|Photo Counsel & Heal News|
Fruit flies are quite common this time of year. The Drosophila (meaning dew-loving) species of the insect world– also called vinegar flies or pomace flies for their characteristic of being found near over ripe or rotting fruit. If you have a problem with them in your kitchen, here's some strategy:
- Wash any salvageable fruit and store in the refrigerator, if possible. This goes for all future fruit purchases too – no need to import fruit flies from the grocery store.
- If using a kitchen scrap composter place the compost in the counter composting crock and take it outside until temperatures fall sufficiently to kill off larvae.
- Thoroughly clean kitchen garbage bin and disposal; wipe down counters. Check floors for juice spills and toss out any questionable sponges or cloths. Don’t let things like wine glasses sit with residue in them – remember, sweet and/or fermented moisture is what drew the fruit flies in the first place.
- Throw out all the over ripe fruit on the counter. This means tight bagging and immediate transfer to the outdoor garbage bin – don’t just toss it in your kitchen garbage can.
- Set some traps. They can be purchased at a hardware store or make your own using cider vinegar or wine, a jar, and either a plastic bag or paper funnel. Place an inch or so of liquid in the bottom of the jar. Make a funnel with a piece of paper or cut a small hole in one corner of the bag and place over the jar so the small end of the funnel is close to but not touching the fluid. Replace the trap every seven to ten days.
Here are some interesting facts about fruit flies. The 1933 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Thomas Hunt Morgan whose work with Drosophila led to the identification of chromosomes as the vector for genes in heredity. Currently, fruit flies feature prominently in research on diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. Fruit fly wings beat around 220 times per second compared to hummingbird wings that beat at about 70 times per second in normal flight. Fruit flies only live eight to ten days but a female will lay approximately 500 eggs during that time.
Here's a fact sheet with more information: Fruit Flies in the Home