The Solution To Fruit Flies In Houston
Fruit flies on a peeled banana.

The Solution To Fruit Flies In Houston

Fruit flies are incredibly interesting and highly frustrating pests to deal with. Do you know that they can come into your house through an open window and sometimes still end up inside, even if you tightly seal all of your windows? They can do this because sometimes fruit fly problems begin with eggs, not adult flies. They don't all just fly in through an open door or window. You can accidentally carry fruit fly eggs into your home on the fruits or vegetables you purchase at a store or farm stand. When you bring the eggs into your home, they hatch, a few at a time, and tiny, annoying flies quickly fill the air. 

The way a fruit fly problem starts is with one or two flies. Those flies grow into a swarm by the end of the week. When this happens, you may wonder, as other Houston residents do every year, whether or not fruit flies reproduce in a matter of hours or a couple of days. While they certainly reproduce quickly, the eggs don't hatch as quickly as that. 

So, why is it important to know facts like this? Because it can help you gain control of fruit flies rather than find yourself in a very frustrating battle with them. In this particular case, understanding that it takes about a week for fruit flies to reproduce, you know that you can stop the infestation if you find the source and remove it from your home.

Join us today as we look at this and other helpful facts that can give you a step up in your battle against these and other tiny flies. As always, we're here if you need us. Modern Pest Control provides industry-leading pest control solutions in Houston. We can help you with home fly control if you want. Navigate to our 'Contact Us' page for an easy way to speak with us and get the answers you need. 

What Are Fruit Flies?

A fruit fly is a tiny insect about 1/8 of an inch long. It has a tan body and red eyes, though some species have dark eyes. These little flies are attracted to fruits and vegetables and lay their eggs on produce. That is why you sometimes end up bringing a fruit fly infestation home with you from the store.

When fruit flies get into your home, they'll look for a breeding site. If they emerge from a piece of fruit, they may use the same fruit to continue growing their numbers. They may also breed in decaying meat, organic material in your garbage disposal drain, organic material in your trash receptacle, old juice bottles, or even on a damp mop in your closet. These are common places where you're apt to find fruit flies.

Not every tiny fly in your home is a fruit fly. If you see lots of small black flies, you're looking at phorid flies or fungus gnats. Phorid flies are far more troublesome to deal with than fruit flies because of their ability to find and contaminate food sources. Fungus gnats are much easier to deal with than both because they're looking for soil in which to lay their eggs. You may stop an infestation simply by putting your potted plants outside. If you have a lot of indoor vegetation, you may need a little help from your Modern Pest Control team.

What Attracts Fruit Flies To Houston Homes?

Before Houston fruit flies get into your house, you may unintentionally be giving them a reason to check out your exterior. They're looking for food sources and breeding sites. If something near your home provides either of these, you can have fruit flies looking for a way into your home. Fruit flies are very tiny and can slip through the smallest of gaps, so you want to avoid having anything around attracting them. They can zip into your house when you open the door. Every home is a bit different, but here are a few ways you'll attract fruit flies to your home:

  • Light: Fruit flies are insects, and many insects are attracted to light. If you have exterior light sources, you'll lure these insects to your house. It is a particular issue in doorways as fruit flies will fly inside when you open the door.
  • Trash: Fruit flies can smell your garbage from a distance. If they smell a food source, they will definitely check it out. If you have trash sitting near an exterior door, fruit flies will go right into your home when you open the door. Do you see a pattern here?
  • Recycling: It is important to keep recycling items as clean as possible because fruit flies will follow the smell. If you keep recycling in your garage, it shouldn't surprise you to find lots of fruit flies checking out.
  • Moisture: All creatures need water, and fruit flies are no exception. If you have puddles near your home, containers that capture rainwater, broadleaf plants, or some other source of water, fruit flies may hang out near your home.
  • Fruit: Do you have fruit trees or berry bushes? If so, you're sure to invite fruit flies. You can deter these flies by cleaning fruit up off the ground as soon as possible and disposing of it so that it doesn't sit and decay on your property. 
  • Spills: Fruit flies love human food. If you have an outdoor cooking area, they may zero in on a spill. Keep spills cleaned up as best you can.
  • Containers: If you have an outdoor cooking area, make sure you bring containers in when you finish cooking. Fruit flies will crawl on containers that have sweet residue on the outside.  

Now that you know a bit about fruit flies and what attracts these insects to your home, we can turn our attention to control methods. Let's look at what you can do if you have flies in your house and how to keep them from getting inside in the first place. 

