruit flies can be traced back to the predominant observation during thaw. Lured by acidic foods, rotting potatoes and kitchen waste, the fruit flies find their way into people's living spaces.

Every time you go shopping in the supermarket, you bring a few of the little flies into your realm. Here the fruit fly feeds on fermenting substances. The menu of fruit flies includes fruit juices, beer, wine and milk. Ketchup, jam, and vinegar are also popular food sources. Unsanitary food storage or an open waste bin can quickly lead to mass development of fruit flies.

How do fruit flies reproduce?

The reproduction of fruit flies begins, as with many living things, with mating. Mating takes place in phases and begins with courtship. Before the actual mating, the male touches the chosen female with his forefeet. The attractant secreted by the female fruit flies can be perceived over a short distance. If it is an alien female, the fruit fly will let the male fly away from him.

In the orientation phase, the male circles his female. It runs after him continuously. This phase only takes place in diurnal fruit flies. In the next phase, the two fruit flies now open their wings. The male continues to orbit the female. The flapping of the male's wings creates a stream of air. The female fruit fly reacts to this. It in turn vibrates its wings. Now the male is approaching. With his trunk he touches the genitals of the female.

The first attempt at pairing occurs. The male fruit fly climbs the female's abdomen. Females who are not willing to mate flee at this point. The repeated attempts at pairing are understood as stimulation.

Here is the whole process as a video:

Courtship, mating behavior and egg-laying using the example of the species Tephritis Neesii
by Pristurus (own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

From larva to fly

24 hours after successful mating, the female fruit fly lays large numbers of eggs. Up to 400 eggs are possible. To lay the fertilized eggs, the female chooses ripe to rotten fruit - and also vegetable pods. Bacteria and microorganisms, on which the later larva feeds, adhere to these shells.

Side note: There is a persistent rumor that fruit flies also lay their eggs in the potting soil of indoor plants or at least spend more time in the vicinity of the plants. But this is not correct. Small flies in the potting soil are mostly fungus gnats.

The fruit fly larvae hatch only a few time after being laid and measure a body length of 3 mm. The larva goes through a so-called metamorphosis, a transformation from the larva to the sexually mature insect. The physical remodeling takes place during pupation. This is a transition stage between larva and insect.

In the fruit flies, only a few of the larval cells are taken over. There is a radical change. In the pupal stage, the almost finished fruit fly does not eat any food. She is almost completely motionless. In the case of fruit flies, one speaks of barrel pupation. The actual pupa lies hidden in a barrel made from the last larval skin.

4 -5 days after pupation, the finished and adult fruit fly hatches. 12 hours later, this fruit fly can also mate and lay several hundred eggs.

A fruit fly usually takes 14 days to fully develop. Under favorable conditions, the time is reduced to approx. 10 days. One can imagine that in a very short time a considerable population can arise in one's own apartment. If this is the case, it is important to combat the fruit flies effectively and get rid of them again.

How to get rid of fruit flies

Once you have declared war on the fruit flies, there are a few strategies and methods that are very effective in combating the small pests. Regular ventilation alone ensures that some fruit flies leave the apartment again.

But there are many more small and big tricks to finally be able to live free of fruit flies again. I will explain what these are on the fruit fly control page.

(Source of the product images: Amazon partner program)