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They Aren't Fruit Flies, But...

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  • Margaret H Block
    MangoTheGeeker: They are likely fruit or fungal flies, and there is no risk to your little beauty. Clean and sanitize everything and make sure you change the water and food frequently. A sticky paper trap and a fruit fly trap with apple cider vinegar or premade bait outside the habitat would be a good place to start. Check also all your produce and houseplants around the house to see if the infestation is widespread. Depending on the size of the infestation, it might take a while to completely eradicate it. There are a lot of suggestions online for homemade fruit fly traps. If you drink red wine, I used to catch them in a bottle with just an inch of old wine remaining, back in college. Now I have purchased cute little glass traps from Etsy that work really well. I don't drink red wine anymore, lol. My problem with the homemade ones is that they would get mistakenly thrown out, or even worse, poured into a glass. EWWW!!!

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  • MangoTheGecker
    Hello! I know I am very late in this thread, but I am a new reptile owner and have one crestie who is about a year and 2 months, but I’ve only had her for about 5 months. Anyways, her tank is definitely due for a clean, but I’ve been putting it off for a while because I’ve been traveling. Today I was looking at her beauty for a while and I saw little flies in her tank! Her tank is all fake, no real plants or substrate. Will I be able to deep-clean her tank and get rid of them, or not? Please help! I’m freaking out. What do I do? How did they get there? Is this normal? Agggh!!! I’m stressing out. Please help!

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  • GrestedCeckos
    I have done tons of research on these lil buggers too. They will feed off of dying plant leaves, roots, and feces as well. Something I read about, but haven't took the time to try it out. You can use CO2, which can be made easily with cheap grocery store products, and wont kill your plants, in fact they will thrive off of it. However you will have to move the gecko for a few days.

    Heres what you do.

    Get rid of the gecko, put them in a cage somewhere.

    If you have a screen top, you can mix vinegar and baking soda in a bowl, and simply place it on top, the gas it creates is CO2 and is heavier and will seep into the tank. Plants live off of CO2 so it will be like steroids for them. Make sure there is no air movement, or it will not sink into the cage, so put mixture inside the tank. It will kill off all the eggs and adults that are infesting your cage. It may take a few tries, but you'll get them eventually. I have the problem too, but have tons of plants all over the house, and they seem to like the organic soil I use. I wish I could get rid of them as well, but would have to vacate 20+ cresteds and bomb the place lol...

    Try it or not, but many terrarium growers use this trick. Wish I had the website to reference, but you could probably google it.

    Good luck!

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  • CreepyCrawly
    Fungus Gnats

    I would have tried using the yellow paper fungus gnat traps outside of the cage. It would take a while for it to work, but it would.

    As you said, fungus gnats live in, breed in, lay eggs in, and eat soil (or the fungus found in soil). If you trap the adults, they will not have a chance to lay more eggs in the soil. The sticky traps that list fungus gnats on the package do work well for attracting and trapping these little pests. The flies hatch out of the eggs that are in the soil (virtually ALL soils contain fungus gnat eggs, organic and natural or not) once it becomes warm enough. They then can breed and lay more eggs into the soil. But... if they get caught on a sticky trap, they can't breed or lay more eggs. While I've never been able to detect an odor on the sticky traps, something on those things must attract them, because they seem to work well. It could be a pheromone or perhaps it's just the fluorescent yellow color.

    I would use a sticky trap outside of the cage, or I would put the sticky trap inside of a plastic container with a few tiny holes punched in it and placed in the cage. Geckos can't get to the sticky trap, but flies can. The sticky trap contains no toxins of any kind, just an attractant and adhesive.

    Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier... I would have suggested this. I've not tried it in gecko cages (I don't use soil substrate in my cages) but have tried it with houseplants and it worked just fine.

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  • Gecko_Haven
    It sounds like a good plan except for the geckos that will not drink from a water dish. The ones who only drink from the sides of the glass or plant leaves. Not sure how it will work for that.

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  • KJS
    For Future Reference

    I didn't get much help on here, however...

    In case anyone is searching the forums and ends up having the same problem I did, here is what I used as a solution:

    The Sphaerocerid Flies breed, live in, and eat dirt, decaying matter, dung/poop, etc. But they cannot live in dry climate.

    Do you need to clean out your entire Vivarium? No.

    All you need to do is make sure you clean your gecko's poop as soon as you see it.

    You'll need to stop misting your tank. Period.
    Tape a wet papertowel to the side of the glass if you must keep your humidity up, but do NOT moisten the soil.
    As for your live plants, you'll need to pick one spot in the tank and dig a hole all the way down to your drainage layer (it should be MOIST soil down there!!). Then, with patience, you need to continually add water to the hole (i added about 2 bottles of water/1L/0.25 of a gallon) You need to do this or your plants will shrivel, dry up, and die.

    The Flies:
    The process is painful and very annoying. Grab a piece of paper and a butane lighter. Use the paper to smush already existing flies against the side of your tank (obviously, this will only work if you have a glass or acrylic tank). Then, you'll need to turn over the soil repeatedly and "burn" the soil with the butane lighter in order to kill the eggs/larvae/small flies living in and growing in the soil.

    It took me about 3 hours.
    It sucks. But it works.

    These flies also have a lifespan of 6-10 Days, so they will not live long.

    They are also attracted to chocolate milk, particularly when it has been sitting out.

    Fill half a glass of chocolate milk and let it sit in the tank for 2 days. it will catch a lot of flies.

    Good luck.

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  • KJS
    I think I have whats called "SPHAEROCERID FLIES"

    I don't know what they're attracted to.
    They arent attracted to light, vinegar or soap. I have not misted my tank or watered my plants in over a week.

    It appears everyday there are MORE.

    I dont even think a tear-down would be beneficial because I'd end up with 500 flies in my house!

    Would bug spray/RAID/insecticides be too harmful to use in the soil for my gecko?

    I really dont know what the flies are feeding off of. I havent had CGD in the tank for over a week either, i've been feeding crickets. ( and there are no dead crickets)

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  • firecrested
    Good luck. I had to deal with them last year. Cleaning out maggots in the lay boxes all summer. The best thing I found was the scented fly strips. It will catch most of them but you will still have some flying around until it gets cold again.

    The less substrate you have the better so newspaper or papertowel will help. I found that there were way more in the enclosures with substrate than the ones with newspaper.

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  • KJS
    started a topic They Aren't Fruit Flies, But...

    They Aren't Fruit Flies, But...

    Okay, So I've done tons of research on fruit flies and quite frankly, I wish I had fruit flies instead of these little buggers.

    I'm not too sure what they are, but after researching they look a lot like regular fungus gnats.

    They've been invading my natural viv with one crested for about 2 months now.

    I've tried churning over the soil repeatedly, not watering the plants for a week at a time to make sure the soil is dry, and have only been misting the gecko himself so I don't accidentally put moisture back into the soil. I've also been removing the CGD after 2 nights so the flies don't eat it.

    How in the hell do I get rid of them?

    Yes, I could tear everything down and re-make it... but there must be a better solution.