Vermicomposting, worm bin, composting with worms community and forums
Recently I have found fruit fly's in my DIY bins. Do they hurt my worms? Is this a bad sign?
Also, I have noticed that several worms still keep crawling around the sides and lid of bin.
Fruit flies will not harm your worms. They can be a nuisance if you start getting them in large numbers. The best way to prevent them is to freeze your fruit & veggie waste because that will kill any fruit fly eggs that have been laid in the skin of the fruit. Then thaw & bury your wastes in the bin and cover with 3-4" of shredded newspaper.
Hope this helps you out.
I was introduced to vermicomposting..by my friend, over the phone. I was so impressed, that I started doing research over the internet and found this site...Wow, I WAS AMASED!
So excited, started my bins by watching videos, etc...and ordered my Red Worms and European Nightcrawlers to add. I did as suggested, and waited 2 weeks, before adding them.
Now they almost feel like my pets and family..LOL
I just don't want them to die, because...I messed up??
I so much appreciate all the help I can get, from you guys that can help me!
As John said, they won't harm the worms. It's not a "bad" sign, it just means fruit fly eggs were on some of the produce you threw in the bin. I also agree, freezing is good. I freeze most things before giving it to the worms (banana peels, apple cores, etc)
Michelle, is it an indoor bin or an outdoor bin?
All my bins are kept in our basement..same temp as house.
In that case, the fruit flies may be an annoyance especially if they get upstairs. You may want to try a very simple fruit fly trap. Get a cup, fill it about 2/3 full with vinegar(cider vinegar works best), add one drop of Dawn (any dishwashing detergent will do), this will break the surface tension of the vinegar, when the fruit flies swoop down (assuming flies swoop) to get a drink, they will sink and no longer be a problem.
I wish I had a basement, I could run a lot more bins. :)
The fruit flys can be a huge pain. You can vaccum them several times a day and do freeze everything before feeding,and cover with shredded paper. I dont use lids it lets any gas out that might bother them and you dont drop any one the floor when you take the lid off. It will encourage them to stay in because the dont want to dry out. You just need to check moisture more often.
Wow. Is this an indoor bin?
When you say 'indoor' I though you meant in your home, but now I see what you mean. Thanks.
Last Summer I had fruit flies in the den I used a vacuum cleaner and a bug zapper at night. This year I plan to kept about 2-4 inches of cardboard and shredded newspaper on the bins. I plan to move the TW Bins into the shed and only kept my Worm Factories in the Den. I can't move my FT so it will stay in the garage. I get a lot of flies when I do a hot compost in my tumblers.
Today, after some research, decided to leave the lids off, add some new dry bedding on top, and leave the lids off for better air flow. I am also going to keep the light on all night. So far, all good...no fruit flys and no worms escaping.
Am I wrong?
This should work for a while, but I keep my bin in the house as well and as soon as I went to feed again they came back. From what I can tell once they are in the bin they are really hard to get rid of.
Just don't do what I did and stop feeding for to long to get rid of them, I killed all the worms in my first bin this way. I found it is better to use a feeding strategy of small amounts of food under lots of newspaper.
Also I know everyone mentions covering the bin with a sheet of newspaper but I found this increased the population of fruit flies. I think adding the newspaper bedding works the best with a layer of cloth (I used burlap) on top.
Yeah, I don't think fruit flies will care much whether it's wet or dry. It's more about whether there is food they can get to.
College student method for fighting fruit flies: drink beers, but leave 1 cm of beer in each bottle. Leave those out in the garage near the bin. In my experience this can eliminate around 80 or 90% of the existing adults (they are attracted to it, fall in and drown). It won't get them all, but it puts a big dent in the population.
They are very persistent once established, as Nemesis099 says. But it helps to know a couple things about their life cycle. Adult fruit flies live for around 1 month, and during that period they will lay eggs only on food that's viable for their children. New fruit fly eggs take approximately 1 week to produce new adults. So, maybe, if you can attack the adult population while being extremely cautious not to reveal any food to them for a 2-week period, then you might be able to eradicate them completely.
Long term, it's more about preventative practices, like the others have said. Those good habits can actually slowly get rid of an existing population of fruit flies too, I believe. But they're so annoying that you probably want to start out with a more aggressive approach.