A non-biting fly species, fruit/vinegar flies are commonly found near overripe or fermenting fruits and vegetables. In addition, breads and other baked goods containing yeast are a common attractant for fruit flies. The same goes for vinegar, beer, soda and fruit juices. Larval stages are rarely seen and occur in decaying foods. Once larvae finish feeding, they move to a dryer area near the food source in order to change into their puparia stage. Adults emerge within a few days, light in color at first, but darkening to a brownish/yellow color. Several of the fruit fly species are distinguishable by their red eyes, although they can be a bit difficult to see considering that adult fruit flies are only 3-4mm in length. A complete life cycle averages 10 – 15 days depending on the temperature.
Fruit fly management is typically fairly simple since the most important step is to identify sources and remove them. The only complication comes in when sources are overlooked and breeding and feeding are allowed to continue. A few key areas to check include: dirty dish clothes, floor mops, and bottles or glasses containing small quantities of milk, soda and beer or fruit juice. Along with removing potential sources, it is important to empty trash receptacles daily and thoroughly cleanse all trash bins to remove spilled liquids and debris. Once removal of all sources has been completed, adult flies may remain present for a few days, but will soon die off. In cases of high infestations in which control of the adult fruit flies is desired or necessary, over-the-counter traps and home remedy traps are commonly available and include methods in which to lure the adult flies into the trap where they can be disposed of readily. These traps should be changed out or cleaned every few days to prevent new larvae from developing within the trap itself especially if the attractant is a natural food and breeding source. Failure to eliminate the source will result in continued repopulation. Due to this fact, pest control treatments are limited.