The Freaky Fruit Fly

It happens to everyone. You go to the store, buy some delicious produce, take it home and all of a sudden you start seeing fruit flies. After a few weeks, you might have hundreds of tiny flies zipping around your home. Have you ever wondered where they came from and how they got inside of your home?

Spontaneous Generation

Before modern science, people thought that fruit flies spawned automatically from fruit. If you cannot see what it comes from, you might as well blame the fruit right? Once microscopes were developed the age old question was put to rest. Fruit flies come from fruit fly eggs. The eggs are smaller than .5 millimeters. To really understand just how small that is, you need a pencil that is sharpened to its sharpest. Now, carefully look at the tip (remember that it is sharp, so we will emphasize that you need to look at it carefully). The tip of that pencil is about 1 millimeter, so a fruit fly egg is half of that size and that is if you are looking at it lengthwise. If you are looking at the egg top down, you can divide .5 millimeters into thirds. With something that small, it is little wonder that people once thought that fruit flies generated spontaneously.

How fast can you count from 1 to 400?

It takes a single fruit fly about 20 days to lay 400 eggs. If you have one ripe tomato, you will soon have a whole happy family of fruit flies living inside your home. Sometimes, their eggs come in on the produce you purchase, but they can come from outside. Fruit flies are small enough to squeeze through the screens on your windows, or the gap beneath your front door. Once inside, they find fruit or vegetables that are ripe and grab some real estate for their offspring. If you want to keep fruit flies at bay, keep your produce in the refrigerator, cold temperatures will kill them off before they can ever think of becoming a problem.