Sunday 23 September 2012

How do you get rid of fruit flies?

This is sooo sticky!
 Drosophila melanogaster, called the common fruit fly. I had hundreds from the composter, whose lid was askew. Me bad!

 I tried an experiment. The old-fashioned sticky tape vs. a wasp trap. I popped them in the window.
The problem with the sticky tape is it is REALLY sticky! Afterwards, I had to put baby powder on my fingers as the thing broke, I was forced to handle it and uncurl it manually.

I thought that if the wasp trap worked for the fruit flies, I wouldn't have to feel guilty killing the wee things. It wasn't their fault that I forgot to clean out the composter!
The hole is big, but maybe their wee brains won't let them figure out all they have to do is fly down.
A few pieces of apple inside
& I had captured dozens!
Sure enough.

I have had to empty the wasp trap numerous times, so far. It was far superior to the sticky tape. The only thing was, when I took the jar down down, they managed to figure out how to get out!

I walked quickly and took the trap to outside, and set them free! The nocturnal gray tree frog was sitting behind the BBQ, but wasn't any help at all! Zzzzzzzz

   Now, of course, the next big thing is to get close-ups of them. Easier said than done. They have abdomens with bee-like stripes. Who knew?!

Extreme close-up!
I began to be curious about Dr. David Suzuki's fruit flies. He studied them back in the day.
There isn't much valuable information on-line. I don't trust e-how or Yahoo answers. Who knows who these people are or their credentials?

One pest control company writes of the life cycle: egg, larvae (maggot), pupae, adult. They
look similar to house fly maggots, but smaller. I found a New South Wales PDF fact file, if you want to see the photos! These fruit flies harmlessly lay eggs in soft, ripened fruit. An irritation, especially in the house, it's not such a big deal.

This one was on the bathroom mirror
Fruit flies live about two weeks, and the female can lay about 500 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs have a gestation period of 24 hours. I had a hundred, at least, in the kitchen. At least they don't buzz like mosquitoes, or sting, for that matter.

The abdomen is striped!
 This concerned me, however. I found something from the Ontario Government about Spotted Wing Drosophilia (SWD). These bugs have ovapositors (egg depositors) that can saw through field fruits and damage a farmer's crop. Different than Common Fruit Flies.

Spotted wing drosophila (SWD) is an invasive vinegar fly from Asia that can cause extensive damage to soft-skinned fruits before harvest. First detected in North America in 2008, this pest has spread quickly. SWD has been found in Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, as well as many American states and in Europe (e.g. Spain, Italy and France). SWD is different from other vinegar flies because it lays eggs in healthy ripening fruit, rather than overripe or damaged fruit. 
from gov't PDF file

More Information on SWD: 


Linda said...

There you go with the research again! You are a wealth of information... who knew that fruit flies were so problematic for farmers! I know they are a major pain in the kitchen...seeming to appear from nowhere!

Jackie McGuinness said...

Fruit flies are such a pain in the kitchen.
Thanks for dropping by and visiting.

Red said...

Once again we've messed with species and have damaged stuff we hadn't thought about. Our fruit flies are bad enough.

Kay said...

Fruit flies have really become a plague in Hawaii and destroyed a lot of our fruit crops. I don't know what the answer could be.

W.C.Camp said...

Wow creative solution with the trap. I think I would park one of those electronic UV bug zappers over the composter - I don't think their little bug bodies will add too much protein to turn into your pile. HA! W.C.C.

EG CameraGirl said...

Creative solution to your fruit fly problem!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wow! All I know about fruit flies is that this time of year they like to drown themselves in my evening glass of white wine. I don't know where they come from.