Where do Fruit Flies come from? [Weird findings]

Have you found yourself preparing a meal, only to find yourself hitting thin air in an attempt to bat fruit flies away?

What about when you’ve just sat down with a drink, only to find fruit flies constantly landing on your legs.

It often seems like fruit flies just show up out of thin air. These bugs are famous for rapid breeding which makes them an absolute pain.

Where did these flying insects come from? Why are they flying around my food?

What you’ll learn in this guide:

  • How do fruit flies form?
  • How are fruit flies born
  • What are their food sources?
  • Where do fruit flies hide?
  • How do fruit flies get in your house?

Well these are just some of the questions we will be answering within this article.

Keep reading to understand a little bit more about these flying insects.

How do fruit flies come out of nowhere?

Fruit flies are attracted by two main things; light and sugary treats. They are drawn to moisture; their scientific name, Drosophila Melanogaster, translates to “dew lover”.

But where do they fruit flies come from?

Whether they’ve laid eggs in some groceries you’ve just brought home from the grocery store or are hovering around your kitchen sink, they are a real problem.

But why? We delve into some of the factors that lead to these flying insects plaguing your home.

Before we dive into where they come from, it’s helpful to understand a little bit about their biology, food sources & intentions.

What do fruit flies look like?

Not to be confused with houseflies, which can carry and spread diseases. 

Fruit flies are small yellow insects, they have two small red eyes and a hairy head & thorax. 

Fruit flies also known as drosophila melanogaster are part of a 3,000 strong species of small flies. 

They can survive and breed within garbage and damp areas such as underneath your refrigerator.

How are fruit flies born?

Fruit flies like to lay their eggs on the surface of your favourite organic material such as apples or bananas.

Female adults are capable of laying 500 spawn at a time! Roughly 32 hours later, they hatch producing tiny fruit fly larvae and feed on the overripe fruit.

Within a week, they become adult fruit flies and are ready to cause havoc.

Where do fruit flies lay their eggs?

Adults tend to lay their spawn on the surface or within fruit, sugary spillages, food waste or other decaying organic material. Common areas for flies to lay spawn are within drains, waste pipes and even in your kitchen sink.

The reason they choose such breeding grounds, is so that there is plenty of food for when their larvae hatch.

The ideal temperature for their spawn to hatch and grow is around 75 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which so happens to be the average temperature of your home during summertime.

It’s nearly impossible to see their spawn, which means you could be accidentally eating them each time you eat fruit. That’s why it’s always recommended to wash your produce, as you significantly reduce this risk.

What do fruit fly eggs look like?

Fruit fly eggs are tiny they are only about 0.5mm in length and 0.2mm wide, which makes them very hard to spot with the human eye. 

They are normally a yellow color and the shape and size of a grain of rice, but you’d need a microscope to see them!

How do flies appear out of nowhere?

As I type this article I’ve got one on my right arm and another on my leg, I’m having to flinch my limbs to try and get them off me. But where do they come from?

They are incredibly annoying, I’m sure you’re familiar with this annoyance but have you ever wondered where they came from?

We’ll get into that, just keep reading.

These tiny flying pests can quickly multiply and once they are in are tough to get rid of. It’s a combination of a few factors why these insects are everywhere; breeding, development and the love of human foods specifically sugar.

That means if one fruit fly is able to mate, you could potentially have 500 flies buzzing around instead of just one. Their populations grow so rapidly it’s imperative to deal with them before they are able to mate.

These bugs live in areas where there is fermenting fruit or rotting veg especially if it’s been half eaten and discarded. Places including kitchens, bathrooms, basements, trash cans and drains.

If you grow your own fruit and vegetables, you may bring these pests into your home without even knowing it. They seek fermenting fruit and other organic foods as well as rotting veg. Therefore the first thing you should do is wash your crops thoroughly and store immediately to keep them fresh.

The growth between a fruit fly larva to a fully fledged mature fruit fly is rapid, going from an egg to an adult with full motion, flight ability and vision is very impressive.

Larvae create a store of nutrients then make their way to a dark place where they can begin their transformation undisturbed. This normally takes place beneath a layer of soil, to ensure they remain hidden from predators. If fruit flies venture inside to breed, you’ll likely find them in a potted plant.

Where do fruit flies hide?

They have a wide range of food sources. They are attracted by sugary liquids, moisture, fermenting fruits and rotting vegetables and other organic matter. It is likely they will choose to breed and live near their food source.

Due to the different types of food source they like to eat, they tend to live in and around your garbage.

Try looking in these areas:

  • Underneath kitchen appliances especially juicers 
  • Kitchen sink or drains
  • Under the refrigerator
  • In garbage cans
  • Under trash bags

When do they become a problem?

During the summer and fall is when the fruit flies thrive as food is in an abundance.

However the adults are seen all year round, the more overripe fruits and vegetables you have in your pantry or home the higher the chance this pest will cause you a problem.

Fruit fly prevention tips

Now you’ve learnt where do fruit flies come from and where they live. How can you prevent fruit flies?

These proactive steps in cleaning will help get rid of fruit flies:

  • Store your fruits and vegetables in your fridge to slow down the ripening phase
  • Fruit stored in fruit baskets should be washed properly and well covered
  • Empty your trash regularly especially if they contain food items
  • Get rid of rotting veg and out of date fruits
  • Also keep your trash cans clean as well as your sink and drainage system
  • Clean your kitchen surface
  • Use a fruit fly trap to contain small fly invasions

Fruit flies in summary

So there we have it, the biology of fruit flies and how rapidly they can produce as well as providing tips and prevention strategies.

Good prevention is to start by ensuring your kitchen and eating areas are clean.

If you want to get rid of fruit flies one top tip is to pour boiling hot water down your drain pipes also use boiling hot vinegar. If that’s unsuccessful then look into bug spray or DIY Fruit fly traps.

Learn more about Fruit Flies

If you are looking for other fruit fly related articles – be sure to check out our other pest guides to help rid you of your pests.