In the United States there are over 150 species of “fruit flies.” They are most commonly known as vinegar flies, little fruit flies or pomace flies.
Depending on the species, fruit flies range from 1/16th to 1/4th of an inch long. Most of the fruit flies found in homes are slightly smaller and range from 1/8th to 1/6th of an inch. All fruit flies have clear wings and antennae. Although many are yellow in color, some species can be darker.
Fruit flies like warm temperatures and humidity. They can be found all over the U.S. during warmer months, and disappear as the temperatures start dropping at night.
Fruit flies breed in over-ripened fruit, vegetables or other fermenting items. They have also been found infesting wet, dirty cloth mops and in the bottom of un-rinsed beer cans.
Pesticides are ineffective in killing fruit flies. In order to eliminate fruit flies, find the source of infestation and remove it from the home. In the summer and early fall keep screens closed to keep fruit flies out. Make sure to pick up any fallen fruit and vegetables from the garden as well.
Fruit flies don’t bite humans, and they actually can’t bite at all as they don’t have teeth. However, some people are allergic to the bacteria that fruit flies carry. This can cause small red bumps on the skin they touch.