State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500531
Fruit and Drain Flies
Two types of small flies occasionally appear in kitchen areas. Several
species of fruit flies (also known as pomace or vinegar flies) are
common in kitchens. They are from 1/16-1/8 inch (1-3mm) long, yellowish
or brownish with black markings, and fairly bristly. The larvae
(maggots) develop in decaying vegetable matter, feeding on the yeast
and molds which grow on over-ripe fruit or vegetables. In the home they
are found near decaying potatoes, fruits and vegetables, flower bulbs,
bread and baked goods containing yeast, beverages (beer, pop and fruit
juices), and vinegar. They are also occasionally found in the small
quantities of milk, catsup, juice or pop left in empty bottles and in
sour dishcloths and mops. Disposal of infested items is generally
sufficient to eliminate them. A pyrethrin spray is all that is required
to eliminate the adults. A trap can be made from a Mason jar fitted
with a paper funnel. Bits of banana sprinkled with yeast make a good
bait that will last about two weeks. Check the trap periodically for
larvae. The larvae in the trap can be killed with hot tap water (over
150 degrees F.).
A second type of small fly that is frequently encountered in the
kitchen area is the moth (drain) fly. These flies are 4-5mm (1/16-1/4
inch) long, grayish, densely hairy and hold their oval wings rooflike
over the abdomen. Their flight is weak but they are very agile runners.
The larvae of these flies develop in sink traps and other stagnant
water. Thus they are common in laundry tub and basement floor drains,
sumps, toilet and shower drains, as well as the kitchen sink
(especially if there is a garbage disposal). The larvae feed on sewage
and other organic matter that builds up on the inside of drain pipes.
To kill the larvae, scrub the organic matter from the drain pipe
(especially the trap) and then rinse with boiling water. A pyrethrin
spray may be used to kill the adult flies, if needed. DO NOT put any
insecticide into drains.
For a complete listing of suggested control options for all home, yard
and garden insect pests contact your local Extension Service, found
under local government in the phone book.
Read and follow instructions on the pesticide label. Heed all warnings.
Check with your physician if you have any concerns regarding your
personal health risk.
Gary A. Dunn, M.S., R.P.E. Extension Entomology Specialist
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This information is for
educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade
names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those
not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon
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Reprinting cannot be used to endorse or advertise a commercial product
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employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials
are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender,
gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political
beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran
status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Diector, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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