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Controlling fruit flies


Shuos Zehun
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Is there anything I can add to my enclosure to help control fruit flies?  Does anything eat them that won't eat roaches?  I try to give my hissers lots of fresh fruit (they LOVE oranges)  and it attracts fruit flies more or less instantly.  I have a fruit fly trap in the cage (tub of grape juice and soap with holes in the top) but it doesn't catch nearly enough.  I realize the flies probably aren't bothering the roaches, but they're bothering *me* 😉

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I guess  u can make some fruit fly traps outside of the enclousure, some here ; some there and maybethat would minimize the number of them in the enclousure.

It worked for me.

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  • 2 months later...
On 11/18/2020 at 11:43 AM, Shuos Zehun said:

Is there anything I can add to my enclosure to help control fruit flies?  Does anything eat them that won't eat roaches?  I try to give my hissers lots of fresh fruit (they LOVE oranges)  and it attracts fruit flies more or less instantly.  I have a fruit fly trap in the cage (tub of grape juice and soap with holes in the top) but it doesn't catch nearly enough.  I realize the flies probably aren't bothering the roaches, but they're bothering *me* 😉

I have the same issue occasionally with fungus gnats and phorrid flies. I recommend using sealed storage containers/gasket bins, cutting a rectangle or two off the top, then hot gluing small insect mesh over it. This still won't keep out gnats or phorrids completely, but that's why I also use masking tape to tape paper towel over the mesh. This allows for the roaches to breathe but keeps everything else out. It also keeps moisture in better than just mesh. I'd recommend taking the hissers out, trashing the substrate, and using a new batch of substrate, then tape paper towel over the vents. It's something I learned from Peter Clausen of Bugs in Cyberspace though he does it by putting paper town over the bin opening then simply closing the lid. He mentioned in a vid that the ventilation holes aren't always needed and enough air will still get in. I now put paper towels over all my bins as it keeps those pesky flies from trying to breed in there.

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Have you heard of voile? (Rhymes with 'foil', AFAIK) It's a sheer fabric used for translucent net curtains and bridal veils, among other things. It's pretty much a kind of very fine netting, the spaces between the threads are smaller than pinholes. It can be made with different types of fibre, but I've only worked with the synthetic version. I used it over vent holes years ago, in conjunction with metal mesh, because I wasn't confident in the latter's ability to hold in newborn lobster roaches. Thinking of using it again if I can get my hands on one or two ectobiid species, and for the same reason as OP: to keep unwanted guests out of a planned tubful of bigger roaches

Bugznbits in the UK sells it (or something very like it) as 'ultra fine mesh'. No affiliation, but they do have a decent photo as an example.

https://bugznbits.co.uk/store/ols/products/ultra-fine-lightweight-mesh

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After sticking voile over a handful of vents, I discovered something else: mesh fruit bags. The material looks to be at least as fine as voile (actually designed to keep out fruit flies!) and a bit stronger too.

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I've been using grade 90 or 100 cheesecloth for some of my roach and mantid enclosures. It seems to work well so far. It's not as strong as voile or a mesh fruit bag, but it is considerably less expensive (~$10-15 for 30-45 sq yards). Just be careful not to stretch it or else it'll tear.

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Voile isn't too strong! It doesn't take a lot to pull that out of shape either, and I wouldn't use it without a backing of mesh or similar. I wasted a few patches of it, trying to pull them over the back of the plastic vents that I had. They're ventilating a tubful of Archimandrita tesselata at the mo, and I still have a slight worry in the back of my head about those big bruisers pulling the warp and weft wide. There were a couple of times when I wished I had a scrap of muslin instead, not a million miles from cheesecloth.

Oh well, they're getting another home anyway because I underestimated how much height they need.

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