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Ok, to those raising worms (Red Wigglers), how are you dealing with the fruit fly problem.  I have lots of worms but I have lots of fruit flies also.  As soon as it gets a little warmer I will move the system outside, but for now it is in the house and they are driving me crazier.  Any solution will be helpful.

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yeah I've got fruit flies as well, but they're outside.  I don't know where you are, but I'd think that anywhere in the northern hemisphere you'd be pretty safe to have your worm bin outside by now.

Our last freeze will be monday or tuesday so outside they go but then i need to figure outt what to do for next winter. Thanks for the comment



Jeffrey Ihara said:

yeah I've got fruit flies as well, but they're outside.  I don't know where you are, but I'd think that anywhere in the northern hemisphere you'd be pretty safe to have your worm bin outside by now.

have you tried using applecider in a glass covered with plastic rap with three tooth pick size holes to catch them and feed them to your fish?

 

If you bury whatever you are feeding the worms at least two inches under the bedding material...the fruit flies (and gnats) will not bother penetrating that depth to try and get at a food source and lay eggs. But if you have not done this from the beginning, and they've already been laying eggs in the worms food...I'm not sure how this strategy pans out since their eggs are already present...

Lol, I can tell you EXACTLY how it pans out. Once the gnats are present in the the buried food, they continue to tunnel around like mites. I know flies don't like to burrow but they do seem to get around my bin :) Currently, I'm not doing anything. But if you stop putting fresh food in the bin for a while, they should leave. Then just bury your food more carefully. Other than that, there isn't much you can do outside of band-aid solutions. Some people use a vacuum to suck up the little buggers as they fly off the disturbed bedding. I find threatening murderous revenge upon them helps scare them off as well :) Burying food helps cut down numbers, but they usually find their way in regardless.

Vlad Jovanovic said:

If you bury whatever you are feeding the worms at least two inches under the bedding material...the fruit flies (and gnats) will not bother penetrating that depth to try and get at a food source and lay eggs. But if you have not done this from the beginning, and they've already been laying eggs in the worms food...I'm not sure how this strategy pans out since their eggs are already present...

Bob are you married? I know from experience most females and bugs in the house do NOT get along together. Took a long time for it to stop driving my mom crazy :) Now she lets me grow bsf larvae and redworms in the garage, despite all the gnats. And she ok'd the idea of ordering 1,000 predator mites for my sytem. Best mom ever!

  I run a commercial scale redworm farm.  We give workshops and teach sessions in schools, for gov't agencies and groups (so far without pay).  One of the frequent questions we get is how to deal with fruit flies that many seem to associate with vermicomposting, and thus, get discouraged.

  Sometimes the fruit fly problem is associated with the type of vermicomposting set-up being used.  The stacking trays seem to be the most susceptible to this problem.  This is not a challenge only limited to that type of set-up though.  I can tell you how to avoid the problem and how to get rid of it, and be able to live with vermicomposting indoors, or in a greenhouse without having to deal with the gnats and/or flies. 

    It helps to know that fruit flies and gnats are attracted to the gasses that are given off by decomposing fruits and veggies.  It also helps to know that entomologists have discovered that these creatures will not penetrate a depth/thickness of 2 inches of bedding to get at a food source.  This is why the stacking trays seem to be by and large the biggest  vermicomposting gnat/fruit fly problem.  When adding any food source you need to make a hole in the bedding and plop in the food and bury the food under bedding .  this means the food needs to be surrounded on all sides by a thickness of 2 inches of bedding.  In the stacking tray systems, there is not a way to keep 2 inches of bedding surrounding all food sources. And if you are successful at this, you must make sure that the bedding (usually shredded paper) does not get consumed, making it necessary to add more.  This is why I recommend using a bin.  It is easier to maintain moisture levels the redworms need and it is also conducive to keeping food sources properly buried, so fruitflies  invasions can be avoided.

   Also NEVER top feed.  Covering the top of your bin with a damp rag or a piece of cardboard is not adequate, when trying to count that as burying the food.  Always make a hole, and add the food and cover it up with bedding.

    Never add food that has sat on a counter or anywhere where a fruit fly or gnat has had the chance to land on it.  Poof!  Eggs are laid!  Then you add the food matter to your bin.. The eggs hatch, and the fruit fly or gnat larva think that have hatched in heaven!  Always keep food covered before adding it to your vermicomposting set-up.  Some people even freeze the food before adding it.  This adds a measure of safety. 

