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Do Fruit Flies Bite?

Unlike a mosquito or horsefly, fruit flies have no teeth or stingers to bite or sting us. They do not eat blood, as they prefer fermenting fruit and food particles in mop water or even on wet mops. They prefer mushy decaying food since their teeth are unable to penetrate a hard surface.

So the short answer is: no, fruit flies do not bite you. However, they can pose a health risk if you have an infestation so it’s recommended you put an extermination plan into action as soon as you spot them.

There are insect species that will attack people and animals, without a doubt. However, if you get bitten by a fly, it’s extremely unlikely to be a fruit fly. You’ll want to get the particular fly or insect bite correctly identified so you don’t get harmed.

What Do Fruit Fly Bites Look Like?

As mentioned above, fruit flies do not bite. After a fruit fly has landed on your skin, you might notice a mild rash, itching, or pimples on rare occasions, but it is not a bite. The cause of the irritation is most likely to be because of the bacteria carried on the fly’s body and has transferred to your skin.

What Do Fruit Flies Eat?

Their name gives a big indicator of what they love to eat, you guessed it – fruit! They eat the sugars produced by overripe, rotten, and fermenting fruits and vegetables. They’ll also eat any organic debris that’s clogging up your drains, such as slime build-up.

Do Fruit Flies Have Biting Teeth?

Fruit flies do not have biting teeth or pincers that could pierce your skin. They use their mouthpiece to acquire food because they need to consume their normal meals of fruit, vegetables, and other decaying matter. They emit a catabolic fluid that aids in the breakdown of their food before sucking it up with their mouthpiece.

What Looks Like a Fruit Fly But Bites?

There are other small flies that might appear to be fruit or vinegar flies that do bite. Fruit flies have an enormous number of look-alikes, some of which are poisonous and can spread toxic illnesses. To be able to recognize a few typical types, you don’t need to be an expert.

Here’s what a fruit fly looks like:

Do fruit flies bite?
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com – rob_lan

And here are some imposters that look similar but will have varying capabilities and could be the culprit of your bite mark:

Biting Midges (Biting gnats)

These tiny blood-sucking flies are often mistaken for fruit flies. These biting gnats are 1/16 to 1/8inch long with clear or smoky wings and long antennae. The bite is usually unnoticed until the bite site reddens and it itches. The itching may last up to several days, which can make sleeping difficult. Although their bites are quite painful, they are generally nothing to be concerned about.

Credit: istockphoto.com – Heather Broccard-Bell

Ticks and Fleas

If you see a tiny insect flitting about, it’s probably a tick or a flea. Unlike other insects, the bed bugs do not have wings, but they possess an unusual leaping ability of up to 8 inches. That’s no small accomplishment for a bug that is less than 2 millimeters long.

Ticks and fleas survive on a diet consisting of only blood. While fruit flies will eat organic material, the two dietary groups are far apart. Ticks and fleas can bite people, although they are more likely to do so on dogs and cats. Ticks and fleas only feed on blood, causing inflammation and redness if bitten.

Ticks are in actuality dangerous since they can transfer diseases to people when they bite. Ticks are responsible for many illnesses, including Lyme disease. The symptoms of Lyme disease can be mild or severe. They can include flu-like symptoms such as fever and aches, a skin rash, swollen joints, and fatigue. This disease usually requires a course of antibiotics to cure the infection. It’s important to remove ticks from your skin as soon as possible while avoiding excess rubbing or scratching which could make the condition worse.

If you are bitten by a tick, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if your doctor prescribes antibiotics for the treatment of Lyme disease.

Credit: istockphoto.com – edelmar


Sandflies are common blood-sucking pests found all throughout the world. These little creatures can cover you in dozens of bites in minutes, and they can be dangerous since they transmit a variety of diseases.

Sandflies are a fruit fly look-alike that is generally found in the tropics, including Central and South America, North Africa, Southern Asia, and all throughout Australia. They have wings with dark veins and clear areas on their bodies, as well as several pairs of bristles on their hind legs.

They contract avian malaria from mosquitoes which they transmit to humans. The disease can be deadly if not treated early enough, but it has an effective vaccine. 

They’re also responsible for transmitting elephantiasis, a disease that causes the limbs and genital areas to swell to enormous proportions.

Credit: istockphoto.com – EzumeImages

Are Fruit Flies Dangerous?

The danger posed by fruit flies is that they feed on filthy, decaying matter that includes germs and other noxious diseases to people and animals. This may result in the spread of dangerous illnesses.

While the danger is minor, fruit flies have been found to be carriers of pathogenic bacteria, which can spread to humans through contact.

Fruit flies are a clear indication of an unclean dwelling, and they should be removed at the source. A fruit fly may land on you and cause inflammation in some situations. This is typical among sensitive individuals, as the flies’ fluids can irritate the skin.

Fruit flies may be quite small, but they can cause considerable damage if allowed to remain in your home for an extended period of time.

Can You Eat Food That a Fruit Fly Has Touched?

Despite the revulsion factor, there is no disease associated with accidentally swallowing fruit flies or food that has been in contact with them. If they aren’t on the food, there’s no reason to be concerned. If they’ve deposited eggs in the food and there are maggots inside, though, they can do damage. Although eating the maggots (or one or two inadvertently) may not be harmful, many people would regard it as unpalatable.

Do Fruit Flies Bite Animals?

Fruit flies won’t bite your cats or dogs – or any other pets and animals. They simply don’t have the ability to puncture the skin.

If fruit flies are present around pets it is highly likely they are only interested in the pet food or other decaying matter nearby. Fruit flies do not have mandibles or stingers on their mouths with which to pierce the skin of your pet, and they are not interested in his or her blood. If you see red patches on your dog’s skin, it’s most likely from another kind of insect.

Home Fruit Fly Pest Control

Home fruit fly pest control is easy if you follow these basic elimination and prevention tips:

  1. Purchase some fruit fly traps. One fruit fly trap will usually be enough to handle fruit flies inside your home, possibly a couple if you have several areas of infestation.
  2. Avoid leaving leftovers and dirty dishes in the kitchen. Fruit flies can seek out discarded food and dirt in a short time and these will serve as breeding grounds.
  3. Any drinks that are accidentally spilled on floors or counters should be cleaned as soon as possible to avoid attracting fruit flies.
  4. Garbage should be properly cared for and disposed of on a regular basis. Your garbage can lid should always be tightly fastened.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the biting capabilities of fruit flies and some useful advice in order to control your fruit fly infestation without much concern for your health.

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