Basic Fruit Fly Facts

The fruit fly is a species of the common housefly known as Drosophila melanogaster and is distinguished by its red eyes (dark-colored in some species), tan thorax and black abdomen. They get their name because of their strong attraction to ripening or rotting fruit, which serves as a food source as well as a place to lay their eggs.

Fruit Fly Reproduction

Fruit flies exhibit the typical four-stage insect reproductive of egg-larvae-pupae-adult. The larvae begin feeding on decaying fruit immediately upon hatching. It takes about one to two weeks to complete the entire metamorphosis. What makes fruit flies so difficult to control is that one female fruit fly can lay as many as 500 eggs in her short lifespan.

Fruit Fly Habitat

A common fruit fly habitat includes homes, grocery stores, restaurants and anywhere else that food may be rotting and fermenting. Most noticeable summer through fall, fruit flies can be a nuisance year round. As the name implies, fruit flies are attracted to fruits, as well as vegetables, sitting out on store shelves, in bowls in kitchens, and ripening in the garden. They also breed in drains, garbage disposals, trash containers, empty beer and soda bottles or cans, and soppy mops and buckets. Fruit flies only need fermenting fruit or a moist film of organic material to breed and thrive.


Fruit - This is their name-brand home. The moment fruit becomes ripe, and through every moment thereafter, it becomes an insect beacon.

Soda - The sweet, sticky drink that many of us love becomes a luring signal to the fruit fly once it's been spilled

Wine/Beer - Similar to soda, the allure of wine and beer is hard for the fruit fly to resist and serves as a good attractant. Many breweries and vineyards must take extra care against fruit flies, since they can quickly ruin their products.

Garbage The true paradise for all insects, and no different for the fruit fly. In fact, rotting leftovers are a prime target for these home invaders.

Other Interesting Fruit Fly Facts

A fruit fly fact that might surprise you is that these little buggers are quite fond of beer and wine! It’s not that they crave alcohol - they’re just drawn to any type of fermenting food source.

Fruit flies are also a valuable asset to scientists performing genetic research, since fruit flies and humans share 75% of those genes which cause disease. Their short lifespan is also amenable to examining changes and mutations that can occur between birth and death.

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