Fruit Flies 101: How To Keep Your Home In Spring Fruit Fly-Free
Fruit Fly on fruit.

Fruit Flies 101: How To Keep Your Home In Spring Fruit Fly-Free

In Spring, Texas, we joke and say that we have two temperatures, hot and hotter, but that isn't far off. The high humidity and hot temperatures are sometimes a bit much. We point this out because high humidity and hot temperatures are perfect for flies. You may have noticed. So, it isn't surprising that Spring homes can have trouble with fruit flies. But fruit flies don't just come into our homes from outdoors. They can hitch a ride home from the grocery store.

Today, we'll look at all the facts you need to know in order to keep these tiny and annoying flies out of your home. As always, we're here if you need us. Contact Modern Pest Control for fly pest control in Spring. We can help you find a long-lasting and sustainable solution to fruit flies or gnats.

Fruit Flies vs. Gnats: How To Tell The Difference

When talking about fruit flies, we must inevitably discuss gnats. Why? Because people get these flies mixed up. If you mix them up, you could find yourself going crazy, wondering why your traps aren't working. Let's quickly look at the different types of flies you'll find in your Spring, Texas, home:

Fruit Flies:

  • A fruit fly is about 1/8 of an inch long, kind of like a flying speck. It isn't easy to distinguish the minor visual characteristics that make it different from other flies at this tiny size.
  • These flies are almost always a tan color. If you see tiny black flies in your home, they are probably not fruit flies.
  • Fruit flies usually have red eyes, though some species have dark eyes.
  • You'll find fruit flies around fruits, vegetables, and decaying organic matter that is high in carbohydrates.
  • They are a minor health concern when exposed to garbage and other unsanitary things.
  • Fruit flies live for 40 to 50 days.
  • Female fruit flies lay approximately 5 eggs at a time, which is why some people think fruit flies reproduce in a matter of hours. What actually happens is that the eggs hatch a few at a time, and the swarm grows over the course of a week.
  • A female fruit fly can typically lay about 400 eggs in a month, and if conditions are favorable, it can lay as many as 500.
  • Fruit fly eggs can hatch into larvae after about 12 hours.
  • The hatched larvae will develop into adults in about nine days.

Phorid Flies:

  • These are the most common tiny black flies residents find in their homes.
  • Some folks commonly call them gnats.
  • They range in size from 1/64 to 1/4 of an inch long.
  • If you see two different sizes, the small ones are not the babies. You have two different species.
  • Baby phorid flies are maggots. If you're looking to get control of an infestation, it is critical to understand this.
  • The easiest way to tell phorid flies from other tiny flies is that they prefer to run across surfaces rather than quickly take off. It is a behavior pattern that has caused many to refer to them as scuttle flies.
  • Phorid flies are the filthiest flies listed here. They are attracted to human and pest waste.

Fungus Gnats:

  • These gnats are less common pests commonly confused with fruit or phorid flies.
  • You'll find these pests around your plants if you have a fungus gnat infestation. They lay their eggs in the soil.
  • A fungus gnat ranges from 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long.
  • Fungus gnats don't harm your plants or bite you.
  • These gnats are mainly nuisance pests.

Drain Flies:

  • Drain flies have a moth-like appearance with a bit of a heart shape.
  • They range from 1/5 to 1/6 of an inch long.
  • A drain fly will look fuzzy and be a dark color or gray.
  • They often hatch in drains.
  • They go by several names, such as moth flies, sewer flies, sewer gnats, sink flies, and filter flies.
  • When found in association with sewers, these flies are a health concern.

These are the tiny flies that commonly infest homes. Today, we won't be examining house flies, bottle flies, or other larger flies. Our goal is to help you tell fruit flies apart from other tiny flies and give you the information you need to manage a fruit fly problem.

Are Fruit Flies Harmful? Understanding The Health Risks

We touched on the health implications of having fruit flies in your home, but it is important to drill a little deeper into this topic. You should know that you have some control over whether or not fruit flies will present a serious risk to your health. A clean home with a clean kitchen trash bin kept covered will significantly reduce your chances of getting sick from fruit flies. It would also be best to consider cleaning your garbage disposal, mop buckets, and recycling bin. The sickness caused by fruit flies is food poisoning caused by the transfer of germs from unsanitary places to food or food surfaces.

When fruit flies hatch in your home, they'll seek food sources for energy. Once they have energy, they'll mate with each other. The females will then seek appropriate locations to lay eggs. Their preference is to lay their eggs on produce. However, if fruits or vegetables aren't available, they'll look to secondary sites that are less sanitary.

For this reason, it is important to eliminate fruit flies. When they hatch in unsanitary places or walk around on unsanitary things, they can pick up tiny microorganisms that can impact human health. They can then deposit these on your skin, surfaces, and stored food packages.

