Fruit Flies, Vinegar Flies—Drosophilidae spp.

Vinegar flies are so named because of their attraction to the sour odor of fermentation. They are also called fruit flies or pomace flies. They are nuisance pests in homes, restaurants, grocery stores and any location with fermenting or rotting vegetative matter, where they often build up large populations. They pose little threat to people, although they do transmit sour rot bacteria, which aids in the decay of exposed fruit.

vinegar fly adult
Vinegar flies are about 1/8 inch long, brownish-yellow in color, with distinctive red eyes. Females lay up to 500 eggs in the skins of vegetables and fruit.

vinegar fly pupae
Vinegar fly pupae. The life cycle of the fly, from egg to adult, can be as little as one week if conditions are right, but is normally 9 to 12 days.

vinegar fly larvae
Vinegar fly larvae are whitish and worm-like. They are rarely seen, but will be found inside decaying food, especially overripe or rotting fruit.

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Identification and Control Information

[Photos: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,]