As soon as it gets warm, we meet the small fruit flies in many of our houses. Here you can find out where the flies come from, how harmful they are and how to get rid of them.
Fruit flies do not sting, do not hum and do not spread bad diseases. Nevertheless, they are annoying and can spoil your appetite. The problem with the those flies, which belong to the genus Drosophila, is that you can hardly get rid of them once they have nestled in the kitchen.
How to Identify a Fruit Fly
Drosophila melanogaster, better known as a fruit fly, is only one of a total of 3000 different fly species worldwide, adults are 3 to 4 mm long, may have red eyes, though some are dark eyed, and a tan thorax. The abdomen is black on top, gray underneath. Fruit flies can appear to be brown or tan in color.
The name “Fruit Flies” is not a coincidence, those tiny insects are mainly seduced by fruit, juices and other kitchen waste. The older and more rotten the fruit, the faster the fruit flies come into the kitchen. The females put up to 400 eggs in the rotten and fermenting kitchen waste within a few days. This explains, Why a fruit fly never comes by itself. The larvae of the Drosophila find ideal living conditions, especially in the soft, mucous pulp, so that within a few days a whole cloud of flies can be found in kitchen waste.
With every purchase in the supermarket, man carries a few of the small flies into his realm. Here feed the fruit fly of fermenting substances. Fruit juices, beer, wine and milk are on the menu for fruit flies. Ketchup, jam and vinegar are also popular sources of food. An unhygienic food storage or an open waste container can quickly lead to a mass development of the fruit flies.
How do fruit flies multiply?
The multiplication of the fruit flies begins, as in many living things, with the pairing. The pairing takes place in phases and begins with the courtship. Before the actual mating, the male touches the chosen female with his fore-feet. The attractant secreted by the fruitfly female is perceptible over a short distance. If it is a female of a different kind, the fruit-fly-male leaves him.
In the orientation phase, the male orbits his female. It runs after him uninterruptedly. The two fruit flies now open their wings. The male continues to orbit the female. An air stream is produced by the wing flap of the male. The female frog responds. It vibrates with its wings. Now the male approaches. With his trunk he touches the sex parts of the female.
It comes to the first pairing attempt. The male fly climbs the back of the female. Non-mating females flee at this point. The repeated pairing experiments are understood as stimulation.
How dangerous are the fruit flies
In contrast to mosquitoes or mosquitoes, the fruit flies are rather harmless. They do not sting and can not transmit any serious diseases. Nevertheless you should get rid of them as fast as possible. Because the Drosophila can transfer rot and yeast bacteria and thus also other food spoil. They also spoil the appetite and hardly anyone will feel comfortable in the kitchen when hundreds of small flies are swimming around lunch.
How can I prevent?
Fruit flies love temperatures around 24 degrees. They do not like heat either. The biologist Störtkuhl therefore recommends storing fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator. “The animals are not survivable in the refrigerator.” Even the eggs do not develop there. The Naturschutzbund (Nabu) advises to always cover ripe fruit, even on drinks like a glass of wine helps on hot days a lid before uninvited flying mittrinks. The garbage, especially in the biotone, should be well sealed and if possible disposed several times a day, the drain of the sink should be kept clean in order not to attract the animals.
Is there a danger to health?
No. “The eggs of the fruit fly are not poisonous and do not harm us,” says Störtkuhl. Even children could eat the fruit without hesitation. “In principle, it is only proteins that we take in addition to us.” The bacteria, which are completely independent of the flies on each fruit, are much worse. For this reason, the biologist recommends always washing the fruit thoroughly before eating – the eggs would also be removed.
How do I get rid of the fruit flies?
There are countless suggestions on how to get rid of the troublemakers. Some want to fight the little bees with the vacuum cleaner or hair dryer. Others swear by carnivorous plants such as sundew or fat herbs, and professional traps are also available for sale at internet traders.
The biologist simply recommends a mixture of beer with some dish soap. “The yeast in the beer is an attractive fragrance and also the alcohol attracts the flies,” explains Störtkuhl. The rinsing agent lowers the surface tension so that the flies sink more quickly and can not easily free themselves again. The Nabu proposes to fill a shallow bowl or a shot glass with a little vinegar, a shot of apple juice and a drop of rinse and place next to the fruit bowl.
If you do not get rid of the fruit flies, you have to be patient, then the problem solves all by yourself, “says the expert.” We are currently in the high phase for fruit flies, but already in mid-September with the first frost it stops again . ”
Caution: Danger of confusion
The fruit fly loves ripe fruits, especially bananas and grapes are at the top of their menu. Unripe fruit, on the other hand, avoids them. If a similar swarm of insects is lifted from the flower-head, it is not a question of fruit flies, but of mourning. They look similar to each other, but lay their eggs in the moist soil.
An old home remedy for fruit flies is a glass of fruit juice or vinegar, into which one has done a splash of detergent. Through the spüli, the surface tension of the liquid is reduced and instead of sitting on the juice, the flies sink. In fact, after a few days you will see many fruit flies floating in the glass. But really successful the home remedy against the Drosophila does not help. Because for every fly drowning in the glass, much more are smelled by the smell. In this respect, you should better refrain from having an open glass of juice in your kitchen standing around.
Effective against fruit flies is to take them the food basis. Especially in the warm months, it is important not to have any food open around. Stow all food and drinks well packaged in a well-closed place. Rinse used plates, glasses and cutlery immediately. Also, be careful not to leave food in your kitchen, but remove it immediately from the kitchen. Ensure clean work surfaces and throw empty food containers immediately into the garbage. Without a foodstuff, you should also get rid of the fruit flies quickly.
Eliminating Escapes and Wild Fruit Flies
If you raise or manage fruit flies, it is inevitable that you will have escapees. In the the summer times existing cultures will invite wild fruit flies to investigate. To reduce the possibility of having a outbreaks of wild flying fruit flies within your home, potential breeding grounds must be eliminated. Potential breeding locations common within the household are garbage cans, areas in and around the sinks and drains, and of course food that has been left out over extended period of time. Unless the theses types of breeding areas are eliminated, problems will continue no matter how often you set traps.
Fruit Fly Trap Construction
Traps are inexpensive and easy to make. Construct a paper funnel from a sheet of notebook paper. Place the funnel into a jar which that has been baited with the fruit flies favorite foods. Just place small pieces of fruit or you can place cider vinegar or wine in the bottom of a jar. Once flies have accumulated in the trap, simply carry the trap outside and release the flies.