Are Fruit Flies Harmful to Humans & Pets? ( The Untold Facts)

You must have heard that fruit flies thrive on rotting fruits and vegetables.

But do you know where they breed?

Their favorite places for breeding include bathroom drains, sink pipes, garbage disposals, septic tanks, and many other filthy places.

Now if such a pest comes out of such dirty places and sits on your food so it is very justified to ask “Are fruit flies harmful to humans & pets?”

If you do a little research on the surface, then most people will tell you that fruit flies are not harmful to humans. And you will believe them.

But believe me, if you go a little deeper and look at some studies and research, then your thinking may completely change.

Do not worry, it is our job to do the research and find the facts and make you aware of them. You just have to read the whole article carefully.

We will find out today how fruit flies are harmful to humans and pets and how they can prove to be fatal, but first let’s know what are fruit flies?

What Are Fruit Flies?

are fruit flies harmful to humans
Tropical Fruit Fly Drosophila Diptera Parasite Insect Pest on Ripe Fruit Vegetable Macro

The fruit fly, vinegar fly, or pomace fly are three names of the same species and the name of that particular species is Drosophila melanogaster.

This species belongs to the family of true flies, which have their own distinct habits, behavior, and appearance.

Appearance: Fruit flies are yellow-brown, or kind of tan in appearance. Their two shining red eyes are their most beautiful identity.

They are oval in shape and the size of the females is up to 0.10 inches (2.5 mm) in length while the size of the male has been found to be up to 0.8 inches (2 mm).

It is very easy to differentiate between male and female fruit flies. On the abdomen of the female, where there are black transverse strips, there is a black patch on the abdomen of the male along with one or two black rings.

Habits: Fruit flies mostly like to sit on the surface of rotten vegetables and fruits and eat them. These flies use drains, tanks, garbage containers, and sink pipes for breeding.

Although fruit flies are active throughout the year, they are most active during summers. Because fruits and vegetables rot the most during summer and then there is no shortage of eating them.

Behavior: The behavior of male fruit flies includes patrolling, hunting, courtship, and being very aggressive. On the other hand, the behavior of female fruit flies includes feeding, egg-laying, and protecting themselves from male fruit flies.

Sometimes people also get confused between fruit flies and drain flies. Because both of them look very similar in habits and appearance. Make sure you spot the right pest before treatment. This article will help you to find out the difference between fruit flies and drain flies.

Suggested: Difference Between Drain Flies Vs Fruit Flies & Treatment!

Are Fruit Flies Harmful to Humans?

Ecolab, which is a well-known organization for pest elimination, recently conducted a study by its scientists, which was also published in the Journal of Food Protection.

This study has found strong evidence that fruit flies can transfer dangerous bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria, which are very harmful not only to humans but also to pets.

Fruit flies pick up these bacteria from contaminants and leave them on food processing surfaces or ready-to-eat foods. Due to this, the risk of food poisoning and various diseases increases.

E. Coli: When you consume any contaminated food, this bacteria goes along with your food to your stomach. And cause many types of bacterial infections like cholecystitis, urinary tract infection (UTI), cholangitis, bacteremia, and diarrhea.

Salmonella: This bacteria is also spread by fruit flies through contaminated food sources. Especially in the United States, this bacteria causes the most food infections in people. It can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, fever, pain, and cramping in your belly.

Listeria: Listeria, like the other two bacteria, thrives in contaminated food. Which is picked up by fruit flies and left on your fresh foods.

This bacteria can also cause problems such as fever and diarrhea, but in some cases, it can be fatal for unborn babies, newborns, and people with weakened immune systems.

These three types of bacteria thrive on contaminated and rotten fruits, vegetables especially bananas, onions, potatoes, and other perishable food items.

And when fruit flies eat these contaminated fruits, these bacteria stick to their bodies and when they sit on any other fresh food, they transfer these bacteria on that fresh food.

Are Fruit Flies Harmful to Plants?

Fruit flies are harmful to humans and children but it is not harmful to plants. You will usually see fruit flies on the surface of the soil of indoor potted plants.

Fruit flies do not eat leaves or roots like termites or spider mites, but they feed on fungi accumulated in the soil.

Are Fruit Flies Harmful to babies?

Yes, fruit flies can be quite harmful to unborn babies, newborn babies, and babies who have weak immunity.

