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Fruit Fly

Danger/Damage

Fruit flies indicate moist decaying organic matter and are carriers of bacteria and viruses as they feed on rotting food.


Did you know?

Fruit flies are yellow-brownish with bright red eyes. Fruit flies are found near fermenting waste material, especially fruit and vegetable matter, as well as areas where soft drinks, alcohol, beer, ice cream, and fermenting flour are.


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Adult fruit flies are typically 3 to 4 mm (1/8 inch) long and are brown or tan in colour. They usually have red eyes, but some fruit flies have darker eyes. They have a tan thorax with and a darker abdomen with blackish cross-bands/margins and grey below. Fruit flies have six legs and are small with antennae.

Males are easily distinguished from females based on color differences as they have a distinct black patch on their abdomen. Males also have a cluster of bristles visible on the forelegs of the male.


Fruit flies are found near fermenting waste material, especially fruit and vegetable matter. Fruit flies can be seen in areas where soft drinks, alcohol, beer, ice cream, and fermenting flour are. Garbage and recycling bins are ideal locations to breed.


Female fruit flies will lay about 500 eggs, 5-20 at a time, near rotting fruit or other suitable matter where moisture and yeast are abundant. The eggs only take about 30 hours to hatch.

The developmental period for most fruit flies (adult to adult) varies with temperature, ranging from eight to 11 days. Mating takes place after 8 hours to 2 days after adult emergence, and egg-laying begins about 24-48 hours later.

Depending on the temperature and the availability of food, fruit flies live for about 30 days.


  1. Female fruit flies can lay around 500 eggs, which can hatch in as little as 24-30 hours.
  2. Some species of fruit flies love decaying food that accumulates in drains.
  3. Several species of this group have been used in studies of genetics and heredity by scientists because of the ease in culturing them and their short life span.

How do l recognize a fruit fly?

Fruit flies are yellow-brownish with bright red eyes and have transverse black rings across their abdomen. They exhibit sexual dimorphism: females are about 2.5mm long, and males are slightly smaller.

Why Do I Have Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies larvae need yeast created by fermentation, such as those found on ripening fruit.

Are fruit flies dangerous to humans?

Fruit flies are an indication of moist decaying organic matter. They are carriers of bacteria and viruses when they come in contact with anything within the property as they feed on rotting food.

Where can I find fruit flies?

Fruit flies are found near fermenting material, especially fruit and vegetable matter, as well as areas where soft drinks, alcohol, beer, ice cream, and fermenting flour are. Garbage and recycling bins are ideal locations to breed.

How do I prevent fruit flies?

Screen all openings to the outdoors with a fine mesh screen during warm weather.

Remove exposed cut or spoiling fruit or vegetables from countertops.

Do not keep whole raw fruit on hand in large quantities exposed.

Inspect vegetables such as potatoes and onions stored in large quantities as there could be one rotten vegetable in the bottom of the bag. This decay is sufficient to support a sizable infestation.

How Do I Get Rid of Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies primarily enter homes on fruits and vegetables.

  1. Wash and store fruits and vegetables properly.
  2. Discard or clean anything that could remain or become a breeding site.
  3. Wash bins where fruit and vegetables are stored.
  4. Empty garbage and kitchen compost often, and rinse well.
  5. Rinse items to be recycled and to keep recycling bins clean.

Where can I find fruit fly breeding areas?

Breeding areas can sometimes be difficult to locate.

Look in potato storage bins, a forgotten apple in the storeroom, under the kitchen sink, or near baseboards.

Improperly cleaned garbage cans or disposal areas.

Uncleaned mops and cleaning rags that have been left to breed bacteria may serve as breeding sites.

Accumulations of food materials, usually small and hidden, may build up in corners, under counters, in the cracks of or around drainboards, in cracks around sinks, etc.


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