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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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  How to get rid of fruit flies or gnats...

 

 Take a cup or deep lid for a jar and put some wine or vinegar in it.  Set it on the top of the matter in your bin.  The fruit flies will dive in and die.  Throw out the liquid and put some more in....This really works...except if you have a fly population established within the matter of your bin...Another word of advice: NEVER stir the contents of your bin.  Some people seem think this is necessary or beneficial.  All that does is cause the redworms to go into panic mode and slow down or stop their eating and reproducing for  a few days (and sometimes up to a few weeks), and it also mixes in any fly eggs deeper into the bin, if you have this problem going on.

  If you actually have gnats/fruit flies IN the bedding and hatching from within the matter in your bin, then I suggest you start the whole system over.

  What do I reccommed?  A very simple system. It works.  It is not glamorous, but it is very effective.  Get a rubber maid or sterilite tote.  The 10 gallon size runs about $4.50 or so at WalMart.  If your family is vegetarian start with a larger size bin.  Melt or drill holes in the bin on the sides, bottom and lid, that are about the size of a pencil eraser. The redworms will stay put as long as they have adequate food, moisture and air circulation. Add bedding.  When starting out I recommed putting a layer of either peat moss or coco coir on the bottom, which is wetted and wrung out to the point that if you squeeze it, drips of water escape between your fingers.  Then add the rest of your bedding which is also wetted down to the same point as the peat or coir.  This can be straw, shredded paper (avoid magazine type paper), dead leaves (avoid oak or others that have tannin in them). You'll want about 6 inches of bedding in the bin as a minimum.  This will allow enough depth for you to completely surround the food matter on all sides with the shredded paper.  The peat or coir layer really is not necessary, but it helps people who are beginning their vermicomposting adventure to maintain the proper moisture level in their bin, because it holds water well. The bin may drain a bit.  Put a lid or other tray under the bin to catch the drainage, which is properly called  leachate (which by the way is NOT worm casting tea, and should never be used on plants or media in connection with an AP system).

  When using bins I do not recommend stacking bins inside each other.  Some people do this so they can catch any drainage, or to try to create a flow-through system for their redworms.  What this really does is adversely affect the air circulation, and creates anaerobic pockets in the redworm bin.  It also encourages the moisture level to stay very high due to lack of air circulation..  Only use one bin.

 

   OF course, we have huge outdoor redworm beds.  Our redworms live outdoors year-round.  We do not baby them.  They live outdoors in over 100 degree heat in the summer (they are shaded) and under a blanket of several feet of snow in the winter (I am in the Cascade Mtns.).  Besides our redworm beds, we also use the same vermicomposting bin system we recommend, and have them both inside and outside year round too.  We keep a bin behind the recliner in our livingroom.  No one ever knows it is there, unless we tell them.  One also sits just  outside our chicken coup all year. We feed the redworms to our farm fowl and our fish. Let me know if you still would like a picture sent.  I can do it via e-mail...I think.

 

I hope this is somewhat helpful  Let me know if you have any further questions.  Glad to be of help.

 

- Converse

Thanks for all the info.  Any pictures you want to put up would be great, you can do it here if youm want, just go to photos, click on add, then chose you file and they will post.
 
Converse said:

  How to get rid of fruit flies or gnats...

 

 Take a cup or deep lid for a jar and put some wine or vinegar in it.  Set it on the top of the matter in your bin.  The fruit flies will dive in and die.  Throw out the liquid and put some more in....This really works...except if you have a fly population established within the matter of your bin...Another word of advice: NEVER stir the contents of your bin.  Some people seem think this is necessary or beneficial.  All that does is cause the redworms to go into panic mode and slow down or stop their eating and reproducing for  a few days (and sometimes up to a few weeks), and it also mixes in any fly eggs deeper into the bin, if you have this problem going on.

  If you actually have gnats/fruit flies IN the bedding and hatching from within the matter in your bin, then I suggest you start the whole system over.

  What do I reccommed?  A very simple system. It works.  It is not glamorous, but it is very effective.  Get a rubber maid or sterilite tote.  The 10 gallon size runs about $4.50 or so at WalMart.  If your family is vegetarian start with a larger size bin.  Melt or drill holes in the bin on the sides, bottom and lid, that are about the size of a pencil eraser. The redworms will stay put as long as they have adequate food, moisture and air circulation. Add bedding.  When starting out I recommed putting a layer of either peat moss or coco coir on the bottom, which is wetted and wrung out to the point that if you squeeze it, drips of water escape between your fingers.  Then add the rest of your bedding which is also wetted down to the same point as the peat or coir.  This can be straw, shredded paper (avoid magazine type paper), dead leaves (avoid oak or others that have tannin in them). You'll want about 6 inches of bedding in the bin as a minimum.  This will allow enough depth for you to completely surround the food matter on all sides with the shredded paper.  The peat or coir layer really is not necessary, but it helps people who are beginning their vermicomposting adventure to maintain the proper moisture level in their bin, because it holds water well. The bin may drain a bit.  Put a lid or other tray under the bin to catch the drainage, which is properly called  leachate (which by the way is NOT worm casting tea, and should never be used on plants or media in connection with an AP system).

  When using bins I do not recommend stacking bins inside each other.  Some people do this so they can catch any drainage, or to try to create a flow-through system for their redworms.  What this really does is adversely affect the air circulation, and creates anaerobic pockets in the redworm bin.  It also encourages the moisture level to stay very high due to lack of air circulation..  Only use one bin.

 

   OF course, we have huge outdoor redworm beds.  Our redworms live outdoors year-round.  We do not baby them.  They live outdoors in over 100 degree heat in the summer (they are shaded) and under a blanket of several feet of snow in the winter (I am in the Cascade Mtns.).  Besides our redworm beds, we also use the same vermicomposting bin system we recommend, and have them both inside and outside year round too.  We keep a bin behind the recliner in our livingroom.  No one ever knows it is there, unless we tell them.  One also sits just  outside our chicken coup all year. We feed the redworms to our farm fowl and our fish. Let me know if you still would like a picture sent.  I can do it via e-mail...I think.

 

I hope this is somewhat helpful  Let me know if you have any further questions.  Glad to be of help.

 

- Converse

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