We’ve heard and seen it all. Fruit flies seem to be something straight out of hell. They can drive you crazy with their buzzing, send you to the hospital with salmonella or E. Coli, contaminate your food, infest your kitchen and bathroom drains, and they reproduce at the speed of light. Which begs the question, do these little flies bite?
Do fruit flies bite humans?
Fruit flies can be harmful to humans and are without a doubt extremely annoying. They can be potentially dangerous to our health, as the pesky insects are flying vectors of disease. But hey, like everyone else, fruit flies have one little redeeming quality on top of all the bad: they do not bite!
- Related: Can fruit flies make you sick?
Unlike many other flies, drosophila have no interest in feeding on human blood, as most of what they consume is fermenting fruit and decaying organic matter. Fruit flies do not possess any particular mouthparts, teeth or stingers to bite or sting us like a mosquito or horsefly would. There are species of flies that will attack people and animals, that’s for sure. But if you are being bitten by a fly, it’s almost certainly not a fruit fly. You’ll want to identify it correctly lest it be dangerous.
What do fruit fly bites look like?
Fruit flies do not bite. On rare occasions, one might notice a mild rash, itch or bumps after a fruit fly has landed on them, but it is not a bite. The irritation could be due to the bacteria the fly transports on its body, but in most cases, it is simply another type of fly, albeit similar looking.
What looks like a fruit fly but bites?
If fruit flies aren’t the ones leaving red marks on your skin, who’s the culprit? Fruit flies have many doppelgangers, some of the harmful as they can transmit dangerous diseases. You don’t have to be an entomologist to be able to recognize a few common ones. Here’s how a fruit fly looks like:
Here are a few bloodsucking critters that’ll make fruit flies look like angels:
Sandflies are common blood-sucking dipterans found all throughout the world. These little critters are able to cover you in dozens of bites in a matter of minutes, and can be dangerous, transmitting many viruses. Sandflies are black, with a hairy appearance and V shaped wings when resting, and they considerably smaller than fruit flies.
Biting midges (Biting gnats)
Biting midges, who thrive in warmer culprits, are the likely culprit when it comes to the red, itchy bumps on your skin. Their bites are quite painful, but they’re usually nothing to worry about.
Ticks and fleas
Although more commonly found on dogs and cats, these tiny, jumping critters are known to bite humans as well. Ticks and fleas feed on blood only and their bites can cause noticeable swelling and redness.
What do fruit flies eat?
If fruit flies have no interest in sucking blood, what do they eat? Their name gives us a little hint; the pests love fruit. They tend to consume the sugars secreted from overripe, rotten, and fermenting fruit and vegetables. Any organic debris, like the gunk stuck in your drains, is also something they’ll eagerly consume.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fruit flies do not bite or sting humans. They do not feed on blood, and do not have the mouthparts or stingers to puncture skin.
They might drive your cat crazy, lazily buzzing around the house as your pet chases them, but that’s the full extent of their harm. Fruit flies have no interest in biting your cat, as they do not consume blood like certain bloodsucking insects.
No need to worry about your dog. The only thing your fruit fly will bite and attack is the overly ripe banana in your fruit bowl. Fruit flies do not have mandibles or stingers to puncture any type of skin, and have no interest in your pet’s blood. If you do notice red marks on your dog’s skin, they are certainly from another type of insect.