Help! fruit flies!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by goodoldreb, Oct 26, 2004.

  1. goodoldreb

    goodoldreb Well-Known Member

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    Has anybody else got these things? For some reason, we are infested with fruit flies! We don't have any fruit or food out in the open that might be attracting them.Could it be the weather cooling off ? any ideas on how to get rid of them, or what might be causing them. Thanks GOR.
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Are you sure they are fruit flies? They could be fungus gnats. Easily confused. Do you have potted plants in the house? Are the flies heaviest around them?
     

  3. wormlady

    wormlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If they are fruit flies, put a little bit of beer or apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a cup. Cover the cup with plastic wrap secured by a rubber band. Poke 4 or 5 holes in the plastic wrap. The flies fly in, but can't get out... ever :haha:
     
  4. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    How do I know the difference? My Eclectus parrot eats lots of fruits and veggies. If I don't clean his cage every day or two, it seems that lots of fruit flies swarm the house. Now I'm wondering if they might be fungus gnats. The ones bothering us now have rusty colored faces and big red eyes. They were attracted to the bathroom light and I got a good look at them clinging to the mirrow while I was brushing my teeth.
     
  5. goodoldreb

    goodoldreb Well-Known Member

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    My wife looked up fruit flies,on Google,according to her the real fruit flies have a red head,you have to look real close cause they are little bitty boogers,but they do have a red head. I like that trap idea ,but I'd like to prevent them. Thanks y'all.
     
  6. lfgx3

    lfgx3 New Member

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    My aunt thought she had fruit flies, but it ended being some type of little fly that was feeding of an unknown bag of rotten potatoes.
     
  7. goodoldreb

    goodoldreb Well-Known Member

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    I just put out a cup about 1/4 of the way full of Miller Lite (hope they're not partial to Bud) and put some cling wrap on top and poked a bunch of holes with a tooth pick.if it works,at least they'll die with a good buzz!
     
  8. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Traps only capture the adults. You are just harvesting when use one. If you want to solve the problem, find the fruit. A fruit flies head is not red, the eyes are. They almost glow. You can easily see it with out magnification. If you find the overripe fruit and get rid of it, you don't need traps. A little spilled orange juice, a few grapes under the stove .... you may have to look to find the breeding source. Until you find it, they will keep coming.

    As Cyngbaeld said, fungus gnats are an entirely different pest. Yet, the traps for them also only harvest adults.
     
  9. TXlightningbug

    TXlightningbug Well-Known Member

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    Find where they are breeding, cancel that out and include the trap to keep the adults from continuing to breed in the bird's food. If you don't have any beer, use a yellow coffee can lid and coat with syrup or oil. Hang in an area where you know they are likely to be - i.e.: the bathroom light at night. The flies will stick to it. When it's full, wash off and recoat. When there are none on it, leave a few more days to make sure you got them all.

    That yellow coffee can lid also works for gnats and white flies. Good luck! My fruit flies decided to collect in my cat's litter box one night. :rolleyes:

    TXlightningbug :yeeha:
     
  10. Snugglebunny

    Snugglebunny Well-Known Member

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    I have that trouble, too. I had a suspicion they were coming from the drain in the kitchen sink (maybe a piece of fruit or juice got stuck down there or something), so I dumped about 1/2 c of baking soda down the drain, then 1/2 c of vinegar, and then a full kettle of boiling water, in the hopes of clearing the drain of whatever might be down there. Haven't had a fruit fly since.

    However, I also had to go "fruit fly hunting". I set out a cereal bowl full of apple cider vinegar (for some reason, I catch more with cider vinegar than white), and didn't cover it. Whenever I saw one or two sitting on the edge of the bowl, I'd sneak up and blow them into the bowl, just as if you were blowing out a candle "Poof!" and they'd get stunned and fall into the bowl.

    They can swim for quite awhile though, so make sure they don't have anythign to hang onto.

    I read somewhere that just a little bit of spilled apple juice or something under the fridge can breed thousands of them.
     
  11. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I really do think it's the entire body that is a red color. What color are the gnats? How many wings do they have. These have four, two on each side.
     
