Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Fruit Flies: Getting rid of...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Provincetown, MA
    Posts
    4,442

    Post

    SWMBO suggested that since you guys are so good at this sort of stuff, I ask here...

    We usually get an annual visitation of the buggers during the summer/autumn fresh fruit season, but this year it's getting silly. Normaly we just notice a few near the window sill where the fruit basket is located, but now they seem to have taken over the whole sink area in the kitchen, the garbage area in the garage and even upstairs near the computer where my empty coffee cups sometimes "lingered" longer than they should have. Putting away all the fresh produce, cleaning up the trash recepticles/sink drain/recycling area and even the computer desk hasn't seemed to really put much of a crimp in their lifestyle. Can't understand what they're surviving on and they're starting to get on my nerves. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Irmo, SC
    Posts
    1,478

    Post

    Hang some of those fly-paper strips in the bad areas. Bomb the house.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    6,617

    Post

    Mr. Read! came here this morning looking for info. on aphids! They're attacking my Jerusalem Cherry and horror of horrors my lemon tree which is just about to flower and my Jasmine. If you type 'Aphid' in the search engine you will get four (maybe five now) results, in the third thread from the top (maybe four now) you will find a post by Donn with a link to a gardenning website.

    I am going to try to cut and paste the link, but will post this first just incase it don't work.

    Edited to add: can't find insecticidal soap here so apparently must spray a concoction of garlic, cayenne pepper, onion and dish soap! Hope it works! try here for info. on your problem: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/

    [ 10-24-2003, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: Braam Berrub ]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Brooksville, Maine
    Posts
    8,746

    Post

    Have you tried leaving out half a glass of red wine as a trap? It'll get more than flypaper ever will.

    Dan

    P.S.: There's a reason those things are called bombs. I wouldn't use one. If you decide to use one, make sure your home-owners insurance will pay out for self-inflicted arson. Then there's the poison aspect of them, which may or may not actually be harmful to humans.

    [ 10-24-2003, 01:45 PM: Message edited by: huisjen ]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    21,816

    Post

    Same with sugar water.

    Another alternative is a Gecko
    If you don't think for yourself, someone else will do it for you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    246

    Post

    These traps from Lee Valley work quite well. They got rid of my fruit fly problem virtually overnight.
    \"Some ideas are so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.\"<br /><br />George Orwell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Hillsboro, WV
    Posts
    3,143

    Post

    Art,

    What Dan said!

    We discovered, quite by accident, that a partial bottle of red wine is a remarkable attractant for fruit flies and that they meet an early end (suffocation?) when they fly/crawl inside.

    But I think you've got to broil some good steaks and drink most of the wine first.

    Now, if only someone could tell me how to get rid of multi-colored Asian lady beetles.

    Wayne

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Virginia Province, Canada
    Posts
    1,688

    Post

    Fruit Flies.....
    This works for me....get a small sauce pan, fill it to the brim with water and add a couple drops of dish soap. You can float a grape or something on a popsicle stick for added bait if you want, and leave it standing near the source, usualy works overnight.
    Aphids.....
    The homemade soap concoction should work, as long as the mix is right. It will take a couple of treatments though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    12,294

    Post

    winter
    Study Peace

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    15,124

    Post

    Originally posted by Braam Berrub:
    ...came here this morning looking for info. on aphids! They're attacking my Jerusalem Cherry and horror of horrors my lemon tree which is just about to flower and my Jasmine...Edited to add: can't find insecticidal soap here so apparently must spray a concoction of garlic, cayenne pepper, onion and dish soap! Hope it works! try here for info. on your problem: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/
    Tobacco Tea

    The easiest way to deal with aphids is Tobacco Tea. Nicotine is an extremely potent, effective insecticide. Cheap. Doesn't smell awful. [Relatively] Low toxicity to humans and other animals&mdash;It's poisonous if swalled...I'd avoid drinking the stuff or getting a lot of it on the hands. I found an MSDS for a commercial version from South Africa that suggests wearing a paper mask whilst spraying it.

    Buy the cheapest loose rolling tobacco you can find. Bugle Boy brand will work find&mdash;it's cheap and available just about anywhere.

    Dump the contents of the package into a quart sized mason jar and fill it up with hot water. Let it sit overnight, then strain it through a paper coffee filter (paper cone, melitta-type) into a plastic spray bottle. Toss the tobacco. Some sources suggest adding 1/3 or less Murphy's oil soap to the mixture to achieve a 2-part combination punch.

    Spritz the aphid-infested plants with the stuff. Make sure you get the undersides of the leaves as well. Let dry. Repeat once a day until the aphids are gone. The nicotine in the tobacco kills them right fast, but you need to break the reproductive cycle to really get rid of them.

    Aphids can be hard to control because their reproductive cycle is complicated, involving both sexual and asexual phases and changes in host plants. http://tolweb.org/tree?group=Aphidom...Sternorrhyncha

    Bear in mind that this stuff, like all insecticides, takes out most insects, including beneficial ones like ladybugs.

    Diatomaceous Earth

    You might also consider diatomaceous earth for fruit flies or aphids. Dust after wetting the plant (to help adhesion). Diatomaceous earth are fossilized diatoms (one-celled critters) of silica. They look like miniature snowflakes or shurikens.



    The sharp points on the diatoms slice the insect and they basically bleed to death.

    Diatomaceous Earth should be readily available at a Garden Store Near You, along with a duster. Also cheap, effective and non-toxic.

    Wear a good dust mask whilst applying the stuff. It is very fine silica and you don't need to be clogging up the ol' lungs with the stuff. I've met people with black lung (old coal miners) and brown lung (textile workers). Trust me, you don't want what they got.