Everything Houston Homeowners Can Do To Prevent Fruit Flies

At this point, you're almost a fruit fly expert. You know how fruit flies behave in your home and their association with breeding sites. You also know a bit about what attracts fruit flies. Here are some specific methods you can use to deal with these pests:

  • Check Produce: When you're at the store or farm stand, keep watch for these tiny flies buzzing around the produce. If there are fruit flies present, there may be fruit fly eggs on the fruits or vegetables. Fruit fly eggs are very tiny and not easily seen with the naked eye.
  • Store Produce Properly: When you return home, put fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator to prevent eggs from hatching into a swarm of fruit flies. Store potatoes and other vegetables that are susceptible to fruit flies within sealed plastic bins.
  • Alter Light Conditions: Keep lights off at night. Draw curtains and shut blinds. Consider replacing white lights with insect-resistant yellow lights. Consider installing lights activated by motion. Pay close attention to the light around your exterior doors. 
  • Manage Your Exterior Trash: There are many ways to make your trash less attractive to fruit flies. Wash down receptacles and disinfect them. Keep the garbage covered at all times. Avoid overfilling your trash because it will prop the lid open. Remove debris routinely from your property. 
  • Seal the exterior: Fruit flies will enter your home through available cracks, gaps, and holes. Your job is to find these entry points and seal them. The tools you'll need for this job are a few cans of expanding foam, a caulking material, and a caulking gun. Use the foam for larger openings, such as gaps around pipes and wire conduits. Use the caulk for longer gaps or seals around window and door frames. You can also use caulk to seal smaller holes, such as a hole in a door frame.
  • Weatherproof: Fruit flies often slip through gaps around exterior doors and windows. Inspect these zones and look for the tiniest openings. One way to do this is to stand outside at night when it's dark and look for any thin lines of light leaking out. If you can see light, you have an opening large enough to allow fruit flies into your home. Replace weatherstripping and door sweeps as needed and repair frames to seal your exterior doors and windows up tight.
  •  Fix screens: Your screens are your first line of defense against most insects. If you have any rips or damaged areas, get them repaired or have your frames rescreened. Check around the screen frames as well to make sure they make good contact. 

These tips will help you keep fruit flies out, but what do you do if you already have fruit flies in your house? What methods work to get control over these flies? You have a few options. You can search for the food source the flies are breeding in and remove it. If you brought fruit flies home from the store, you may immediately zero in on the problem. It could be an apple in a dish on your kitchen island. Along with this, you may use a fruit fly trap to capture the flies. It is important to construct the traps correctly because you can make your problem worse (a lot worse).

Some fruit fly problems require professional control solutions because the conditions causing the infestation are mysterious and persistent. When you need help in Houston, remember that your Modern Pest Control team is here to assist you. It is great to get a professional resolution because it will not only address your problem but also provide you with insights into why you got fruit flies in the first place—and how you can prevent future problems with these tiny pests. Let's take a look at how it works.

How Professional Fruit Fly Control Works

When it comes to catching flies, it pays to let a technician handle the problem. Fruit flies have a life cycle. They can go from egg to breeding adult in about a week. If you don't interrupt the cycle, a few flies can turn into a cloud of flies. Not only will you have a lot of fruit flies, but they will continue to find new places to breed. Finding these breeding sites and removing them is a lot like trying to put out a brush fire. The Modern Pest Control professionals use well-established strategies to deal with fruit flies, such as the following:

  • We check for the breeding sites in and around your house and look for other potential conducive conditions for maintaining a fruit fly population.
  • We evaluate possible entry points and other routes the flies may have used to enter your home, such as hitching a ride on produce.
  • We use a range of control solutions that work together to give you comprehensive elimination of the flies inside your house.
  • We make sure no fruit flies remain in your home after treatment.

Once the flies are gone, we can help you keep them out by providing you with insights into the conditions present that will attract them and by getting you started with an ongoing residential pest control program. We're not just your source for home pest control in Houston. We offer a convenient and effective way to keep a long list of pests out of your house, including spiders, ants, and termites. 

Check out our three packaged pest control plans: Modern Plus, Signature, and Signature Plus. Modern Plus gives you all the basics—everything you need to keep fruit flies and other pests out. Step up to Signature for termite control with the Sentricon® System. Go with Signature Plus if you also want seasonal mosquito control.

Let fruit flies inspire you to get the pest control you've always needed. Contact Modern Pest Control today to get more information and to share your pest concerns with us. We want to help you find the perfect solution for you, your family, and your home. Get connected through our 'Contact Us' page or simply call us. We are your local pest control experts in Houston.

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