Why are fruit flies annoyingly hard to swat?
Published on 07 Apr 2021

Fruit flies are annoying! You just bought some ripe fruits and place them in a basket with the window opened in the summer. Fruit flies start coming from nowhere, linger around the fruits and stay in your house. The fact that they are hard to swat is the most annoying thing about files, but why can they make all the manoeuvres mid-air?

Fruit flies have vision of around 270 degrees, which helps them to evade our attack. Their immobile compound eyes slightly above their heads provide them with a large field of vision. While being short-sighted, they can still detect changes in form and movement from almost any angle, allowing them to make swift decisions to flee.

Once they got away in the air, their wings can flap up to 200 times per second to accelerate their flying speed. Although the brain size of a fruit fly is only comparable to a poppy seed of less than 1 millimeter, they can coordinate the change in flying direction by rolling their bodies, all within a 0.01 second interval.

With a much larger brain, we shouldn’t be swatting around the house. Why don’t we make a trap and catch them all? Cut open a water bottle and pour in some apple cider vinegar. Invert the bottle so that the opening is now facing the downward acting as a funnel. Fruit flies will be attracted by the scent of vinegar, and they won’t be able to exit once they’re inside.