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Thread: So I might have gone overboard on fly control....

  1. #1
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    Default So I might have gone overboard on fly control....

    Backstory: Completed master's and moved back with the family until a permanent job comes around. This meant the reptiles came back too.

    I have had problems with phorid and fruit flies in the past, and I likely will again. Just the nature of the way I keep the critters. In the past I have done enough to keep numbers under control and at a low level. Well somehow I must have gotten a bad plant or bad batch of soil at some point because when I came home things got out of hand. Come to think of it the first time I know flies came in was with a batch of crickets from a dealer I won't be using again. Anyways, almost overnight, I had so many flies as to not be able to contain their numbers by the old means. I tried the old stuff and a few new things but no use. I'd kill some, feel accomplished, and then realize I had not made a dent in the population.

    My mother, who tolerates the critters at best, finally snapped today. I had to handle the flies or get rid of the reptiles. Needless to say: Flies lose.

    Looking at it I had three options for a knockout punch. The first was to throw everything out and start over. That was unacceptable on a number of levels, but is still the last resort. The next thing was to set the tanks outside for the night and let them freeze. Checking the weather though I remembered "Oh yeah, this is Alabama and the lows can be in the fifties in December". It supposed to chill down again next week, but at that point.... let's just not go there. The third option was chemical warfare. So this is what I did.








    Step one: Materials and prep
    -Clingwrap, painters tape, containers for critters, apple cider vinegar, dish soap, bait (CGD works well), gloves, cooler, and 15 pounds of dry ice.

    Set the take your bait and set it in a bowl of apple cider vinegar mixed with a few drops of dish soap. The dish soap breaks the surface tension of the water and some escapees will find their way to it and drown. Set this in the vicinity of where you will commence the killing.

    Step Two: Remove critters and seal up openings with tape or saran wrap except for an access point (the top in this case).

    Place dry ice inside the tank (not touching plants or glass) and quickly close and seal with tape and saran wrap. If you can set the ice on a wire top as well as down below. The ice on the tank bottom will slow down it's sublimation as it covers over with ice, but the wires will keep a steady flow of CO2 going down into the tank.


    Step three: Wait. This is the stage I am at now. I'll report how it works, though I've already seen a few dead flies, and escapee crickets and roaches. I hate that I am likely going to lose my isopods as well but I have a backup colony. I am hoping the earthworms make it through though as that might just restart the cycle if I have to reintroduce them with their soil.


    Lord I hope this works.

    *Update* So after a couple of hours it appears that dirt does not protect worms and gills do not protect isopods. It's a massacre in the tanks for them. However, the same goes for everything else as well so it would appear to be worth it at the moment. Final call tomorrow morning.

  2. #2
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    Well, at least the plants will be happy! CO2 YUMMY
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    So final assessment: Mixed.

    The dry ice did a number on everything but it was not a complete kill. Actually there was a disappointingly large number of flies in the main tank I needed to do the kill in, but only about half as many as there were. Some isopods survived as well which is nice but in that same tank. I'm wondering if it was from leak somewhere?

    The treatment seemed to work much better in standard aquariums than exo-terras or zoomeds, which makes sense I guess as there was much more chance of screwing up as those are designed to have airflow. In one of the standards you could see where the maggots had come out of the ground trying to get away.

    So the fight continues until further notice. The vinegar and bait works well just not enough to kill all of them.

  4. #4
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    not sure about anyone else but the fruit flies seemed really bad this year. every time i get rid of them we get another warm snap and they come right back. i had no fruit flies a week ago, now we are in the 50s again and ive seen a few flying around the tanks again. frustrating little SOBs
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    I've had a major problem this year as well...worse than ever. They seem to really be hanging out in my roach colonies, and I can't tell if they are doing harm or not.

    I've talked to quite a few other people in the upper Midwest and we've all seen the same thing. Odd to see so many of them and hear of people having issues.
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  6. #6
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    I had them bad last year as well, but I was able to do a few small things and it cut down the numbers to manageable levels. Luckily I don't think I have to worry about the itty bitty geckos as they seem to eat a few. But the bigger geckos seem to ignore them completely.

    One nice thing is that my monitor doesn't like to work to hard for his food, so there were a number of roaches and crickets that had managed to hide (very well, I will give Mickey a little slack on that point) in his tank. Dry ice took care of that problem.

    Also on further examination a few worms did survive! It seems to be that if they near the surface or near the ice they were in for it, but I think any that were deep down managed ok. I've started reintroducing critters back. Being cautious about it though. Two of the snakes will stay out until the ice in their tank is completely gone, and the leachie tank was the main one I needed to do the kill in so I am going to do a few more things in an effort to get them all in that one. He will likely go back in later tonight.

    I don't think they actually do much damage (though they can apparently spread disease, but honestly, what can't). They're just annoying as hell.

  7. #7
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    It's nice to hear that we aren't the only ones with these little pests!! We've had HORRIBLE little fly outbreaks in PA with the geckos, and same thing, it gets cooler, they decrease...warms up a bit, and hey look they're everywhere! It's also good to know they aren't immediately dangerous, because they seem to like when we put the old CGD in the roach bins... *sigh*

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    Honestly, the worst thing is I think they eat more CGD than the CG's! Then they lay eggs in it, and if you time it all wrong you get a bunch of little maggots by the second day! Disgusting how fast they reproduce.

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    ID vacuum them up. Lol. I bought a small vacuum to get up all the old substrate in the cages. And when i had problematic flies, They got sucked in the gunk as well.
    Needless to say, I had no more flies. but my situation wasn't as severe as yours.
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    I had them too, in my apartment.. I made a trap, but they KEPT COMING!!! Even though it's December I saw a few this week... stupid warm winter weather!!!
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