Bug Blog

The Mystery of Fruit Flies: Ask the Professor

The Mystery of Fruit Flies: Ask the Professor

The Pest Professor Dr. Jim Fredericks, entomologist with the National Pest Control Association, wants you to know how fruit flies magically appear.  It’s not smoke and mirrors, but science.

They don’t suddenly come to life out of decaying fruit, and they don’t fly out of a mysterious inner fruit sanctum.  Instead it is their remarkable sense of smell that leads them to the yeast of any decaying fruit.  That, and their ninja-like ability to enter homes, draws them to your fruit bowl.  They fly through the tiniest of cracks, heading straight to the smell of ripening fruit in your kitchen.  They can also fly through the miniscule holes in your window and door screens.

Preventing fruit flies from home invasion is impossible, but by practicing sound sanitation of your fruits you can go a long way to eliminating their relentless swarms.  Supermarket fruit can come with microscopic fruit fly eggs already on the surface, so washing fruit is helpful, along with cleaning and laundering any old mops or sponges that may carry food particles.

Perhaps most importantly, watch your fruit for signs of over-ripening.  When too ripe, dispose in a sealed trashcan or better yet, outside.