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Climate change: the Vienna fruit fly plague - wien.ORF.at

Climate change: the Vienna fruit fly plague – wien.ORF.at

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Fruit fly sightings in Vienna are currently increasing. Even if the animals aren’t dangerous: Inquiries to pest control companies pile up. The reason for this vigorous reproduction is fruit dropping and unusually high temperatures.

In the fruit basket and in the sink: a fruit fly alarm is present in many homes in Vienna. Pest monitors also reported an unusually high number of inquiries. The high number of flies is due to the fruit harvest season and the mild weather. Fruit flies benefit from late summer temperatures and are considered animals that can adapt well to climate change.

“It is not unusual for fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) to come out in the fall,” said Drosophila melanogaster, a fruit fly expert from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Because of the wine harvest, there are sufficient feeding places such as pomace and ripe grapes. Fruits such as apples and peaches are also stored in apartments again.

ORF / Florian Kobler

Fruit flies are especially comfortable near food

Pest Control: “More Inquiries Than Ever”

However, enough food does not mean that there will be a plague of fruit flies: Schlutterer explained several observations: “When temperatures are higher, fruit flies reproduce faster.” Temperatures around 22°C are ideal for animals. Because of climate change, fruit flies can fly through apartments in Vienna until autumn. They are just looking for a warm winter hiding from ten degrees Celsius.

The persistently high temperatures until October are affecting Vienna: Insect monitors say they are now receiving “more fruit fly inquiries than ever”. Chemical control is not actually necessary.

Supermarkets also react to fruit flies. For example, fly traps are set up in spar branches if necessary to stop the spread of animals.

Cover the fruits and build fly traps

Joseph Bruckner of the Vienna-based environmental consultancy reveals simple tricks that can be used to avoid or combat fruit fly infestations in the home: Fruit should be covered well or stored in the refrigerator. Organic waste should be emptied daily and the organic waste bin in front of the house should always be closed: it is the perfect habitat for fruit flies.

If you want, you can then help with homemade vinegar traps: a bowl of water, a pinch of vinegar and a drop of washing up liquid. The fruit flies then drown in the supposedly sweet water. Drosophila expert Schlutterer emphasized that this is not necessary: ​​animals do not transmit any diseases. Those who are curious should “look into the beautiful red eyes of fruit flies and see what exciting animals they actually are.”

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