From the family Drosophila, fruit flies are small flies, typically pale yellow to reddish brown to black, with red eyes. Most species breed in various kinds of decaying plant and fungal material. Female fruit flies lay their eggs on the surface of rotting fruits and vegetables. Each female may lay as many as 500 eggs. These eggs hatch into larvae which molt twice before becoming fully grown. Fruit flies are best known for their role in the study of heredity. Since they have such a short life cycle, a high reproductive rate, and several easily identifiable characteristics, such as eye color and wing shape, it is possible to trace a single genetic trait through several generations in a relatively short time.
Fruit flies are especially attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. But they also will breed in drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops and cleaning rags. All that is needed for development is a moist film of fermenting material.
The best way to avoid problems with fruit flies is to eliminate sources of attraction. Produce which has ripened should be eaten, discarded or refrigerated. A single rotting potato or onion forgotten at the back of a closet, or fruit juice spillage under a refrigerator can breed thousands of fruit flies. Once an area is infested with fruit flies, all potential breeding areas must be located and eliminated. After the source of attraction and breeding is eliminated, a pyrethrum-based, aerosol insecticide may be used to kill any remaining adult flies in the area.
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