Drosophila: 4 Things That Attract Fruit Flies


My quest to grow food at home began with wanting to get healthy.  Getting healthy began with the hope of eating better and losing weight.  To get to the point of growing food at home, I set out to compost, in particular to compost with worms.  So by extension I knew I was going to learn more then I want to about worms.  However, I never thought I would also learn about fruit flies.

Currently I am dealing with an invasion of fruit flies in my compost bin.  I got rid of the big fat ugly ones, but there are gazillions of little red bodied nuisances that I discovered are fruit flies.  The drosophila aren’t new to me, in the lab we did all sorts of things to them, now, its like their descendants and relatives are back to take their vengeance on me.

The thing I couldn’t figure out was what was attracting them.  I had hoped the worms would eat up the food, but I guess with the onset of winter, their appetites are not as voracious so the kitchen scraps remains.

  1. Fruit flies go gaga for banana’s.  Its like crack in fruit fly physiology.
  2. Coffee grounds souring attracts these pesky fruit flies.
  3. Ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables, in general, bring the fruit flies to your yard.
  4. The moist film associated with damp places, is perfect environment for them to stay and have sexy time.

Which brings me to something totally crazy, and probably you don’t care about at all: Fruit flies have one of the fastest life cycles out of all the living things on Earth.

Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. Upon emerging, the tiny larvae continue to feed near the surface of the fermenting mass. The entire lifecycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week.  Which means that the potential to multiply is ENORMOUS and when given the opportunity for optimal conditions, a female Drosophila will lay about 500 eggs.

What the hell.  I am screwed.

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