    [ 10-24-2003, 04:24 PM: Message edited by: Nicholas Carey ]
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    21,816

    Post

    Basic dish detergent works with the tobacco decoction too.

    Jerry Baker on bugs:
    When strolling through your flowerbeds and gardens, it's important that you keep your eyes open for insects. Here are some of my tried and true bug-busting tips that'll keep those wiggling and winged warriors away from your annuals, perennials, and flowering shrubs.

    Garden thugs are born bullies—they almost always pick on plants that are weaklings. So fight bugs the best way—with a good, preventative maintenance program. Give your plants plenty of sunlight and water, feed 'em well, and weed them regularly. Healthy plants will be able to fight off most bugs without any additional help.

    Aphids like the cool, dark undersides of leaves. So to shake them up—let there be light! Lay pieces of aluminum foil under affected plants. The aphids are confused by the increased light, and leave the leaves. Also, you can cut up 2 or 3 garlic cloves and sprinkle them among your rose bushes to keep the aphids away.

    Cigarette filters can save plant lives by killing bugs. Break the smoked filters from the cigarette stubs, remove the paper, place 6 to 8 of them on the soil surface and water thoroughly. The nicotine will make the bugs wish they had shacked up in someone else's garden.

    Regular applications of my All Season Clean-Up Tonic should keep most bugs in check, too.

    1 cup of liquid dish soap,
    1 cup of chewing tobacco tea*, and
    1 cup of antiseptic mouthwash.

    Mix all of the ingredients in a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, filling the balance of the jar with warm water. Apply this mixture to your plants liberally to discourage insects and prevent disease during the growing season.

    *Place three fingers of chewing tobacco in an old nylon stocking and soak in a gallon of hot water until the mixture is dark brown.

    Earwigs like to nibble on the foliage and flowers of many plants, especially dahlias, zinnias, and hollyhock. To keep these ugly thugs from calling your yard home, you need to remove their hiding places. Any place that is dark and cool during the day is an ideal spot for them. Trap them by putting an inch of soy sauce in the bottom of an old sour cream container, and then top it off with a thin film of vegetable oil. Put the cover on, punch 3 holes near the top of the container, and set it in your garden. Throw it out whenever it's brimmin' with bugs.
    http://www.jerrybaker.com/JerryBaker...asp?URLCheck=1

    [ 10-24-2003, 04:38 PM: Message edited by: Meerkat ]
    If you don't think for yourself, someone else will do it for you!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Omaha, Nebraska, USA, Terra , Sol, Milky Way....
    Posts
    6,314

    Post

    Ya big bullies. Them little fellas don't eat much.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    15,124

    Post

    It's my mother. She didn't allow aphids in the house
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Location
    Plainfield, Massachusetts
    Posts
    14,380

    Post

    It takes a few days, but my experience has been that if you get rid of all of their food sources (put away any fruits & vegetables and make sure there are no hidden rotting fruit or veges around) they will die out, and if they don't then it means there is a food source you haven't found.

    Just remember, "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    6,617

    Post

    Thanks everyone, Nicholas and Meerkat esp.
    I guess this is the 3rd thread hijacked by me today...part of my evil plan to rule the world.
    These are indoor plants so outside stuff don't apply - it snowed here last night, we're getting less and less sun as we speak.
    Don't smoke but will walk by the High School nearby and try to bum one off the malcontents...
    The Garden Store Nearest me that sells insecticides or anything of the kind in winter is a 5 hour drive away - will wait for spring!
    Have been spraying with normal dish detergent/water but will try the garlic, cayenne concoction in a while and the tobacco one as soon as tobacco can be procured (lots of that here though, everyone -'cept me and the wife - seem to smoke!) and will plant garlic once this infestation is over to reduce the chance of reinfestation - does the garlic kill or only chase away? If it only chases away where will they go? my other plants? spray everything? plant garlic everywhere?
    Thanks again!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Virginia Province, Canada
    Posts
    1,688

    Post

    Better check everything. The plants are indoors in dry air, so they are stressed abit, and the bugs know it! Take them in the shower and try to wash as many of the little suckers off as you can. Then spray, it's the soap that gets them. But don't make it too strong because some plants are sensitive to soap sprays.

    Mist them with water everyday, it helps. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    6,617

    Post

    There's three other plants in the house that ain't infected, yet! The three offenders have been secluded in the shower since they was discovered and am keeping a careful eye on the remaining ones. Its silly but the only time I ever have aphid problems is after bringing home plants from a store, I should learn to sequester them for awhile I guess.
    The spraying every once in a while thing...I used to kill all my plants from overwatering them so I had to consciously learn to leave them a little derelict - I think that plants, generally, recover easier from being a little dry than from being too wet.
    Thanks!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Virginia Province, Canada
    Posts
    1,688

    Post

    Keeping the soil on the dry side is ok(generaly), it's the leaves that dry out in the heated dry air. Transpiration and all that.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Posts
    491

    Post

    Put a bananna in the oven before you leave for work in the morning and leave the door open a few inches. By the time you get home, every fruit fly in the house will be inside the oven. Then all you need to do is shut the door and set it on broil for about 15 minutes.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Riley, Mi U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,545

    Post

    I've bumped this back up because we've got the same fruit fly problem. We've been using a tall glass with an inch of cider vinegar and a couple drops of soap. It works good as a trap, but I know they're breeding somewhere, just can't find it. We've checked all of the house plants, cleaned kitchen cupboards, etc. Any other thoughts?

    Rich

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •