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Why fruit flies are so hard to kill

Below is a transcript of the video.

Storyteller: It's like they have magical powers. When the weather warms, fruit flies appear. Of nothing. Next to the fruit bowl, near the garbage, everywhere. And once they arrive, they are determined to stay no matter how many you crush, crush or drink. Now that we know, fruit flies can not teleport to our homes from another, thicker dimension. So, where do they come from and why are they so difficult to eliminate?

Meet Drosophila melanogaster: your standard fruit fly. You can smell a meal more than a kilometer away, all thanks to the tiny antennae on the top of your head. These antennas are specially adapted to detect chemical substances, such as acetic acid that is released from rotten fruit, and once they are fixed in the smell, it is almost impossible to keep them out of your home. This is because the fruit flies are about the size of a sesame seed, so they can slide through almost any crack, screen or hole. But, contrary to popular belief, they do not just look for smelly fruit. They are also looking for the source of that rotten stench, specifically, fungi and other microorganisms. Yum!

And once they land for the party, things become even more unpleasant. Do you know that you never see a single fruit fly? That's because they have incredibly fast life cycles. A single female fruit fly can lay up to 100 eggs per day, which hatch in less than 24 hours. Then, the worms tunnel under the skin of the fruit, feeding on the microbial rot. A few days later, they become full-fledged fruit flies. When days 11 or 12 return, they are ready to have small worms. Aww. That's why your home can go from being free of fruit flies to infested in less than two weeks.

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Now, at this point, you could start crushing them one by one. But it's not that easy, right? Maybe even … unsuccessful? Well, scientists have discovered why. It turns out that fruit flies are mathematical escape sorcerers. To begin with, they have a vision of around 270 degrees, so you can see it from almost any angle: front, back or side to side, and really calculate the angle of your attack and plan your escape accordingly, all in as little About 100 milliseconds. Scientists discovered this because of how a fruit fly at rest will reposition its legs when it detects an attack. If your hand comes from the front, for example, the fruit flies move their stocking legs forward, lean backwards and lift them up, allowing a quick backward lift.

Once in the air, killing them is not much easier. They can change direction in one hundredth of a second and accelerate rapidly by flapping their wings 200 times per second. Not bad for a brain that is even smaller than that of a housefly. So, how to get rid of them? Some experts suggest making a trap. Fill a container with 2 centimeters of cider vinegar, cover it with a funnel and then glue it around the perimeter so that the flies can not come out. You see, the fruit flies are smart enough to find fruit, but not the hole they entered.

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But here is the thing. Even if you catch the last fly, they will come back whenever there is something to eat. And unfortunately for you, fruit flies are not demanding. They love rotten fruit, of course, but wine and other fermented liquids, which are full of those microbes they love, are also tasty, as is the silt that accumulates in the kitchen sink. So, really, the only thing you can do to get rid of them is, well, clean up.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/fruit-flies-how-to-get-rid-why-hard-to-kill-2019-5

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