  I will add more later on how to get rid of them.

 

Never fear.  All is not lost.  Gotta go do some more farming for now.  More later....

 - Converse

No but an used up bottle Jack Danials works.  NO  I an not kiddiong.  Rum worked pretty good also.

Robert C. Wood said:

have you tried using applecider in a glass covered with plastic rap with three tooth pick size holes to catch them and feed them to your fish?

 

Married to the most wonderful woman for 18 years but sadly now I am a widower.

Alex Veidel said:

Bob are you married? I know from experience most females and bugs in the house do NOT get along together. Took a long time for it to stop driving my mom crazy Now she lets me grow bsf larvae and redworms in the garage, despite all the gnats. And she ok'd the idea of ordering 1,000 predator mites for my sytem. Best mom ever!

I like the idea of
  threatening murderous revenge upon them helps scare them off, funny I tried the vacuume trick.
Alex Veidel said:

Lol, I can tell you EXACTLY how it pans out. Once the gnats are present in the the buried food, they continue to tunnel around like mites. I know flies don't like to burrow but they do seem to get around my bin Currently, I'm not doing anything. But if you stop putting fresh food in the bin for a while, they should leave. Then just bury your food more carefully. Other than that, there isn't much you can do outside of band-aid solutions. Some people use a vacuum to suck up the little buggers as they fly off the disturbed bedding. I find threatening murderous revenge upon them helps scare them off as well Burying food helps cut down numbers, but they usually find their way in regardless.

Vlad Jovanovic said:

If you bury whatever you are feeding the worms at least two inches under the bedding material...the fruit flies (and gnats) will not bother penetrating that depth to try and get at a food source and lay eggs. But if you have not done this from the beginning, and they've already been laying eggs in the worms food...I'm not sure how this strategy pans out since their eggs are already present...

Thanks to everyone for the replies.  I know where to start to solve the problem,

Converse, would you mind posting as picture of your bins?  I am using a stacking tray system (Worm Farm, maybe should have been called the fly farm).  I will change in a heart beat for a begtter system.
 
Converse said:

  I run a commercial scale redworm farm.  We give workshops and teach sessions in schools, for gov't agencies and groups (so far without pay).  One of the frequent questions we get is how to deal with fruit flies that many seem to associate with vermicomposting, and thus, get discouraged.

  Sometimes the fruit fly problem is associated with the type of vermicomposting set-up being used.  The stacking trays seem to be the most susceptible to this problem.  This is not a challenge only limited to that type of set-up though.  I can tell you how to avoid the problem and how to get rid of it, and be able to live with vermicomposting indoors, or in a greenhouse without having to deal with the gnats and/or flies. 

    It helps to know that fruit flies and gnats are attracted to the gasses that are given off by decomposing fruits and veggies.  It also helps to know that entomologists have discovered that these creatures will not penetrate a depth/thickness of 2 inches of bedding to get at a food source.  This is why the stacking trays seem to be by and large the biggest  vermicomposting gnat/fruit fly problem.  When adding any food source you need to make a hole in the bedding and plop in the food and bury the food under bedding .  this means the food needs to be surrounded on all sides by a thickness of 2 inches of bedding.  In the stacking tray systems, there is not a way to keep 2 inches of bedding surrounding all food sources. And if you are successful at this, you must make sure that the bedding (usually shredded paper) does not get consumed, making it necessary to add more.  This is why I recommend using a bin.  It is easier to maintain moisture levels the redworms need and it is also conducive to keeping food sources properly buried, so fruitflies  invasions can be avoided.

   Also NEVER top feed.  Covering the top of your bin with a damp rag or a piece of cardboard is not adequate, when trying to count that as burying the food.  Always make a hole, and add the food and cover it up with bedding.

    Never add food that has sat on a counter or anywhere where a fruit fly or gnat has had the chance to land on it.  Poof!  Eggs are laid!  Then you add the food matter to your bin.. The eggs hatch, and the fruit fly or gnat larva think that have hatched in heaven!  Always keep food covered before adding it to your vermicomposting set-up.  Some people even freeze the food before adding it.  This adds a measure of safety. 

  I will add more later on how to get rid of them.

 

Never fear.  All is not lost.  Gotta go do some more farming for now.  More later....

 - Converse

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