When a pregnant woman consumes food that contains E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria bacteria transferred by a fruit fly, it can be very harmful to an unborn baby.

Children who have weak immunity, if consume any fruit or vegetable that is infected with these bacteria. Then they can also get food poisoning, diarrhea, and other diseases related to the stomach.

Are Fruit Flies Harmful to Dogs/Cats/Birds & Other Pets?

As I mentioned, fruit flies can transfer three types of harmful bacteria E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria.

These bacteria are as harmful to humans as they are to pets. Whether it is a dog, cat, turtle, guinea pig, or even a bird, it can make them sick and can also be fatal.

Dogs can develop colibacillosis if they consume these bacteria released by fruit flies. In this disease, your dog remains tired, he constantly vomits and he also gets a fever. In some cases, this bacteria can be fatal to your dog.

Just as these bacteria have a bad effect on dogs, in the same way, their effect on cats and other pets can prove to be fatal.

If you have fruit flies in your house, then before giving any food item to your pet, wash it thoroughly. And also clean the pet food utensils daily with hot water.

You also must read: Are Drain Flies Harmful To Humans And Pets? [Untold Fact]

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Instantly?

Harmful pests like fruit flies are easy to get rid of. Here I will tell you four methods with the help of which you can get rid of fruit flies instantly.

1. Remove Rotting Fruits and Vegetables:

If fruit flies are visible in your kitchen, then the biggest reason is that there is some food item in your kitchen that is rotting.

You have to dispose of such rotting fruits and vegetables out of your kitchen or refrigerator first. Be careful not to dispose of it in the dustbin.

2. Remove Dirty Cleaning Rugs, Mops, Empty Bottles and Cans:

These are some of the things that attract fruit flies. If there are cleaning rugs or mops in your home or kitchen that have not been cleaned for a long time, then these fruit flies can attack them. And these fruit flies can also lay eggs in empty bottles and cans.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar Bait:

are fruit flies harmful to humans

You can use this method if you see fruit flies around your kitchen sink and bathroom drains.

For this, you have to fill a medium-sized bowl halfway with apple cider vinegar. And after that, the surface of the bowl has to be wrapped well with plastic.

You can take the help of a rubber band or any thread to wrap. You have to make small holes on the surface of the plastic and place this bowl on the infestation site.

Fruit flies are attracted to the scent of apple cider vinegar and never come out once they enter to investigative bowl. With this method, you can get rid of a lot of fruit flies in a few hours.

Chemical Spray:

There are many such chemicals sprays available in the market which kills fruit flies instantly. If used carefully, they give very good results. CB80 or PT 565 Pyrethrum Aerosol, these two insecticides are well known for getting rid of fruit flies.

You can also read: How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies With Hydrogen Peroxide Effectively?


Can you get the disease from fruit flies?

Yes, fruit flies can cause various types of diseases like cholecystitis, urinary tract infection (UTI), cholangitis, bacteremia, and diarrhea in humans and children.

Can you eat your food if a fruit fly landed on it?

If a fruit fly is sitting on a food item, then you should not eat it at all or eat it after washing it thoroughly with hot water. Because fruit flies transfer many types of harmful bacteria to your fresh food.

Can fruit flies lay eggs in humans?

No, fruit flies do not lay eggs on the human body. Fruit flies usually lay their eggs in filthy drains, garbage disposals, septic tanks, kitchen sink pipes, or wherever they found decayed organic matter.

Should you worry about fruit flies?

It’s okay to be afraid of drain flies because if they enter your home, they can contaminate the food items in your kitchen and fridge, which can make you sick. So it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Can fruit flies cause diarrhea?

Yes since fruit flies are capable of transmitting bacteria called E. coli, this bacteria is responsible for diarrhea and other similar diseases.

Can fruit flies cause food poisoning?

Yes, fruit flies can cause food poisoning.


I hope that now you have got the answer to this question “Are fruit flies harmful to humans” with facts.

The study done by Ecolab ​​has opened the eyes of many people. Earlier people used to think that fruit flies are absolutely safe for humans but no, they have the ability to transfer many types of harmful bacteria that are not only harmful to humans but for pets also.

The good news is that fruit flies are not a stubborn pest and they are very easy to get rid of, you can easily get rid of them using any of the four methods mentioned above.

I hope you liked the article, if you have any questions or suggestions, then you can send us in the form of a comment.