Fruit flies are seen all across the world. They make their way indoors in habitats where there are plenty of fruit trees. But these flies need a specific warm temperature to survive.
Fruit flies are mostly seen in the summer when they have the fruits and the right temperature to survive and multiply.
A temperature lower than 60°F kills fruit flies. Cold weather also delays the hatching of fruit fly eggs. Artificially lowering the temperature using air conditioning might kill fruit flies or cause them to fly out of the house.
Fruit flies hate low temperatures. Research shows they fall to the ground when they’re trapped in a room with cold air, mainly where air conditioning is running at low-temperature settings.
They remain inactive at ground level until the temperature rises again. Fruit flies die whenever this temperature stays low (below 59-60°F) for a couple of hours.
What temperature kills fruit flies?
Fruit flies die at a constant temperature below 60°F. This temperature can be natural through periods of cold weather or controlled through air conditioners.
The natural life cycle of these flies involves periods of high activity in the summer and gradual lowering of activity when the temperature starts to drop in the fall. These flies eventually die in the winter.
Their eggs are also affected by temperature. Low temperature slows down their hatching time while warmer temperature facilitates quick hatching.
Apart from the low temperature, a home needs to be clean and free from odors that attract these flies. The smell of food and decaying food is known to attract these flies.
Low temperature alone might not be sufficient to deter them from entering the house as fruit flies constantly search for food.
Does cold temperature affect fruit flies?
Cold temperature deeply affects fruit flies to the extent they can even die within hours if the temperature doesn’t increase again.
Fruit flies can become inactive in cold weather for up to a few days. They can die soon after whenever the temperature remains low.
Constant temperatures below 60°F kill these flies within 2 hours. Flies will try to escape the cold weather by moving indoors or seeking to fly to another room whenever trapped in a room where air conditioning units are running.
Flies become stagnant in cold air
One of the first signs a fruit fly is deeply affected by low temperatures is a stagnant fly. Fruit flies become motionless in a room where the air conditioning is cooling the air below 60°F.
This is the time when fruit flies try to escape, if they can, typically with air currents.
These flies use air warm air currents to find means of escape, whenever stuck in a cold room. Warm air currents underneath doors or around windows attract fruit flies which often manage to get out of cold rooms in time before dying.
Reduced multiplication rate
Fruit flies lay thousands of eggs. They can lay up to 2.000 eggs in their lifetime. The cold temperature typically slows down the natural lifecycle of maggots, the tiny developing flies.
It can take up to a few days for the eggs to hatch in cold weather. A fruit fly can live up to 15 days but this lifespan is considerably reduced in cold weather.
Furthermore, fruit flies can no longer lay up to 2.000 eggs within this interval of 15 days in cold weather. The number of eggs they lay can be as low as 1.000 in this interval of cold weather.
Does air conditioning kill fruit flies?
Air conditioning only kills fruit flies in cold temperatures, typically below 59-60°F. The common problem is that most people don’t set their air conditioning units to such a low temperature.
As a result, fruit flies might not automatically die when the air conditioning is running.
They might avoid the area of the air conditioning unit, but only with the condition, that there’s no food in it. If the temperature is even a few degrees higher, fruit flies will go out of their way to find the food source of the odors they sense through their antennae.
Air conditioners need to be set to lower temperatures for these flies to die.
Does outer weather lower than 60°F kill fruit flies?
Some summer days are particularly cold. As with indoor temperature, the low outdoor temperature can kill fruit flies within hours.
Cold weather is typical on rainy days. Multiple rainy days with temperatures as low as 60°F kill fruit flies.
These flies know this cold weather has a fatal impact and they will seek out temporary shelter. One of the easiest cold weather escapes is man-made structures. Garages and homes provide a controlled climate these flies can live to escape the cold outdoor weather.
Fruit flies can survive up to a few days inside the house, especially in homes with plenty of food for them to feed on. Fruit flies might fly out of the house whenever the weather improves.
Cold weather doesn’t impact fruit fly eggs already laid outdoors. They will take a longer time to hatch, but these eggs will eventually hatch with small maggots flying around trying to find a warm place to hide in for a few days until they mature and they’re ready to lay eggs.
Fruit flies die within 2 hours in cold weather
Temperatures under 60°F kill fruit flies. Some fruit flies might survive this temperature up to a few hours but most die within 1-2 hours.
A fruit fly trapped in a room where the air conditioner is running at a temperature such as 59°F will die within a couple of hours.
Most fruit flies are good at hiding or escaping cold weather during the summer. They use warm air currents to guide themselves to warmer spots where they can survive and multiply.
On the other hand, fruit flies are also known to fly in a cold house through cracks and openings when they can smell rotting food and fruits.
These flies are known to go out of their way to find food and the cold air of the air conditioner cannot overpass this strong food odor to a sufficient extent as to deter these flies completely.