Fruit flies are small flies that are primarily attracted to fermenting and rotting fruits and vegetables. They may look harmless because of how small they are. But don’t be fooled by their size. Fruit flies can actually be very harmful to humans.
Why fruit flies are harmful to humans
- Fruit flies carry disease-causing bacteria. Fruit flies are attracted not just to fruits and vegetables, but also to other things with edible content, like garbage cans, soda bottles, trash bags, and even drains. In fact, if you have flies in your drains, they are very likely to be either drain flies or fruit flies. Because you can find fruit flies in the most unsanitary places, expect them to carry disease-causing bacteria. They also have hairy bodies, making it even easier to carry microorganisms.
- They breed quickly. Your home is most vulnerable to fruit flies during summer or fall. This is because many fruits and vegetables ripen and ferment during these times of the year. However, fruit flies can be a problem all year round. As long as they have a moist or rotting surface where they can thrive, they are good to go. Female fruit flies can lay up to 2,000 eggs on such a surface, and these eggs will hatch, mature, and mate all within three days or so. Because of how fast they breed, fruit flies can become a problem in your home very quickly.
- They can destroy your garden. Homes with gardens that grow fruits and vegetables are of course more vulnerable to fruit fly infestations. And the bad news doesn’t stop there – fruit flies can actually destroy fruits and vegetables. Seeing fruit fly maggots in your food is a really quick way to ruin your appetite. This is even worse news if you are a commercial producer. Harvests with pest infestations are basically unsellable.
Why you have fruit flies at home
- You don’t maintain your garden. There is one main reason why you have fruit flies at home – food is too accessible on your property. The odds are really not in your favor if the accessible food also happens to be ripe and fermented fruits and vegetables from your garden. If you have a garden at home, make sure to pick up those that are ripe and throw away those that are overripe or rotten. If you don’t do these things, your garden basically becomes free real estate for stray animals and insects like fruit flies.
- You leave food out in the open. Your garden is not the only part of your home that is vulnerable to fruit fly infestations. Even your home’s interior is vulnerable, especially if you leave food out in the open. The dining room and kitchen area are the common culprits. This is especially true if you don’t even put your fruits and vegetables in proper containers. You just leave them in open baskets – exposed to potential strays such as fruit flies.
- You don’t empty your garbage cans. Food doesn’t just come from dining rooms and kitchens. They can also come from other parts of your house. Your bathroom, for instance, has drains that can consistently supply resources to drain flies and fruit flies. Garbage cans also come into mind. They have the food crumbs and soda residue that fruit flies can feast on.
How to avoid the dangers of fruit flies
- Get rid of the fruit fly infestation. Yes, fruit flies are harmful to humans. You want to get rid of them as soon as you can to avoid the dangers they may bring to your household. The best way to get rid of fruit flies is to call pest control professionals. But if you want to get rid of them yourself, there are some commercial products you can try. Insecticides are the most accessible. Just make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging. Also, remember that these products have toxic ingredients. If you use them on your fruits and vegetables, these become pretty much inedible. But it’s a necessary sacrifice to completely get rid of your fruit fly problem.
- Prevent them from coming back. Prevent fruit flies from coming back by getting rid of their primary attractors – accessible food. Outside your home, make sure to maintain your garden and garbage cans. Don’t let fruits and vegetables ripen too much and rot and don’t let your garbage cans overflow. Inside your home, make sure to store your food properly and clean moist areas. Put food items in cabinets, closed containers, or refrigerators, especially fruits and vegetables. Clean the drains in your bathrooms and sinks, even those in the kitchen.
- Fruit fly-proof your home. Open doors and windows are the primary passageways of fruit flies in and out of your home. Keep these passageways closed as much as possible. This may be harder to do in summer, which happens to be the time of year when fruit flies thrive. If you really need good ventilation to combat the summer heat, you can try using fans and air conditioners.
Fruit flies can be harmful to humans
Fruit flies have unsanitary habits, so they have filthy bodies that carry disease-causing bacteria. This is the main reason why fruit flies are harmful to humans. Fruit flies are not associated with particular diseases, unlike house flies which are associated with cholera, shigellosis, traveler’s diarrhea, and typhoid fever. But you should not be complacent. The hairy bodies of fruit flies make them ideal carriers of disease-causing agents.
What makes fruit flies even more harmful is the fact that they are attracted to food items humans eat, like fruits and vegetables. But you can also use this to your advantage. Make sure your home doesn’t have easy access to these food items. This way, you are not likely to attract these dangerous flies.
The proper maintenance of your garden, garbage cans, and the moist areas in your home like drains is the key to avoiding fruit flies. But if they do come to your home, you can call pest control professionals to get rid of them for you.