Fruit Fly Lifespan: How Long Do Fruit Flies Live

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Published: February 3, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/hoja_viva
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We’ve all come into a kitchen or restaurant only to see a group of small flies seemingly come out of nowhere to cover fruits. Fruit flies are extremely small bugs that look like gnats and feast on perishable produce like bananas, potatoes, melons, or even mushrooms.

With fruit flies appearing rapidly on aging fruit, you might wonder how long these animals live or how to prevent them. Keep reading to discover the lifespan of fruitflies, their lifecycle, what types of food they enjoy, and more!

How Long Do Fruit Flies Live?

Fruit flies mature at varying rates based on their environment. They can survive for up to 10 days in hot weather but are known to live between 30 and 50 days in optimum conditions. Minimum and maximum temperatures of 73 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit are deemed optimum. Fruit flies can live up to a 50-day lifespan with temperatures kept at these levels.

Female fruit flies can lay hundreds of eggs in the little time they have to live. Some of these pests can cause major damage to your home if they are present in large numbers.

Lifecycle of a Fruit Fly

fruit flies on banana
Fruit flies on banana

iStock.com/Akchamczuk

Fruit flies are small nuisances that feed on fruits and decaying food that can be found in and around homes, schools, supermarkets, and other establishments. This insect’s life cycle is like that of most other insects.

Eggs

A fruit fly’s life cycle begins with an egg. Females fruit flies lay eggs on rotting surfaces like drains, sinks, trash cans, and food.

Larvae & Pupae

Fruit fly eggs hatch into cream-colored larvae in a few days. These maggots begin feasting on the decomposing substances promptly. When the larvae are ready to pupate, they attach to a dry surface near a food supply.

Adults

Pupae evolve into wingless flies after 48 hours and can breed. The fruit fly’s complete life cycle is quick, including transformation.

How Food Affects Fruit Fly Lifecycles

fruit flies eating rotten fruit
Fruit flies eating rotten fruit

iStock.com/Andreas Häuslbetz

Fruit flies are attracted to foods that are rotting and fermenting. They not only feed on these foods but also lay eggs and breed in them. Female fruit flies can produce up to five hundred eggs if fermenting organic matter like bananas or other plants are available, making it difficult to regulate the population.

Fruit flies can go up to 7 days without eating. After 4-5 days of starvation, they begin to succumb. So, food availability is a major determinant in determining a fruit fly’s lifespan.

What Types of Food Do Fruit Flies Like?

fruit flies eating fruit
Fruit flies love surgery foods such as rotting fruit or produce.

iStock.com/hoja_viva

Fruit flies are attracted to sugary foods in your kitchen as well as produce. For example, in a bakery, flavorings and water that have been spilled and are fermenting may attract them.

When a female deposits her eggs, she usually does so on fermented or decaying fruit or vegetables. The larvae, which eventually become adult fruit flies, feast on these as ideal sources of sugar and bacteria.

You can even bring home fruits from the market that already have fruit fly eggs on them, which will hatch into adult fruit flies.

Alcoholic beverages include fermenting sugars that attract fruit flies. For example, a glass of dirty wine in your kitchen could be their allure. In addition to everything listed above, fruit flies prefer to feast on and breed in over-ripened bananas, apples, and other fruits. In addition to fruits, these flies will also eat vegetables and fungi. Infestations can come from remnants in drain pipes or in sponges, so ridding a house of fruit flies can prove more challenging than simply throwing away ripened fruit!

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies?

Natural Remedy

Fruit flies are a widespread problem in many homes, and an apple cider vinegar trap is one of the best ways to deal with them. The scent of fermenting attracts fruit flies. Apple cider vinegar is ideal for them because it is made from fermented apples.

Food Control

Be prepared to be disappointed if you decide to starve out any fruit flies. If there’s food in the kitchen, it’s difficult to keep fruit flies under control. Any decaying material in trash cans and other dirty areas can attract them. Try and keep these areas as clean as possible while attempting to get rid of them.

Temperature Control

Because fruit flies can only survive in warm, damp conditions, setting your air conditioner to a cool temperature can kill them. That is why they are so prominent in the summertime.

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

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