Creating A Fruit Fly-Free Environment: Strategies For Prevention

As we pointed out above, there are two ways fruit flies can get into your home. They can come from your yard or from the store. The methods you'll use to prevent an infestation will differ depending on which way they may come in.

How To Keep Flies Out:

If you want to prevent fruit flies from entering your home from your yard, you'll need to consider exterior attractants and the routes these flies use to get into your house. Here are some prevention methods:

  • Keep your exterior trash receptacles as clean as possible to reduce the scent that can attract fruit flies.
  • Keep all your trash receptacles covered so fruit flies can't get in.
  • Consider using scented bags to further mask the scent of your garbage.
  • Get trash to the curb weekly to prevent the garbage from sitting and fermenting.
  • Keep your trash receptacles away from exterior doors where fruit flies can fly into your home when you go in or out.
  • If you have fruit trees, keeping fruit picked up from the ground is critical.
  • Plant fruit trees well away from your exterior if they are fruit trees.
  • Frequent or daily harvesting can reduce the risk of infestations if you have berry bushes.
  • Remove berries that drop onto the ground.
  • Use 16-mesh screens on your doors and windows to keep tiny flies, like fruit flies, out of your home.
  • Inspect your exterior doors and check to make sure your weatherproofing is intact.
  • Inspect your door and window frames. If you see gaps, caulk them.
  • Inspect your plumbing and wire conduits. Often, there are gaps around utilities that flies can exploit. Use expanding foam to seal these gaps.
  • Consider applying screen material over exterior vents.

When it comes to keeping fruit flies away, these management methods work best. As for how to repel flies, there are no effective methods. Some residents use lavender, cloves, eucalyptus, and other natural scents, but they don't work well. The best solution for repelling flies and controlling populations is to get a residential pest control service plan. If you're in Spring, contact Modern Pest Control and ask us about our Modern Plus plan. It is an entry-level service plan that is inexpensive and effective at controlling the common pests in our area, including flies.

How To Stop Fruit Flies From Coming Home From The Store:

When fruit flies lay their eggs on produce, those eggs can enter your home right under your nose. Once inside your house, they can hatch into a swarm, a few flies at a time. Here are some ways you can prevent this from happening:

  • When you return from grocery shopping, wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly. As you wash them, look for cuts, bruises, and other damage where fruit flies would choose to lay eggs.
  • Air dry your produce after washing them.
  • Put fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator to prevent eggs from hatching, just in case you missed some while washing.
  • Dispose of your fruits and vegetables in a sealed container or bag to keep insects, like fruit flies, from getting in (or out).
  • Clean spills as soon as possible to prevent fermenting juices from staining your floors or counters.
  • Remember that fruit flies can target potatoes. To keep the pests out, store your potatoes in a sealed bin.

If you take these steps, you'll have a better chance of avoiding a fruit fly infestation. They won't provide 100% protection, but they'll have a big impact. If you don't catch these flies and they get into your house, a pest plan from your local pest control service provider can give you quick advice and service.

Experienced Assistance: Call The Experts For Total Fruit Fly Control

Fruit flies appear a few at a time. Over the course of about seven days, you'll go from a mild irritation to a swarm. If you don't find the source of your infestation and deal with it, those flies may find a breeding site inside your house. Once rooted in your home, you may need help getting rid of them, particularly if you can't figure out where they're laying their eggs.

You don't have to struggle with fruit flies. Contact Modern Pest Control for local fly control in Spring. We can help you get rid of fruit flies, phorid flies, fungus gnats, or drain flies. Here's how:

  • We start with an inspection. Your technician will identify the specific species of fly infesting your home.
  • We identify conducive conditions that allow the flies to find food and energy.
  • We identify potential entry points.
  • We locate potential breeding sites.
  • We select treatment products that provide effective control.
  • We look to address the conditions that caused the infestation so that you don't have future infestations.

Once the flies are gone, you can continue to take steps to prevent fruit fly infestations on your own or get started with a year-round pest control service plan, like Modern Plus, Signature, and Signature Plus. These service packages provide everything you need for ongoing management of pests.

Most of the magic happens outside of your home. We reduce pest populations around your house, control the ecosystem that promotes pest infestations, and establish a control barrier. That last step is the most important of all when it comes to keeping fruit flies out of your home. During your routine service visits, which happen quarterly, we apply a liquid application to the exterior of your house. The product we use keeps a wide range of insects out, including flies, silverfish, roaches, and crickets.

Modern Pest Control, founded in 1952, aims to provide prompt and personalized quality pest control services to home and business owners in Spring, TX, and the surrounding areas. We have had a long time to learn what works and what doesn't. We've also refined our customer service so you get a quick response when things don't go as expected. Most of all, our team is committed to excellence and has earned the QualityPro designation from the National Pest Management Association—the "mark of excellence" in pest control. You're in good hands with our team.

Are you in Spring, Texas? Contact us today for immediate service or advice regarding your pest control issue. We're here to listen and help.

Share To: