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fruit fly control

 
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its that time of year again, fruit lies are everywhere, I'm going to try using cider vinegar with a bit of dawn in it.
anyone else have techniques that work.
 
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Location: Georgia
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goat dog homestead
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Number one is to make sure there is no food out, no wet spots on the counters, and pour boiling water down the kitchen drains to kill off the baby fruit flies (yes the nasty things breed down there).
Any fruit, or veggies on the counter? Get them put where the flies can't go. They are also breeding areas for them.
Used the sink for something? Make sure to wipe everything dry. Any bits of moisture encourage them.
Washcloth or sponge.... Make sure whatever you use to wash things with gets thoroughly rinsed out, wrung out, and hung to dry. Again, wet things draw them in.
If you drink beer - leave a bit in the bottom of the bottle, leave that out for several days and watch it fill up with drowned fruit flies. Wanna up the stakes? Drop a small piece of banana or strawberry (think soft sweet fruit) into the beer in the bottle.. shake well then add just one drop of dish soap - you aren't looking for bubbles, you just want the soap there to break the surface of the liquid so they can't dance around on top!

It's late now, and my brain is not coming up with anything more... although I'm sure there IS more.
Good luck!
 
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Hello,

We have them everywhere!!!    I assume they are fruit flies...tiny,black with wings, very quick and very loud when they whizz past my ear!!! I am putting vinegar,bicarb, etc down the drains and my compost toilet (the urine part) just in case they are hiding in there. Do they lay eggs in damp spots like under the sink where pipes meet??? I'm rnning out of ideas where they could be bt want to get rid!!  All my fruit is in the fridge and I have traps around the kitchen.
Any advice gratefully received.

Penny (France)
 
Sandy Cromwell
Posts: 19
Location: Georgia
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goat dog homestead
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Penny Thrussell wrote:Hello,

We have them everywhere!!!    I assume they are fruit flies...tiny,black with wings, very quick and very loud when they whizz past my ear!!! I am putting vinegar,bicarb, etc down the drains and my compost toilet (the urine part) just in case they are hiding in there. Do they lay eggs in damp spots like under the sink where pipes meet??? I'm rnning out of ideas where they could be bt want to get rid!!  All my fruit is in the fridge and I have traps around the kitchen.
Any advice gratefully received.

Penny (France)



Have you tried trapping the adults?
You can place about 1/4 - 1/2 c apple cider vinegar in a jar/bottle on the counter. Roll a piece of paper into a funnel, fit into the jar/bottle, tape to hold it's shape and possibly around the rim as well to prevent escapees. Apparently they are attracted to the vinegar, go down the funnel, and because they aren't really smart, can't figure out how to come back out. To assist the drowning of these nasties, drip a drop of dish soap onto the vinegar before blocking with the funnel. Make sure not to get the paper funnel wet, as this defeats it's purpose. Place these traps anywhere you see the flies and wait. Once you have them inside the liquid, you can either pour them out and reset the traps, or wait another week to make sure any hatching eggs that mature are also drawn in. Not sure how long their life cycle is, but like any nasty insect pest, always account for eggs already laid, and wait for them to hatch. Once adults are consistently trapped and killed/removed, their life cycle should be effectively halted. Yes it takes time, and vigilance to prevent a recurrence, but if you want them gone, it's effort and time well spent.

If you bring any fresh fruits/veggies home you may consider quarantining them in a corner of the room with a trap or two just in case they came infested with any flies - it happens, and isn't necessarily because of any bad practices, these things are just awful. This would just help ensure that any new adults that hitched a ride in get taken care of before they can start a new infestation.

BTW
Houseplants can also be a place for them to breed!!
If possible, try to allow any possibly infected pots to dry out as much as possible between waterings, keep the top of the exposed soil in the pots covered with a dry layer - think something that dries quickly after watering the plant. If you think the bugs are coming from the bottom of the pot, it may be a good time to re-pot that plant, and make sure to close off any openings underneath to prevent them from getting in. I like using coffee filters in the bottoms of my pots, as they keep the dirt in and other stuff out (at least as long as they last anyway).  If your plants need humidity, try a tray underneath filled with appropriate sized rocks - place the pot on top of the layer of rocks and have the water in the rocks. This will help boost the humidity, and hopefully keep nasties from using it as breeding areas. Yes, I've had to remove and wash the rocks and trays before, so regular checks not only keep things clean, but give you an excuse to spend time with your plants, always a relaxing experience for me. Side note, if you use a strip of wicking material and lay it inside the rocks, then run it up into the pot, you've created a self-watering pot - two for one solution as now the plant will be watered, kept humidified, and mostly safe from bugs using it as breeding grounds.

Also, on composting toilets - I discovered that they will definitely lay eggs underneath the seat ON the seat... first time I saw this freaked me out.... My solution was to make sure the top layer inside stayed as dry as possible, and if I noticed ANY flying anything near it, I checked underneath the seat daily, cleaning, emptying out and re-starting, etc until the issue was resolved. Yes, they do seem to be partial to urine.  During the warmer months when it seems inevitable for them to be in this area, I keep a sticky fly trap hanging nearby - not only to catch them, but also as a monitor - I may not always notice an infestation until it's a pain, but if I see larger numbers of them getting trapped, I am alerted to do extra maintenance to prevent further issues.
 
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forest garden foraging hunting
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My go to: if you ever have a plastic water bottle chop off the top, invert it, push it back into the water bottle (or a glass), then pour about a centimeter of apple cider vinegar into the bottle. It takes them out fairly quickly.
 
steward
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Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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I use mason jars with holes punched in the lid, with vinegar (or wine), and a drop of soap.

And then, find where they are breeding (rotten squash or tomato) and eliminate it.
fruit-fly-trap-vinegar.jpg
Mason jar fruit fly trap
Mason jar fruit fly trap
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