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Fruit Flies in NYC and Long Island


Fruit Flies in NYC

By Ralph H Maestre

The small fruit fly belongs to a very large group known as Drosophila sp. This group of insects have been very beneficial to scientist throughout the world in genetic research. Some of the species have become troubling pest in restaurants, hospitals, food processing, food establishments, offices buildings, and homes.

The most common pest groups are the Drosophila melanogaster (Red Eyed Fruit Fly) and the Drosophila repleta and D. hydei (Eyed Fruit Fly). Both D. repleta and D. hydei are darker and larger than D. melanogaster. The fruit fly was first discovered along the east coast of the US in the 1870?s. The name fruit fly is a little misleading since they really should be known as either pomace or vinegar flies. They are nuisance pest of swine and poultry facilities. The larvae feed on yeast in decaying and fermenting organic matter. They do carry various potential diseases.

The presence of decaying fruit, garbage and feces as breeding sites bring small fruit flies into proximity to human dwellings where poor sanitation provides ideal conditions for fly abundance.

The life cycle of this fly just like a butterfly consisting of the egg, larval stages (3 instars), pupa and the adult. The red eyed fruit fly can complete its life cycle in as little as eight to ten days and the Dark Eyed Fruit flies in 21 to 22 days. The males and female may not reach sexual maturity at the same time. The female will lay eggs on decaying fruits and vegetables, fifthly mops, under garbage can liners, recycling bins, floor drains, and in feces of humans, chickens, and pigs. The flies feed on yeast fermenting, bacteria, molds, and fungi on the decaying matter. The Dark Eyed Fruit fly is more tolerant of the cold.

So, what to do? The Professional Pest Control Technician should do the following:


  • Inspect the facility.
  • Inspect with a flashlight, mirror, and small scraper.
  • Look under and behind bars and behind equipment such as stoves, refrigerators, etc.
  • Look in crack and crevices for mold and moisture.
  • Inspect floor drains, even if you must unscrew floor drain covers.
  • Insect leaking ice machines and beer and soda drain lines.
  • Inspect the basement below the bars for moisture leaks.
  • Inspect recycling and dishwashing rooms.
  • Inspect the outside perimeter of the structure and surrounding areas.

Plan of Action

  • Write a detailed report of all the findings. This should include sanitation modification and structural repairs.
  • Remember that all life requires food, water, harborage, and livable temperature. Make it difficult for the pest to survive by removing or controlling these four requirements of life.
  • Implement a sanitation plan. This means what needs to be done daily, weekly, and monthly to control these pests. There are times that equipment may have to be taken apart to clean and sanitize.


  • Recommend the method and frequency of pest control visits.
  • Use exclusion methods to prevent entry into the structure.
  • Use Bio-remediation materials like Drain Gel to eliminate decaying organic materials in floor drain and other areas.
  • Use non-toxic fly traps which contain mostly vinegar to capture the adults.
  • Use Fly lights with red or yellow boards to attract adults and trap them.
  • Use non-residual pesticides to eliminate existing infestations.
  • Use residual to prevent infestations, where allowed by product label.

Re-evaluate and Communicate

  • Re-inspect to see if the plan of action and treatment recommendations worked.
  • If not propose a different course of action.
  • Make sure to write a report and give it to the person in charge.

We at Magic Exterminating for these flies in the New York City and Long Island areas. Contact us today for a free onsite estimate.