Fruit flies include a number of small flies in the family Drosophilidae. They are very small (about two to four millimeters long) and vary in color from yellow to brown to black. They are found throughout the world but are most common in tropical areas with humid climates.
They just appear out of nowhere, or so it seems, but that’s not really where they come from. Actually, by nature they find fermenting fruit...they can detect the smell of ripe fruits and vegetables from a long distance away. Because they are so tiny, they can get in through window screens or crevices around windows or doors.
Fruit flies can also hitch a ride into your home on fruits or vegetables ans so they may already be harboring fruit fly eggs. Grow your own fruit and vegetables? Letting them over ripen on the vine before picking and you may be harvesting fruit fly eggs.
Any unrefrigerated fruit, whether it's on display in the grocery store, in the garden, or sitting in a bowl in your kitchen may attract fruit flies.
Once inside, they start reproducing.
A female fruit fly lays 30 to 50 eggs per day throughout her lifetime at room temperature. When it’s cold, she may produce far fewer eggs.
Fruit flies have a short life cycle; they can go from egg to adult in just eight days. That means one overly ripe tomato can give rise to a small swarm within a week.
Fruit flies are also known for their persistence once indoors. Although a female fruit fly adult will only live about a month at best, in that short time she can lay 500 eggs. And, they don't need fruit to keep reproducing...they can breed in the slime inside plumbing or on an old, sour mop or sponge. This is why even getting rid of fruit won’t stop them. Just one fertile mating pair can produce hundreds of genetically identical offspring within 10 to 12 days, so long as the temperature is at 77 degrees or higher.
Important to Science
For more than a century, fruit flies have been the stars of genetic research. Thomas Hunt Morgan was one of the first to systematically study fruit flies at the turn of the century and his work won him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933.
During the last century, fruit flies have yielded a great deal of information about how genes work and have been used to discover the rules of inheritance and how a single cell becomes a whole animal.
Because fruit flies have many of the same genes as humans, researchers can use fruit flies to simulate diseases that plague humans. To keep the flies from flying away doing research they are made woozy with carbon dioxide before they let them out of their test tubes for study.
The brain of the adult fruit fly has more than 100,000 neurons that form circuits that control behaviors, including circadian rhythms, sleep, learning and memory, courtship, feeding, aggression, grooming, and flight navigation.
They are also important in developing beer flavors.
An experiment at Stanford found that fruit flies were attracted to beers with fruitier base yeasts, which tend to be the beers humans prefer as well.
Sexually rejected male fruit flies also drown their sorrows from drinking alcohol. A study done at the University of California, San Francisco found that the male fruit flies who had been rejected by females drank four times as much alcohol as the mated flies.
Using fruit flies as test subjects, it has been discovered that in wounds, cells enlarge to compensate for cells that are lost and has changed the understanding of how the body reacts to injury.
13 ways to get rid of fruit flies naturally