Top 10 Fascinating Facts about Fruit Flies

Until 18th century, scholars and scientists believed in a phenomenon called spontaneous generation. The idea of spontaneous generation was that all creatures, including insects such as fruit flies, were naturally reproduced from inorganic material. Dirty underwear, rotting meat, and other foul materials were thought to mysteriously produce these animals.

When it comes to the common North America fruit flies in our homes, spontaneous generation is the first thing that comes to mind. Fruit flies seem to mysteriously appear everywhere, around fruit and vegetables. However, modern science has proved that this is impossible. The question thus remains: where do fruit flies originate from? A matter of fact what are they.

Let’s take a look at the 10 facts that will inspire you, make your jaw drop and will make you ask more questions. Let’s go on with the show, shall we?



Male fruit flies that are deprived of sex find solace in alcohol. This is caused by a molecule inside the brain called neuropeptide F. The molecule is responsible for the behaviour. Interesting? It gets better. Keep reading….



Fruit flies often feed on decaying fruits and vegetables. This is where they get their name from. However, one most note that they are often found in unsanitary conditions like garbage dumps and trash cans.



They are a geneticist’s best friend. This is because they breed easily and are ideal for research when it comes to genetics. They are sometimes the key to unlocking unknown mysteries about DNA.



Fruit flies are also a hazard to human health. They spread diarrheal illnesses. Their hairy bodies and sticky foot pads can carry germs and bacteria from sites that have been contaminated. Wash your hands periodically. Do not use your hands to kill flies.



Not all species are pest that try to annoy people. Some species are predators while others are pest inspectors and pollinators.



Fruit fly maggots hatched from eggs deposited into the fruit. Be careful before you eat a rotten fruit, you may be eating the egg as well.



The female fly will lay her eggs in all cultivated fruits and vegetables. Native fruits are commonly attacked as well.



You are not allowed to bring fruit to South Australia. The government has a policy which restricts fruit flies. All fruit must be free of fruit flies, especially when transported through commercial shipments. This policy has been in place since 1897.



The Mexican fruit fly poses more of a risk to agriculture than the common North American fruit fly. It is attracted to citrus and can be destructive, especially in Florida. They are larger than common fruit flies measuring 3-5cm in length.



Fruit affected by fruit flies can be normal on the outside but be brown on the inside. If unsure whether the fruit is good or not, throw it away.


Extra Bit: The Queensland fruit fly is similar in appearance to a wasp. It is red-brown in colour with oval shaped yellow markings. They are attracted to grape fruits and lemons. Be careful.


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