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BeJam

Fruit Flies. Where do they come from?

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So I'm into week 8 of red wine vinegar production and despite having read to expect flies, I didn't think it would happen to me because I'm in the UP close to Lake Superior and we've already had about a foot of snow. Denial maybe? Likely. I even had a small tear in the paper towel cover that I didn't bother to replace it because I wasn't going to get flies.

Of course you know where this story is going. Two days ago I had no flies, then yesterday about 30. They were all over the cover, inside the jar, and just buzzing around. And they are quick as if they know I'm going to kill them. I got a few and stopped short of spraying the top of the jar with raid that would have probably affected the flavor of the final vinegar.

So then I got to thinking about where they come from. They didn't come from outside because it’s been well below freezing several times and I was gone for a few days if that matters. So where? Are ff eggs in fruit already just waiting for some rotting matter to draw them out? Are the eggs in my clothes or in the wood work waiting in hibernation? Maybe those thirty flies are laying eggs right now all over the place waiting for the next smorgasbord of decaying fruit flesh. Now that I think about it, fruit flies don't seem to have a season.

Maybe this will make a good Halloween story.

UP is Upper Peninsula of Michigan for you trolls below the bridge.


Bode

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spraying raid doesn't work by the way, it does absolutely nothing. You better hide that vinegar or you will be bombarded.

I bet they are coming in from outside, like near your house, through the cracks and windows.


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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It's a mystery. However the eggs can hitchike on any kind of fruit or vegetable. I purchased a bag of potatoes a month or so ago and left it in my van overnight. When I pulled it out of the van the next morning there was a swarm of tiny fruit flies in the bag, only a few had escaped. There was nothing else in the van which had recently been detailed.

Fortunately I opened the bag outside.

I have several of these in my kitchen and pantry.

They work very well.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Don't know where they come from but a small amount of apple cider in a glass with a couple of drops of liquid detergent and a few minutes later, they're floating in the glass. Works for me anyway.

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Fruit flies are on every bit of fruit you bring home, from the yard or the store. Especially the yard. I bring in fruit this time of year and have to lliterally scrub it under water to make sure I get any eggs off so they can ripen (persimmons) unhindered. Citrus has the same issues, except I find it's more of that mold stuff that they bring home from the store and then infect the home grown stuff. (i grow oranges, satsumas etc. but no lemons). I can usually smell the mold from the lemons pretty quickly though. I find if I wash everything very, very well, that I limit problems....said limit. I don't think you can eliminate them forever.

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Frui flies? They come from red wine. I dont know how they go from invisible to full sized annoying flyers within one minute of opening a bottle, but since it always happens that way, that must be how it works

Maybe they are like those instant seahorses from the old comic books.


Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther

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Dunno what to do about fruitflies, but the moldy citrus can be prevented by soaking the fruit in 10% bleach for 10 min, then rinsing and drying thoroughly. I do this whenever I'm faced with a case of fruit, otherwise we dont get thru it before it gets nasty.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I had to pick up some onions yesterday afternoon as I discovered I did not have quite enough for a big batch of soup I am preparing for Halloween night.

At the market I noticed a swarm of fruit flies hanging above the pile of onions at the end of the gondola and was careful to select only very dry and very firm(hard) onions.

I picked up one that felt a bit soft at the stalk end and peeled back a bit of the top layer and found a mass of tiny ff maggots. I pointed it out to the produce man who was working on the potatoes and he brought over a box and began going through the rest of the onions to discard as many of the affected ones as possible. He said they had been having a problem with their most recent delivery of onions which came in a huge pallet-sized cardboard box instead of the smaller ventilated boxes they usually get. He said it made considerably more work for them because they have to transfer them from the big box to boxes they can place on their service carts, then transfer them again from that box to the display.

He told me that he often will cut an overripe melon in half, put the halves in the bottom of a plastic bag and place it where the infestations seems to be worse, during the hours the store is closed. The ffs are attracted to it by the hundreds and he can close the bag quickly, seal it and dump it in the outside dumpster.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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Interesting webpage on fruit flies -- including methods of preventing infestations, and fighting them once they happen, including a home-made (and homely-looking) version of the trap andisenji linked to upstream.

The reproductive potential of fruit flies is enormous; given the opportunity, they will lay about 500 eggs. The entire lifecycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week.

Wow. Thanks for the replies. I suspected as much but not the number of eggs. If the flies come from areas of rotting fruit, I can't see how any store-bought fruit can not be infected especially given the conditions at some markets or producers.


Bode

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Today's post about pantry moths reminded me of this homemade trap for fruit flies I recently learned about. No fancy storebought traps needed - just put a few tasty scraps in a small bowl, cover the bowl with cling wrap, and poke a few small holes in the wrap. The flies can get in, but they can't get out. Works better than anything else I've tried.

