Do Fruit Flies Bite?

No, fruit flies do not bite. These pesky tiny flies do not feed on blood; their mouthpieces are not designed to bite, despite their large infestation. Although these prolific breeders’ infestation rates could easily blow out of proportion, they don’t pose much threat. 

If they wanted to, CAN fruit flies bite humans?

These uninvited guests never seem to go away and can be present all year long if left unattended. Sometimes you’ll even notice them landing on your skin, which could get you worried whether fruit flies can bite you if they wanted to. They can’t bite people, nor any other thing for that matter. They are toothless and lack biting mouthparts. You can now rest easy knowing you can’t get bitten by a fruit fly.

Fruit flies are more attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables on your kitchen counter, tender skinned fruits like bananas and tomatoes are more susceptible to fruit fly infestation. Besides fruits, fruit flies eat fermenting sugars present in beers and other alcoholic beverages. They are also fond of trash cans, cleaning rugs and mops, and other decaying organic matter.

You may be wondering if fruit flies are toothless, then how do they manage to pierce through fruits. A regular adult fruit fly is about ⅛ inch long with a tan or light brown color. At every stage in their life cycle, fruit flies have a way of feeding themselves that does not involve biting into their food. A female fruit fly will lay up to 500 eggs beneath the skin of the fruits in your fruit bowl; the nutrients there will then automatically seep into the embedded eggs to feed the developing larvae, which will then suck on the juices. However, in the pupae stage, fruit flies do not eat. The adult fruit fly attacks and penetrates the skin of overly ripe fruit or the surface of a decaying matter, with the help of immense quantities of saliva and a special straw-like feature in its mouth.

Why do people think fruit flies may bite humans?

These little critters are prolific breeders that can complete their entire life cycle from egg to adult within a week in warm conditions. The mother fruit fly lays up to 100 eggs in a day. Because of their breeding nature, these uninvited guests will always turn up in their numbers.

While fruit flies won’t bite humans, some people may experience allergic reactions after contact with these insects. You may notice some tiny red bumps on your skin after a fruit fly touches it. These bumps are similar to mosquito bites, only smaller. Without prior knowledge, you’d think that fruit flies bite humans. This allergic reaction is usually a result of contact with bacteria on the little flies’ bodies. If you happen to get a reaction after a fruit fly, don’t panic. It’s not life-threatening; it should resolve on its own. However, it is recommended to wash the affected area with clean water as soon as possible to curb the further spread of the bacteria.

Are fruit flies harmful?

Yes and no. Fruit flies on their own are not as harmful; what poses a risk is the bacteria they carry around with them. These flying insects often pick up harmful bacteria from decaying organic matter they feed on. The bacteria spread by fruit flies is a health concern and is known to cause dysentery and diarrhea. Some people also experience mild respiratory symptoms resulting from contact with fruit flies.

You are better off playing it safe by safeguarding your home against fruit fly infestations. For instance, you can wash your fruits properly as soon as you bring them home and cover any leftover foods lying in your kitchen. Empty your trash can frequently and always air out your mops to dry after use.

What happens if you eat a fruit fly?

While the risk of eating a fruit fly is low, the possibility is there. Fruit flies are carriers of pathogenic bacteria, which could easily spread to humans through contact or ingestion. These tiny pests can easily luster your fruits with harmful bacteria when they invade, and bacteria they pick up when they contact decaying matter and other organic debris. The females also lodge their eggs into the flesh of your fruits which may lead to accidental ingestion.

If you accidentally eat a fruit fly, the gastric acid in your stomach should be able to fight any possible infection. Nonetheless, if the infection worsens, always seek medical intervention.

What looks like a fruit fly, but bites?

Many people believe that fruit flies bite and leave marks behind, thanks to their imposters.

Like fruit flies, gnats are also tiny flying insects often mistaken for fruit flies. Fungus gnats are much smaller than fruit flies such that sometimes your naked eyes can miss them. Unlike fruit flies, gnats can bite human beings leaving red bumps on the affected area of your skin. The red bumps are normally itchy and irritating. If you are experiencing a minor reaction from a gnat bite, you should be able to treat it at home.

Sources:

  1. https://depts.washington.edu/cberglab/wordpress/outreach/an-introduction-to-fruit-flies – An introduction to fruit flies
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28039199 – Occupational allergy to fruit flies
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pathogen – what is a pathogen?
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/gnat-bites#treatment – Gnat bites: Treatment

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published*