On their way

BryanBalt(7a)May 28, 2013

My red wigglers are on their way, and I am trying to get a bin ready for them to go directly into. The issue I have is fruit flies have already gotten a toehold in the bin I am using. Should I start over, or will the worms tolerate a little company at the beginning?

I can always get the stuff out and start fresh, adding the fruit fly to the other compost area. Thanks for the input.

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I am sure you will be fine just make to start with plenty of bedding. I wound up using a couple of the sticky fly traps and while not particularly attractive they do help keep the flys down.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 8:41PM
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Worms and fruitflies will live together harmoniously. YOU may not like the flies however.

Solutions I have read include

  1. cover the bin with landscape fabric, cotton, burlap or other material with a tight weave, and use elastic to keep in place
    2)Making a trap. I believe it was vinegar in a small glass or bottle.
    3)Sticky traps listed by petrock1963
  2. Lots and lots of bedding on top. I would use at least 4"
  3. live with it!

Good luck with them. Pete

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 7:19PM
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You can also hang an electric bug zapper above the bin and bait it with something that's attractive to fruit flies (like Bokashi).
I turn it on at night after dark, then I remove the bin covers and fluff up the bedding. Immediately a swarm of flies fly out and get zapped. I did that a couple nights running. Now I have a 'No-Fly Zone'.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 5:42AM
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A simple fly catcher is a small jar with some cider vinegar and a drop of dishwashing liquid. They will be attracted to the cider vinegar and not be able to get out.

I've used this very successfully when I had fruit flies in the past.

Preventive maintenance is always better. If you can freeze all of your food first, that kills any eggs. I do this with all my food; everything from potato and carrot peelings to banana peels and cantaloupe rinds.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Thanks for all of the feedback.

I am going to have about a weeks worth of veggie scraps and UCGs in there by the time they get here. I have not opened it in two days, so we'll see how the infestation is going tonight.

The bin is on my back porch in the shade, so the flies are not too concerning. I will probably get it moved to a shelf nearby, also outside and place a glass of cider next to it.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:12PM
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Bryan, put the glass with cider inside the bin, with the lid closed, to trap the flies.

I would also check to make sure that your food isn't getting smelly and anaerobic since it's been in there for a week without any worms.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 12:54PM
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I like Shaul's comment.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 1:28PM
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If the worms are not in an area where food is prepared, you can get a no-pest strip and hang it near the bin. There is also a bug spray that is safe to use in your kitchen area. The brand name is Hot Shot. You can get it at Walmart. I wouldn't start over. Giving the bin a head start will help things go smoother for the worms when they arrive.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 4:53PM
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I checked the bin last night and added a whole bunch of bedding and some additional UCG and veggie scraps. They still have not arrived, but I am hoping they'll be here today.

The flies were a little better, I think due to the additional bedding and keeping the lid on. We'll see later today and I'll keep you guys updated.

Thanks again for all the info.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 10:19AM
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Still not here, but got the shipping notice from them this morning. I got another couple days worth of scraps and UCGs into the bin last night, put another layer of paper on top of that. The fruit flies were drastically down which makes me feel good, not too concerned with a fly-free environment.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 9:27AM
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The life cycle of a fruit fly runs about 1 1/2 months. The adults may be gone, but you may be dealing with the next generation soon.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 1:08PM
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sbryce: I'm glad for your post of facts one can use. Just because something on the kitchen counter is attracting fruitflys does not mean it is making fruit flies until weeks go by. Although it appears otherwise.

Can fruit flies be sealed off by putting a covering of solid cardboard on the bin or putting food waste into a paper bag that will compost first on the bottom? Is even 27 inches of bedding enough to prevent hatching fruit flies?

After worm death, fruit fly infestation is an important topic that needs to be addressed for new vermicomposters.

My only tip is a quickly dabbed finger tip will usually capture a floating fruit fly from a glass of wine.

And it is probably better to get rid of the worms than the wife. Thus the need to get fruit fly vermicomposting done right and the information passed on.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 2:19AM
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Got here yesterday, got them into the bin around 7 PM, gave them a drink and checked the moisture in the container. So far so good, going to check them when I get home and see how they are doing.

So this was a pre-built and filled bin, prepped for 11 days leading up the worm arrival. I'll report back on the results in the next couple days, then again in a week or so.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 8:44AM
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