They’re known for swarming around food - which, when coupled with the fact that they can potentially contaminate food with bacteria and other disease-producing organisms.
Not only do they land on food, they are also drawn to bins, faeces and dead animals.
They have a cosmopolitan distribution, meaning that they can be found almost anywhere in the world - unfortunately, this includes the UK.
What are fruit flies?
Fruit flies are not the same as house flies or bluebottles - they can be distinguished by their yellow-brown colouration.
They lay their eggs on food (usually rotting fruit). If you eat their larvae by accident they can cause constipation, indigestion and diarrhoea.
How can I prevent fruit flies from coming into my house?
If you’ve got unprotected fruit that is starting to go off, they’ll target this, too. To keep them away from your house, make sure you only have fresh fruit on show and put any food waste into the bin outside.
Fruit flies thrive in filthy conditions - if you keep your surfaces clean and tidy, you won’t be giving them an ideal habitat and they will likely look elsewhere.
Your sink should be kept clean above all else. A dirty sink, covered with food particles, presents an ideal breeding ground for fruit flies. As such, they’re also attracted to drains.
A study by the University of Kentucky concurs that the best way to deal with fruit flies is to “eliminate sources of attraction”.
Best ways to catch and get rid of fruit flies
If fruit flies have already successfully infested your home, the first thing you’ll need to do is identify and remove any potential breeding grounds. If you don’t do this, the flies will continue to breed and live in your house, no matter how many of them you kill.
One of the preferred methods for catching and killing fruit flies requires the use of apple cider vinegar, a bowl and some plastic wrap. If you don’t have any apple cider vinegar, beer or wine will be perfectly sufficient.
You’ll need to fill up the bowl with your liquid of choice, then seal it with the plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is tight and secure, or this will not work - if needed, you can put a rubber band around the bowl to keep the plastic in place.
You’ll then need to poke numerous little holes in the plastic wrap before leaving it near the source of infestation. Fruit flies will be attracted to the smell - upon investigating it, they will fly through the holes and won’t be able to get back out.
This method can also be carried out using a jar and a rolled up piece of paper.