As to where they come from, I'm wondering if they can actually get through my window screens?


Edited by Special K (log)

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excellent idea. Ill keep that in mind. I had one of those Fly trap tapes, the kind you pull out this sticky band of paper and hang.

having gotten a few FF recently I tried this. it works but takes a bit of time. Ill try the cling wrap next time.

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There are home made fruit traps you can make where you cut off the top of a plastic bottle, invert it like a funnel and stick it in the bottom of the bottle. Put some apple cider vinegar in the bottom of the bottle and put it on your counter. I used to do that, but found an even more effective trap. Leave enough wine in the bottom of the bottle to cover the indentation in the bottom of the bottle, and set it on your counter. My experience is that a fruity inexpensive but nice pinot noir works best. Out of respect for the vintner I will not name the pinot noir that I and the fruit flies enjoy the most.

This time of the year when I take the lid off my compost bin out back, clouds of fruit flies emerge, and I often suspect that some of the must ride back into the house with them. It's also the time of year when if I go out to sit on my deck with a coaster and a glass of wine, the coaster goes on top of the glass, not under it.


Edited by Arey (log)

"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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"Where do fruit flies come from?"

Fruit flies come from China, Mexico, Brazil, Italy ---------------------------------

We buy fruits and vegetable from all countries. There are probably many varieties.

What do you do with the flies under the cling wrap?

Here is what I do:

A container with some fruit scraps, tomato works the best. Every couple of hours quickly put a cover on and microwave for one to two minutes. Use the same scrap again and again, the older the better.

In a couple of days you will trap and kill all the flies in your area.

dcarch

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d arch, I usually just take the dish outside and set the flies free near the compost bin, but I think I might try your zap 'em method. It really takes one or two minutes?

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d arch, I usually just take the dish outside and set the flies free near the compost bin, but I think I might try your zap 'em method. It really takes one or two minutes?

Yes, even 1/2 minute if you have a high power microwave.

Another thing I suggest for everyone. Get one of those insect zappers that looks like tennis rackets, you can zap then in mid air. It will take care moths, flies, mosquitoes, etc. A lot of fun to use. Bang, they are vaporized in mid air.

The zappers are very cheap. Sometimes $3.00 at Haborfreight.

dcarch

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With my wine bottle trap they drown and can just be poured down the drain. When my counter top compost bucket gets infested I usually close it with a twist tie and stick it in the freezer for a while.


"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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Today's post about pantry moths reminded me of this homemade trap for fruit flies I recently learned about. No fancy storebought traps needed - just put a few tasty scraps in a small bowl, cover the bowl with cling wrap, and poke a few small holes in the wrap. The flies can get in, but they can't get out. Works better than anything else I've tried.

As to where they come from, I'm wondering if they can actually get through my window screens?

K, at about 1/8 inch, if you have typical widow screens, I'd say yes. They're even drawn to the overripe cherries in my fridge!


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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They'll flock to a container with a bit of vinegar in it, too.

I found that out accidentally many years ago when they got in my vinegar bottle that I keep on the table with one of olive oil.

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Here's a 2009 article/video about getting rid of fruit flies that I just discovered.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

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Equal part honey and  white wine vinegar and a drop of washing up liquid   in a  glass jar and  flies  dies.    I have 3 of these  traps going and  only found 3 buzzing around  but the jars are filled with dead flies.

 

You can also mix beer and a drop  washing up liquid.  

The washing up liquid is there to break the  surface tension of the water and drown the flies and the other stuff is there to lure them in.

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Cheese is you friend, Cheese will take care of you, Cheese will never betray you, But blue mold will kill me.

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I'm trying some of these solutions RIGHT NOW. They are driving me nuts, hate having to wave them away as I eat my dinner.


Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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Because of the unseasonable warmth I'm still battling fruit flies.  Every time I open my compost bin  to add more household garbage swarms of them emerge.  Some of them of course, land on my jacket and so get transported into the house where they pester me, so when I open a bottle of wine I poke a paper down the neck of the bottle to keep them out of the bottle, and put a paper napkin over the wine glass to keep them out of the glass.  The wine bottle I set out behind the dish drainer with a few inches of red wine in it (and I begrudged the flies that few inches of wine) during the summer is still there collecting  flies.  They have their own bottle of pinot noir so they can stay the heck out of mine!  I'm not attaching a photo of the bottle because I doubt the producer would appreciate a testimonial to the effect that "That their pinot noir is the favorite wine  in the Arey household for Arey and his fruit flies".


"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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I may also have to try some of the suggestions in this topic.  Fruit flies aren't usually much of a problem for us, but for some reason for the past week or so a few persistent ones have been appearing out of nowhere when I start to mix the nightly cocktail (at least they're fruit flies with taste!).

 

But you know what they say ... time flies like an arrow.  Fruit flies like a banana.

 

 

 

Sorry ...

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Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

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