  12. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    To get rid of them, I would hang up a couple of sticky fly traps. These are the kind that come in a tube and you unroll them before hanging. Quite effective in capturing flies or flying 'gnats'. I would also put an empty pop bottle with a bit of beer or vinegar on the bottom. They crawl into the bottle, but they don't fly out that easy. Eventually most drown in the 1/2 inch or so of the liquid on the bottom. Empty wine bottle would also help. Amazing how many get trapped in there.
     
  13. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are many different kinds of fruit flies. The following is a modified excerpt from the Mallis Handbook of Pest Control.(Shortened from 4 pages)

    Drosophila melanogaster is the most common. It has a tan colored head and thorax and a blackish abdomen, and of course bright red eyes. It is primarily attracted to fermenting and fresh fruits and vegetables caused by the multiplication of yeasts. Where decay is caused by bacteria they are not attracted.
    They are common in poorly sealed containers of fruits and vegetables and the maggots are mostly found near the top and live in the briny or vinegary liquids. Common sources of infestation are rotting bananas, pineapples, tomatoes, mustard pickles, potatoes, etc. In cellars they can be found in such fermenting liquids as wine, cider, vinegar, and beer, especially stale beer.
    The key to controlling fruit flies is to locate all breeding sources and remove them. Not pesticides, not traps. Massive amounts of adult flies can emerge from small amounts of breeding material.

    Fungus gnats are the most common household gnat, and they are mostly black, no red eye.
     
  14. paulat333

    paulat333 Member

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    We just got over a fruit fly problem we had for almost two weeks. I've had them before, too, and the vinegar trick really works well. Usually put cider vinegar, sugar and water in a bowl and a drop of dish detergent. This time, they were even harder to get rid of, so we also ended up putting plastic wrap over the bowl and poking holes. That did the trick. They got started with some fruit, and they weren't going away even after we got rid of it. We figured they maybe were breeding in the drain, since they were always around the kitchen sink, so we flushed that with baking soda and hot water and after we caught the last ones that were buzzing around, we haven't got any new ones.

    They really do like vinegar. I keep some vinegar in a cruet and got it out one evening at supper to put some on my cabbage, and there were a bunch of the fruit flies floating in it. Yuck!! I did have a bottle of vinegar also, but I have to say I ate my cabbage without vinegar that night. I still get the heebie jeebies just thinking about them.

    Paula
     
  15. beelady

    beelady Member

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    I have a nanday conure. Sometimes the fruit flys lay eggs in the bottom of the bird's cage where he spills his water. I had an awful time with them this summer. I found that the fruit flys were laying eggs on the bottom of the tray that comes out when you clean their cage and in the little crevices inside where that tray fits into the cage. You may want to check under there and give it a good cleaning cause mine was coated with eggs. The fly paper also works well for the ones that are already hatched. Good luck they are really nasty little things especially if you inhale one by accident. :eek:
     
  16. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Nandays are terrific, even if a little bit loud. We breed parrots for a substantial amount of our income. We've eliminated all of our cages with the plastic bottoms that have the plastic trays that slide out. Those crevices are the perfect place. Forrest, our Eclectus is in a great big Avian Adventure cage with the metal slide out tray. There's no bottom like in a smaller cage when the tray is pulled out.

    Funny thing, we have no fruit flies in the bird barn. They're in breeder cages (kind of like a rabbit cage) with no solid bottom. Everything falls to the floor with a deep pine shaving litter with six hens scratching things up. It stays really dry.

    Forrest's cage does get the occasional fruit fly. I usually clean it every other day or so, but I went almost an entire week and now we have all these flies.

    You think they're bad when you swallow them? Try getting one stuck in your ear.
     
  17. hunter gatherer

    hunter gatherer Well-Known Member

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    We usually get a fruit fly infestation once a year. This is what I do: In addition to beer/plastic wrap traps ( I know these don't really get to the root of the problem but there is an element of satisfaction in catching those little boogers!) I pour a little bleach down the drain before retiring for the evening. Fruit flies do lay their eggs in drains and this either prevents them from laying their eggs or prevents them from hatching. Make sure to do the bathroom drains as well.

    I also store the compost bucket in the fridge during an infestation. Even if it is tightly covered and they can't get to it, they are still attracted by it.