If you’ve ever done gardening or outdoor work, you may have noticed an abundance of small flies. A frequently asked question is, “do they bite?” The simple answer to this question is no; however, the fruit fly is not completely harmless and can be quite a nuisance.
Another name for fruit flies is “eye gnats” for their habit of hovering at eye level. Eye gnats are common in the southern part of the United States, specifically in areas with lots of loose dirt. Fruit flies are also responsible for carrying and transmitting pink eye. Because of this, they can be a health threat to people and to animals. Fruit flies are also known for contaminating food. They usually reproduce in fruit or unclean garbage bins. They feed on the yeast from living matter.
Fruit flies usually take up residence when ripe fruit is in the house. If your fly problem appears suddenly during the fall, this is because their numbers multiply when there is an abundance of fruits and vegetables ready to be eaten. Eliminating the flies may be as simple as disposing of the excess fruits and vegetables.
If your house is free of these foods and the fly problem persists, it’s important to make sure that potential breeding sites are located and properly sanitized. These sites could include areas where there is a buildup of manure, particularly poultry, or sites where organic matter is rotting. These sites should be cleared out, although drying the sites by airing them out could also eliminate the problem. Standard insect traps targeted to common house flies won’t have the same effect on little house flies. Increasing air movement in areas where the flies swarm will decrease the desirability of the site. This can be attained by placing fans in the problem areas.